Nick Hornby quotes

  • I suddenly had a little epiphany: all the books we own, both read and unread, are the fullest expression of self we have at our disposal.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Book #Expression #Self

  • All the books we own, both read and unread, are the fullest expression of self we have at our disposal. ... But with each passing year, and with each whimsical purchase, our libraries become more and more able to articulate who we are, whether we read the books or not.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Book #Expression #Years

  • Record stores can't save your life. But they can give you a better one.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Giving #Records #Stores

  • What came first – the music or the misery? Did I listen to the music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to the music? Do all those records turn you into a melancholy person?
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Music #Firsts #Records

  • The plain state of being human is dramatic enough for anyone; you don't need to be a ***** addict or a performance poet to experience extremity. You just have to love someone.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Needs #Dramatic #Being Human

  • Most people have a rope that ties them to someone, and that rope can be short or it can be long. (Be long. Belong. Get it?) You don't know how long, though. It's not your choice.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Ties #People #Long

  • It's brilliant, being depressed; you can behave as badly as you like.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Depression #Brilliant #Being Depressed

  • A good compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You've got to kick off with a killer, to grab the attention. Then you've got to take it up a notch, or cool it off a notch…oh, there are a lot of rules.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Age #Might #Killers

  • It's a mystery of human chemistry and I don't understand it, some people, as far as their senses are concerned, just feel like home.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Home #People #Chemistry

  • Hard is trying to rebuild yourself, piece by piece, with no instruction book, and no clue as to where all the important bits are supposed to go.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Book #Important #Trying

  • Everyone knows how to talk, and no one knows what to say.
    -- Nick Hornby

  • Even bad times have good things in them to make you feel alive.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Alive #Good Things #Bad Times

  • People worry about kids playing with guns, and teenagers watching violent videos; we are scared that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands - literally thousands - of songs about broken hearts and rejection and pain and misery and loss.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Music #Song #Pain

  • Books are, let's face it, better than everything else.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Book #Faces

  • We all spend so much time not saying what we want, because we know we can't have it. And because it sounds ungracious, or ungrateful, or disloyal, or childish, or banal. Or because we're so desperate to pretend that things are OK, really, that confessing to ourselves they're not looks like a bad move. Go on, say what you want. ... Whatever it is, say it to yourself. The truth will set you free. Either that or it'll get you a punch in the nose. Surviving in whatever life you're living means lying, and lying corrodes the soul, so take a break from the lies for just one minute.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Lying #Moving #Mean

  • I lost the plot for a while then. And I lost the subplot, the script, the soundtrack, the intermission, my popcorn, the credits, and the exit sign.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Plot #Popcorn #Credit

  • For alarmingly large chunks of an average day, I am a moron.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Average #Moron

  • Being a reader is sort of like being president, except reading involves fewer state dinners, usually. You have this agenda you want to get through, but you get distracted by life events, e.g., books arriving in the mail/World War III, and you are temporarily deflected from your chosen path.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #War #Book #Reading

  • I couldn’t bear to think about the proper future, so I just tried to make things better for the next twenty minutes or so, over and over again.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Thinking #Next #Bears

  • I love the detail about the workings of the human heart and mind that only fiction can provide - film can't get in close enough.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Heart #Mind #Fiction

  • Radio football is football reduced to its lowest common denominator. Shorn of the game's aesthetic pleasures, or the comfort of a crowd that feels the same way as you, or the sense of security that you get when you see that your defenders and goalkeeper are more or less where they should be, all that is left is naked fear.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Sports #Football #Games

  • Why does reading freak people out so much? Sure, I could be pretty anti-social when we were on the road, but if I was playing a Gameboy hour after hour, no one would be on my case. In my social circle, blowing up space monsters is socially acceptable in a way that American Pastoral isn't.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Reading #Circles #Space

  • ...I feel as though I made a face and the wind changed, and now I have to go through life grimacing in this horrible way.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Wind #Way #Faces

  • No man is an island...
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Men #Islands

  • Is it wrong, wanting to be at home with your record collection? It's not like collecting records is like collecting stamps, or beermats, or antique thimbles. There's a whole world in here, a nicer, dirtier, more violent, more peaceful, more colorful, sleazier, more dangerous, more loving world than the world I live in; there is history, and geography, and poetry, and countless other things I should have studied at school, including music.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Home #School #Peaceful

  • Have you got any soul?" a woman asks the next afternoon. That depends, I feel like saying; some days yes, some days no. A few days ago I was right out; now I've got loads, too much, more than I can handle. I wish I could spread it a bit more evenly, I want to tell her, get a better balance, but I can't seem to get it sorted. I can see she wouldn't be interested in my internal stock control problems though, so I simply point to where I keep the soul I have, right by the exit, just next to the blues.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Soul #Balance #Wish

