Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami is a tale of a young man’s hopeless love. Like any typical Murakami novel, this book is brimming with quotes that hold you and gently rock you, while also tearing you to shreds.
Here are some of the best quotes from the book that we think you will enjoy reading as much as we did curating them for you.
Image source: Instagram
Suggested read: #50BooksInAYear The Museum Of Innocence By Orhan Pamuk
Quotes from Norwegian Wood
- Read what no one is reading
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
- Here’s how people get better
“What happens when people open their hearts?”
“They get better.”
- People lead to disappointment
“Nobody likes being alone that much. I don’t go out of my way to make friends, that’s all. It just leads to disappointment.”
- Don’t do what assholes do
“Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Only assholes do that.”
- Grab whatever chance you have of happiness
“But who can say what’s best? That’s why you need to grab whatever chance you have of happiness where you find it, and not worry about other people too much. My experience tells me that we get no more than two or three such chances in a life time, and if we let them go, we regret it for the rest of our lives.”
- Always remember me
“I want you always to remember me. Will you remember that I existed, and that I stood next to you here like this?”
- To be satiated, just once
“I was always hungry for love. Just once, I wanted to know what it was like to get my fill of it — to be fed so much love I couldn’t take any more. Just once.”
- Why people will hurt you
“Despite your best efforts, people are going to be hurt when it’s time for them to be hurt.”
- Letter are just pieces of paper
“Letters are just pieces of paper,” I said. “Burn them, and what stays in your heart will stay; keep them, and what vanishes will vanish.”
- Begin everything from the beginning
“I have a million things to talk to you about. All I want in this world is you. I want to see you and talk. I want the two of us to begin everything from the beginning.”
- You can never learn how to face sorrows
“No truth can cure the sorrow we feel from losing a loved one. No truth, no sincerity, no strength, no kindness can cure that sorrow. All we can do is see it through to the end and learn something from it, but what we learn will be no help in facing the next sorrow that comes to us without warning.”
- Ah, this line
“Only the Dead stay seventeen forever.”
- To hurt someone without wanting to
“What a terrible thing it is to wound someone you really care for and to do it so unconsciously.”
- Like a spring bear
“I really like you, Midori. A lot.”
“How much is a lot?”
“Like a spring bear,” I said.
“A spring bear?” Midori looked up again. “What’s that all about? A spring bear.”
“You’re walking through a field all by yourself one day in spring, and this sweet little bear cub with velvet fur and shiny little eyes comes walking along. And he says to you, “Hi, there, little lady. Want to tumble with me?’ So you and the bear cub spend the whole day in each other’s arms, tumbling down this clover-covered hill. Nice, huh?”
“Yeah. Really nice.”
“That’s how much I like you.”
Suggested read: Fahrenheit 451: Living In 21st Century Dystopia
- Getting used to the dark
“If you’re in pitch blackness, all you can do is sit tight until your eyes get used to the dark”
- I want to be happy
“I don’t care what you do to me, but I don’t want you to hurt me. I’ve had enough hurt already in my life. More than enough. Now I want to be happy.”
- My books make me happy
“I didn’t have much to say to anybody but kept to myself and my books. With my eyes closed, I would touch a familiar book and draw its fragrance deep inside me. This was enough to make me happy.”
- The quiet desperation in this line!
“Not that we were incompatible: we just had nothing to talk about.”
- Strange little memories
“People leave strange little memories of themselves behind when they die.”
- Memory plays twisted games
“Memory is a funny thing. When I was in the scene, I hardly paid it any mind. I never stopped to think of it as something that would make a lasting impression, certainly never imagined that eighteen years later I would recall it in such detail. I didn’t give a damn about the scenery that day. I was thinking about myself. I was thinking about the beautiful girl walking next to me. I was thinking about the two of us together, and then about myself again. It was the age, that time of life when every sight, every feeling, every thought came back, like a boomerang, to me. And worse, I was in love. Love with complications. The scenery was the last thing on my mind.”
- Looking for perfection
“So I made up my mind I was going to find someone who would love me unconditionally three hundred and sixty-five days a year.
Watanabe: Wow, and did your search pay off?
M: That’s the hard part. I guess I’ve been waiting so long I’m looking for perfection. That makes it tough.”
- Perfect selfishness
“Waiting for the perfect love?”
“No, even I know better than that. I’m looking for selfishness. Perfect selfishness. Like, say I tell you I want to eat strawberry shortcake. And you stop everything you’re doing and run out and buy it for me. And you come back out of breath and get down on your knees and hold this strawberry shortcake out to me. And I say I don’t want it anymore and throw it out the window. That’s what I’m looking for.”
“I’m not sure that has anything to do with love,” I said with some amazement.
“It does,” she said. “You just don’t know it. There are time in a girl’s life when things like that are incredibly important.”
“Things like throwing strawberry shortcake out the window?”
“Exactly. And when I do it, I want the man to apologize to me. “Now I see, Midori. What a fool I have been! I should have known that you would lose your desire for strawberry shortcake. I have all the intelligence and sensitivity of a piece of donkey shit. To make it up to you, I’ll go out and buy you something else. What would you like? Chocolate Mousse? Cheesecake?”
“So then what?”
“So then I’d give him all the love he deserves for what he’s done.”
“Sounds crazy to me.”
- Let things take their natural course
“Things like that happen all the time in this great big world of ours. It’s like taking a boat out on a beautiful lake on a beautiful day and thinking both the sky and the lake are beautiful. So stop eating yourself up alive. Things will go where they’re supposed to go if you just let them take their natural course.”
- The advice
“This is one more piece of advice I have for you: don’t get impatient. Even if things are so tangled up you can’t do anything, don’t get desperate or blow a fuse and start yanking on one particular thread before it’s ready to come undone. You have to realize it’s going to be a long process and that you’ll work on things slowly, one at a time.”
Suggested read: #50BooksInAYear The Course Of Love By Alain De Botton
That is all we have on today’s post on Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. Did you like what you just read? Let us know in the comment section below.
Keep your eyes on this space if you love books and tales they carry in them. If you want to contribute an article, then please feel free to do so.
See you again next time.
Featured image source: Instagram