On the story's homepage, we read,
"You can't judge a book by its cover, but librarian Nancy Pearl thinks the first line can tell you a lot. "I think when you read a good first line it's like falling in love with somebody," Pearl tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "Your heart starts pounding… it opens up all the possibilities." And while a good first line doesn’t always make a good book, Pearl says the chances are better with a strong opener."
So I thought, why not start a "first line" meme. This may require a little bit of research on your part, unless you have a great memory. Find and post a few of your favorite first lines. These can be from fiction or non-fiction. And we'll count the beginnings of first chapters or the beginnings of the introduction/foreword/preface as valid first lines.
Here are a few of my favorites; two from non-fiction and three from fiction.
From The Noonday Demon by Andrew Solomon:
- "Depression is the flaw in love."
- "You are in the Directorate of Time."
- "My father said he saw him years later playing in a tenth rate commercial league in a textile town in Carolina, wearing shoes and an assumed name."
From The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin.
- "This all started because of a clerical error."
From 'Til We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis (his favorite of his books, and mine too).
- "I am old now and have not much to fear from the anger of Gods."
Anyone else care to play?