  • There isn't so much to be afraid of, out there. I can remember thinking it was funny to find that out, on the last night of my life; I'd spent the rest of it being afraid of everything.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Fear #Night #Thinking

  • I don't want anyone writing in to point out that I spend too much money on books, many of which I will never read. I know that already. I certainly intend to read all of them, more or less. My intentions are good. Anyway, it's my money. And I'll bet you do it too.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Book #Writing #Want

  • You wouldn't believe that so much could change just because a relationship ended.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Believe

  • There were about seventy-nine squillion people in the world, and if you were very lucky, you would end up being loved by fifteen or twenty of them.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #People #Lucky #World

  • Because music, like color, or a cloud, is neither intelligent nor unintelligent - it just is. The chord, the simplest building block for even the tritest, silliest chart song, is a beautiful, perfect, mysterious thing, and when an ill-read, uneducated, uncultured, emotionally illiterate boor puts a couple of them together, he has every chance of creating something wonderful and powerful. All I ask of music is that is sounds good.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Beautiful #Song #Couple

  • You don't ask people with knives in their stomachs what would make them happy; happiness is no longer the point. It's all about survival; it's all about whether you pull the knife out and bleed to death or keep it in...
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Life #Happiness #Knives

  • One could argue that most of the trouble in the world is caused by introspection.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #World #Arguing #Trouble

  • I've committed to nothing...and that's just suicide...by tiny, tiny increments.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Suicide #Tiny #Committed

  • We can't be as good as we'd want to, so the question then becomes, how do we cope with our own badness?
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Want #Badness

  • I love the relationship that anyone has with music ... because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. ... It's the best part of us probably ...
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Music #Elude #Spit

  • It's no good pretending that any relationship has a future if your record collections disagree violently or if your favorite films wouldn't even speak to each other if they met at a party.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Relationship #Boyfriend #Husband

  • Love, it turns out, is as undemocratic as money, so it accumulates around people who have plenty of it already: the sane, the healthy, the lovable.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #People #Healthy #Lovable

  • A man who wants to die feels angry and full of life and desperate and bored and exhausted, all at the same time; he wants to fight everyone, and he wants to curl up in a ball and hide in a cupboard somewhere. He wants to say sorry to everyone, and he wants everyone to know just how badly they've all let him down.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Death #Sorry #Fighting

  • The trouble with history is that there are too many people involved
    -- Nick Hornby

    #People #Trouble

  • I used to think--and given the way we ended up, maybe I still do--that all relationships need the kind of violent shove that a crush brings, just to get you started and to push you over the humps. And then, when the energy from that shove has gone and you come to something approaching a halt, you have to look around and see what you've got. It could be something completely different, it could be something roughly the same, but gentler and calmer, or it could be nothing at all.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Relationship #Crush #Thinking

  • Sarcasm and compassion are two of the qualities that make life on Earth tolerable.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Sarcasm #Compassion #Two

  • When you get older, it feels like happy memories and sad memories are pretty much the same thing. It is all just emotion in the end. And any of it can make you weep.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Memories #Emotion #Ends

  • That’s the thing with the young these days, isn’t it? They watch too many happy endings. Everything has to be wrapped up, with a smile and a tear and a wave. Everyone has learned, found love, seen the error of their ways, discovered the joys of monogamy, or fatherhood, or filial duty, or life itself. In my day, people got shot at the end of films, after learning only that life is hollow, dismal, brutish, and short.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Errors #People #Joy

  • my friends don't seem to be friends at all but people whose phone numbers I haven't lost.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Phones #Numbers #People

  • Cynicism is our shared common language, the Esperanto that actually caught on, and though I'm not fluent in it - I like too many things, and I'm not envious of enough people - I know enough to get by.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #People #Esperanto #Common

  • One thing about great art: it made you love people more, forgive them their petty transgressions. It worked in the way that religion was supposed to, if you thought about it.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Art #People #Forgiving

  • The point is you keep going. You want to. So all the things that make you want to are the point.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Want #Keep Going

  • Every time people force themselves to carry on with a book they're not enjoying, they reinforce the idea that reading is a duty.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Book #Reading #Ideas

  • It takes a child to say the unsayable.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Children

  • We get together with people because they're the same or because they're different, and in the end we split with them for exactly the same reasons.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #People #Together #Splits

  • I’m not the smartest guy in the world, but I’m certainly not the dumbest. I mean, I’ve read books like "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" and "Love in the Time of Cholera", and I think I’ve understood them. They’re about girls, right? Just kidding. But I have to say my all-time favorite book is Johnny Cash’s autobiography "Cash" by Johnny Cash.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Girl #Book #Mean

