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
The most contentment Nick Hornby quotes that are guaranted to improve your brain
The natural state of the football fan is bitter disappointment, no matter what the score.
It's brilliant, being depressed; you can behave as badly as you like.
Record stores can't save your life. But they can give you a better one.
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.
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.
For alarmingly large chunks of an average day, I am a moron.
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.
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.
Radio football is football reduced to its lowest common denominator.
Between the ages of fourteen and twenty-four, foreplay changes from being something that boys want to do and girls don't, to something that women want and men can't be bothered with. ... The perfect match, if you ask me, is between the Cosmo woman and the fourteen-year old boy.
Everyone knows how to talk, and no one knows what to say.
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.
The plain state of being human is dramatic enough for anyone;
you don't need to be a heroin addict or a performance poet to experience extremity. You just have to love someone.
One could argue that most of the trouble in the world is caused by introspection.
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.
We can't be as good as we'd want to, so the question then becomes, how do we cope with our own badness?
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.
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.
I'm a good person. In most ways. But I'm beginning to think that being a good person in most ways doesn't count for anything very much, if you're a bad person in one way.
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.
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.
He'd told her it was just a scratch and got cross when she hadn't offered morphine.
And it isn't that I'm so unhappy I don't want to live anymore.
That's not what it feels like. It feels more like I'm tired and bored and the party's gone on too long and I want to go home. I feel flat and there doesn't seem to be anything to look forward to, so I'd rather call it a day.
Everything's complicated, even those things that seem flat in their bleakness or sadness.
Not for the first time in my life, and certainly not for the last, a self-righteous gloom had edged out all semblance of logic.
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.
Hey, great idea: if you have kids, give your partner reading vouchers next Christmas. Each voucher entitles the bearer to two hours' reading time *while the kids are awake*. It might look like a cheapskate present, but parents will appreciate that it costs more in real terms than a Lamborghini.
Sarcasm and compassion are two of the qualities that make life on Earth tolerable.
Phone calls like ours only happen when you've spent several years hurting and being hurt, until every work you utter or hear becomes coded and loaded, as complicated and full of subtext as a bleak and brilliant play.
...You can find people. It's like those acrobatic displays.... Those ones when you stand on top of loads of people in a pyramid. It doesn't really matter who they are, as long as they're there and you don't let them go away without finding someone else.
...self-consciousness is a man's worst enemy.
The plain state of being human is dramatic enough for anyone
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.
I'm still not a very good white wine, but I'm drinkable - you could put me in a punch, anyway.
When you're unhappy, I guess everything in the world - reading, eating, sleeping - has something buried somewhere inside it that just makes you unhappier.
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.
Telling me I can do anything I want is like pulling the plug out of the bath and then telling the water it can go anywhere it wants. Try it, and see what happens.
Self-pity is an ignoble emotion, but we all feel it, and the orthodox critical line that it represents some kind of artistic flaw is dubious, a form of emotional correctness.
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.
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'.
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.
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.
I would like my personal reading map to resemble a map of the British Empire circa 1900.
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.
Yes, yes, I know all the jokes. What else could I have expected at Highbury? But I went to Chelsea and to Tottenham and to Rangers, and saw the same thing: that the natural state of a football fan is bitter disappointment, no matter what the score.
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.
Do you ever do that thing where you lie in bed and you can't sleep so you end up writing out recent conversation you've had? So they look like a play?' Well you should. It's fun. I keep them. Look through them, sometimes.
What you don't catch a glimpse of on your wedding day- because how could you?- is that some days you will hate your spouse, that you will look at him and regret ever exhchanging a word with him, let alone a ring and bodily fluids.
You're fucked. You thought you were going to be someone, but now it's obvious you're nobody. You haven't got as much talent as you thought you had, and there was no Plan B, and you got no skills and no education, and now you're looking at forty or fifty years of nothing. Less than nothing, probably. That's pretty heavy. That's worse than having the brain thing, because what you got now will take a lot longer to kill you. You've got the choice of a slow, painful death, or a quick, merciful one.