• All branches closed for Memorial Day, May 30th.

Great Beginnings

Some authors are particularly gifted at the "Art of the start." The first lines of their books are so surprising, poetic, or intriguing that they stick in your mind long after you read the last word in the last chapter.

Some are short starts, such as E.B. White's question "Where is Pa going with that axe?", while others are a provocative declarative sentence, as with this Dickens classic opener: "Marley was dead, to begin with." Some are so familiar as to be almost universally recognized ("Every Who Down in Whoville Liked Christmas a lot… But the Grinch,Who lived just north of Whoville, Did NOT!"), while others, equally delightful, only come back into popular notice when Hollywood decides to make a movie based on the book ("There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it." ). For more examples of literature with memorable, often-quoted first lines, check out our New, Best and Fun "Great Beginnings" list.