  • It's music rage, which is like road rage, only more righteous. When you get road rage, a tiny part of you knows you're being a jerk, but when you get music rage, you're carrying out the will of God, and God wants these people dead
    -- Nick Hornby

    #People #Want #Tiny

  • ...So please, be tolerant of those who describe a sporting moment as their best ever. We do not lack imagination, nor have we had sad and barren lives; it is just that real life is paler, duller, and contains less potential for unexpected delirium.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Real #Imagination #Unexpected

  • I had to nurture those doubts as if they were tiny, sickly kittens, until eventually they became sturdy, healthy grievances, with their own cat doors, which allowed them to wander in and out of our conversation at will.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Cat #Doors #Healthy

  • I used to believe, although I don't now, that growing and growing up are analogous, that both are inevitable and uncontrollable processes. Now it seems to me that growing up is governed by the will, that one can choose to become an adult, but only at given moments. These moments come along fairly infrequently -during crises in relationships, for example, or when one has been given the chance to start afresh somewhere- and one can ignore them or seize them.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Growing Up #Believe #Adults

  • We have one of those conversations where every thing clicks, meshes, corresponds, locks, where even our pauses, even our punctuation marks, seem to be nodding in agreement.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Agreement #Nodding #Locks

  • What went wrong? Nothing and everything.
    -- Nick Hornby

  • Surely we all occasionally buy books because of a daydream we're having--a little fantasy about the people we might turn into one day, when our lives are different, quieter, more introspective, and when all the urgent reading, whatever that might be, has been done. We never arrive at that point, needless to say....
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Book #Reading #People

  • I guess I should have forgotten about it ages ago, but forgetting isn't something I'm very good at.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Age #Forget #Forgotten

  • The unhappiest people I know, romantically speaking, are the ones who like pop music the most; and I don't know whether pop music has caused this unhappiness, but I do know that they've been listening to the sad songs longer than they've been living the unhappy lives.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Song #People #Listening

  • It struck him that how you spent Christmas was a message to the world about where you were in life, some indication of how deep a hole you had managed to burrow for yourself
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Christmas #World #Messages

  • We're here for such a short amount of time. Why do we spend any of it building sandcastles?
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Building #Sandcastles

  • We are never allowed to forget that some books are badly written; we should remember that sometimes they're badly read, too.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Book #Remember #Forget

  • You spend Christmas at somebody's house, you worry about their operations, you give them hugs and kisses and flowers, you see them in their dressing gown...and then bang, that's it. Gone forever. And sooner or later there will be another mum, another Christmas, more varicose veins. They're all the same. Only the addresses, and the colors of the dressing gown, change.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Flower #Kissing #Color

  • I may not know the weight of those things, but I could feel the weight of that one, so I kept it to myself. You know that things aren't going well for you when you can't even tell people the simplest fact about your life, just because they'll presume you're asking them to feel sorry for you. I suppose it's why you feel so far away from everyone, in the end; anything you can think of to tell them just ends up making them feel terrible.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Sorry #Thinking #People

  • I have less time, less tolerance for bullshit, more interest in good taste, more confidence in my own judgement. The culture with which I surround myself is a reflection of my personality and the circumstances of my life, which is in part how it should be.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Reflection #Bullshit #Personality

  • When it came down to it, he just wasn't that engaged. You had to be engaged to be a vegetarian; you had to be engaged to sing "Both Sides Now" with your eyes closed; when it came down to it, you had to be engaged to be a mother.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Mother #Eye #Sides

  • I'm not telling you that suicidal people aren't so far away from people who can get by; I'm telling you that people who can get by aren't so far away from being suicidal.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Suicidal #People #Far Away

  • I fell in love with football as I was later to fall in love with women: suddenly, inexplicably, uncritically, giving no thought to the pain or disruption it would bring with it.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Football #Falling In Love #Pain

  • Loving people, and allowing yourself to be loved, was only worth the risk if the odds were in your favor, but they quite clearly weren't. There were about seventy-nine squillion people in the world, and if you were very lucky, you would end up being loved by fifteen or twenty of them. So how smart did you have to be to work out that it just wasn't worth the risk?
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Smart #Odds #Work Out

  • Unhappiness really meant something back then. Now it's just a drag, like a cold or having no money.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Cold #Unhappiness #Drag

  • An official statement from Liverpool raised the spectre of a future where 'a club's rival can bring about a significant ban for a top player without anything beyond an accusation'. But on hearing this, many Manchester United fans would have been asking for a definition of the word 'rival'.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Player #Asking #Rivals

  • When your sad--like really sad--you only want to be with other people who are sad.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #People #Want #Really Sad

