Favorite Opening Lines From A Book

joepuentes —  June 7, 2014 — 8 Comments

There is nothing like a great opening line from a book.

Opening lines either grab my soul and imagination or can make me disinterested.

I love reading.
I love books.

Some opening lines from some of my favorite books:

‘When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home’ – S. E. Hinton, The Outsiders

“When I was three and Bailey four, we had arrived in the musty little town, wearing tags on our wrists which instructed – ‘To Whom It May Concern’ – that we were Marguerite and Bailey Johnson Jr., from Long Beach, California, en route to Stamps, Arkansas, c/o Mrs. Annie Henderson.” – Maya Angelou, I know Why The Caged Bird Sings

“All children, except one, grow up.” – J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” – Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

What about you?

8 responses to Favorite Opening Lines From A Book

    Carole Besharah June 7, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    I too love the Peter Pan line.

    And this one:

    “It was a pleasure to burn.”
    —Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451


    “Ashton Hilary Akbar Pelham-Martyn was born in a camp near the crest of a pass in the Himalayas, and subsequently christened in a patent canvas bucket.
    His first cry competed manfully with the snarling call of a leopard on the hillside below, and his first breath had been a lungful of the cold air that blew down from the far rampart of the mountains, bringing with it a clean scent of snow and pine-needles to thin the reek of hot lamp oil, the smell of blood and sweat, and the pungent odour of pack ponies.”

    -The Far Pavilions, M. M. Kaye


      Angie, that has grabbed my imagination. I haven’t read that book, it is on my ‘to read’ list now.


        It is my all time favorite book. Historical fiction, heavy on the history. She spent 15 years writing it, and shows in the best ways…I can’t say enough good things about it.


    In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit…


    And, from the Fellowship Of The Ring:

    When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton.

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