Opening lines in books that have changed my (reading) life

Posted 26-05-2020 by Marion in Allgemein / 18 Comments

Hello, sweet peas!

I’m writing this on a rainy Monday afternoon when my blood has completely been exchanged for coffee, the office phone is my permanent background music and my email folder cannot take anymore new stuff without crying electrical tears of frustration. I’m also super tired – despite the caffein cursing through me – and I should be doing so much stuff but I really feel rebellious right now, so I’m doing a blogpost.

Have you ever thought about first lines in books? I mean, have you really? (Of course you have. You are all smart and curious people who’s first or second (or even third) goal in life is world domination.)

First lines are often the most important thing in a book. A good first line can more often than not decide if a reader continues with a book or not, hooks him or is the reason a book gets put down again. (Okay, maybe that’s a little bit dramatized but you get the gist.) There are certainly lines that I still remember and that belong to books that have shaped my reading.

Today I wanna introduce you to a few wonderful first lines that have had big impact on my reading life.

Linked in with the Top Ten Tuesday by The Artsy Reader Girl.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Mr. and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone by J.K. Rowling

I feel like that is one of the most famous lines ever and will forever remind me of my first time reading it. Snowflakes galore outside It perfectly captures the Dursleys and it’s more in my memory than the first lines of any of the other books.

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Rain fell that night, a fine, whispering rain. Many years later, Meggie had only to close her eyes and she could still hear it, like tiny fingers tapping on her windowpane

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Granted, the lines that are actually ingraved into my skull are the original German ones. But still, these two sentences have stayed with me for so many years and I feel like I can hear that rain as well, every time I read this line.

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

In the land of Ingary, where such things as seven-leagues boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of three.

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

I love that book. Sure, I have only read it last year but the first line just perfectly sets the stage for the rest of the book.

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood.

Percy Jackson and the Lightning thief by Rick Riordan

I don’t think any other sentence can start a book and give me so much joy and make me look forward to a read so much.

Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

It’s difficult to know quite where to begin this story, but I have fixed my choice on a certain Wednesday at luncheon at the Vicarage.

Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

My mum loves thrillers. Or mysteries. I remember she had some Agatha Christies on her shelves but never a lot. We watched some of the movies and it’s just something I will always connect with her. I’m still not sure if I have read all of the Miss Marples but somehow this line has stuck.

Silverwing by Kenneth Oppel

Skimming over the banks of the stream, Shade heard the beetle warming up its wings.

Silverwing by Kenneth Oppel

I blame Kenneth Oppel for a lot of things. I absolutely blame him for my love of bats and owls, for my love of airships and dinosaurs. But mostly for the bats. I know more about bats than about most other animals and that’s because Silverwing has piqued my curiosity. Starting with this line.

I’m sure there are more but I feel like these are the most important ones, the ones I remember most. They have started me off on a journey through books, have evoked my love for different genres and for particular books.

What are the most memorable opening lines in books for you? How have they shaped your reading?

18 responses to “Opening lines in books that have changed my (reading) life

  1. I also love the opening like to Inkheart! That book makes me so freaking happy. It felt so magical. Harry Potter will forever be a favorite too just because it was the start of such an amazing world. These are all so fun πŸ˜€

    • I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes I’m wondering if Harry Potter is just so good because of nostalgia but then I do a reread and it’s just so amazing. πŸ˜€
      I got Inkheart many years ago for my birthday and treasure the edition I have since it’s not available anymore. I definitely have to do a reread.

    • I love that book so much. It has danger and great characters and it just makes you dive into a totally different world.

    • Well, that’s probably the best compliment ever. πŸ˜€ I picked books I really love and treasure. Maybe you will read one of them one day. πŸ™‚

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