  • She was trying to say something else; she was trying to say that the inability to articulate what one feels in any satisfactory way is one of our enduring tragedies. It wouldn't have been much, and it wouldn't have been useful, but it would have been something that reflected the gravity and the sadness inside her. Instead, she had snapped at him for being a loser. It was as if she were trying to find a handhold on the boulder of her feelings, and had merely ended up with grit under her nails.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Sadness #Feelings #Trying

  • She thought I was...soulful, by which I think she means that I don't say much and I always look vaguely pissed off.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Mean #Thinking #Pissed Off

  • He'd told her it was just a scratch and got cross when she hadn't offered morphine.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Scratches #Morphine #Crosses

  • You're not allowed to say anything about books because they're books, and books are, you know, God.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Book #Say Anything #Knowing God

  • You had to live in your own bubble. You couldn't force your way into someone else's, because then it wouldn't be a bubble any more.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Way #Force #Bubbles

  • You just have to smile and take it, otherwise it would drive you mad.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Mad

  • I'm simply pointing out that what happens to us isn't the whole story. That I continue to exist even when we're not together.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Together #Stories #Pointing

  • I never mind the accusations of domesticity, as long as people recognise that all of us, even the luckiest, will live lives in which we have our hearts broken, suffer the loss of loved ones, worry ourselves half to death about our kids.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Live Life #Heart #Kids

  • The plain state of being human is dramatic enough for anyone
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Dramatic #Being Human #Enough

  • Complaining about boring football is a little like complaining about the sad ending of King Lear: it misses the point somehow.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Football #Kings #Missing

  • Life isn't, and has never been, a 2-0 home victory after a fish and chip lunch.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Home #Lunch #Victory

  • I have always been accused of taking the things I love – football, of course, but also books and records – much too seriously, and I do feel a kind of anger when I hear a bad record, or when someone is lukewarm about a book that means a lot to me. Perhaps it was these desperate, bitter men in the West Stand at Arsenal who taught me how to get angry in this way; and perhaps it is why I earn some of my living as a critic – maybe it’s those voices I can hear when I write. ‘You’re a WANKER, X.’ ‘The Booker Prize? THE BOOKER PRIZE? They should give that to me for having to read you.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Football #Book #Mean

  • I'm still not a very good white wine, but I'm drinkable - you could put me in a punch, anyway.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Wine #White #Very Good

  • I see now that dismissing YA books because you're not a young adult is a little bit like refusing to watch thrillers on the grounds that you're not a policeman or a dangerous criminal, and as a consequence, I've discovered a previously ignored room at the back of the bookstore that's filled with masterpieces I've never heard of.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Book #Adults #Criminals

  • Did you know that Jacques Benveniste, one of the world's leading homeopathic 'scientists', now claims that you can email homeopathic remedies? Yeah, see, what you do is you can take the 'memory' of the diluted substance out of the water electromagnetically, put it on your computer, email it, and play it back on a sound card into new water. I mean, that could work, right?
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Memories #Mean #Play

  • Reciprocation was a pretty powerful stimulant to the imagination.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Powerful #Imagination

  • I have learned things from the game. Much of my knowledge of locations in Britain and Europe comes not from school, but from away games or the sports pages, and hooliganism has given me both a taste for sociology and a degree of fieldwork experience. I have learned the value of investing time and emotion in things I cannot control, and of belonging to a community whose aspirations I share completely and uncritically.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Sports #School #Europe

  • It is a strange paradox that while the grief of football fans(and it is real grief) is private - we each have an individual relationship with our clubs, and I think that we are secretly convinced that none of the other fans understands quite why we have been harder hit than anyone else - we are forced to mourn in public, surrounded by people whose hurt is expressed in forms different from our own.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Football #Hurt #Real

  • The natural state of the football fan is bitter disappointment, no matter what the score.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Football #Disappointment #Matter

  • I have a really low boredom threshold.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Boredom #Threshold #Lows

  • Sometimes we have to be judged by our one-offs.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Sometimes #Judged

  • On New Year's Eve he ould make a resolution to recover some his previous scepticism, but until then he would do as the Romans do, and smile at people even if he disapproved of them
    -- Nick Hornby

    #New Year #Years #People

  • Where's the superficial? I was, and therefore am, dim, gloomy, a drag, unfashionable, unfanciable, and awkward. This doesn't seem like superficial to me. These aren't flesh wounds. These are life-threatening thrusts into the internal organs.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Awkward #Flesh #Threatening

  • I don't want my books to exclude anyone, but if they have to, then I would rather they excluded the people who feel they are too smart for them!
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Smart #Book #People

  • You can wait forever for the muse to sit on your shoulder, but most of the time you know what has to be done and inspiration is not going to help you.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Inspiration #Waiting #Forever

  • But I suspect that all writers come up with premises of some kind, fragments of narrative or scenarios, in the course of a working week.
    -- Nick Hornby

    #Narrative #Kind #Week