When I’m in a bookstore, roaming around the glorious shelves filled with paper or hardbound objects of magic (you may know them as books), and I pick one of them and open it to reveal the start of a story, the first line plays an imperative role, in whether I’m going to keep the book back or I’m going to hold onto it a bit longer and explore it more to decide if I want to buy it.
If you read too, you’d know how important the book covers and first lines are. Some lines pull you in the story headfirst, while some make a half hearted effort and leave you standing outside. The former, are one of the great books we know. When I saw the prompt for today, I looked through the Internet and my kindle to see the first lines of some of the books I have, but the one that struck me immediately was the famous first line that I expect most people to know :
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife
It’s from Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”, which is one of the few classics I could read again. Since we’re talking about first lines, I gathered some more that might interest some of you. Here they are:
The studio was filled with the rich odour of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden, there came through the open door the heavy scent of the lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn.
~Picture of Dorian Gray
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle
‘That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But, it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it and think how different its course would have been.
Here is everything I know about France: Madeline and Amélie and Moulin Rouge.
~ Anna and the French Kiss
“Suppose that you and I were sitting in a quiet room overlooking a garden, chatting and sipping at our cups of green tea while we talked about something that happened a long while ago, and I said to you, “That afternoon when I met so-and-so…was the very best afternoon of my life, and also the very worst afternoon.”
~ Memoirs of a Geisha