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On Display at Ellis Library: Opening Lines to Keep You Reading

Everyone knows you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and everyone knows we all do it anyway. But it’s a lot easier not to do in academic libraries because many of our books don’t have illustrated book jackets.

One alternative is to judge a book by its opening line. Does that line make us feel curious, perplexed, sad, anxious? If it engages us, we keep reading.

Maybe one of these will encourage you to take the book home and find out what happens next.

We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones.

Beatrice Quimby‘s biggest problem was her little sister Ramona.

124 was spiteful.

Why is the measure of love loss?

Check out even more intriguing opening lines on our book display near the Research Help and Information Desk at Ellis Library.

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Jennifer Gravley

I am a Research and Instruction Librarian with a background in creative writing.