Book Quotes Galore: The Night Circus By Erin Morgenstern

Book Quotes Galore: The Night Circus By Erin Morgenstern


I recently finished reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and gosh, there were just so many great lyrical proses and quotes in that book that are too good to be missed. This is why, today, I am sharing them with you.

If you’re an avid YA genre reader, I am pretty sure you have heard of this book before. Perhaps some of you have already read it––and loved it or hated it. But my mission today is not to make you want to pick the book up (okay, maybe there is a bit of that too) but mainly I just wanted to share the beautiful quotes that are written in The Night Circus. You know like how when you’re a kid, you saw a cool bug and you wanted to show them to your friends too? Kind of a bit like that. 

The Night Circus, with all of its hype and despite some of its flaws, remains one of the most unique books I have ever read to date. And it would be such a shame for me to only keep this wonder for myself and not at least share some of the sugar with you. 



Feel free to press play:

(Credit: Emile Pandofi)


There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.


People see what they wish to see. And in most cases, what they are told that they see.



night circus quotes erin



“These people line up to be mystified,” Hector says. “I can mystify them easier than most.”


Wealthy, eccentric. A bit obsessive, somewhat unpredictable, but I suppose that is part and parcel of having an artistic temperament.





A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight,

and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.





“You are a disappointment, I expected better from you. You need to do more.”



“Doing more is exhausting,” Celia protests. “I can only control so much.”



“It’s not enough,” her father says.



“When will it be enough?”


“Celia,” he says without looking up at her, “why do we wind our watch?”



“Because everything requires energy,” she recites obediently, eyes still focused on her hand. “We must put effort and energy into anything we wish to change.”



night circus quotes erin



“Don’t you want to know my name?” the boy asks.



“Names are not of nearly as much import as people like to suppose,” the man in the grey suit says. “A label assigned to identify you either by this institution or your departed parents is neither of interest nor value to me. If you find you are in need of a name at any point, you may choose one for yourself.”





“You could have fixed the bird,” Celia says.



“Then you wouldn’t have learned anything,” Hector says.

“You need to understand your limitations so you can overcome them.”





He reads histories and mythologies and fairy tales, wondering why it seems that only girls are ever swept away from their mundane lives on farms by knights or princes or wolves. It strikes him as unfair to not have the same fanciful opportunity himself. And he is not in the position to do any rescuing of his own.


You carry a great many burdens with you. A heavy heart. Things you’ve lost. But you are moving toward change and discovery. There are outside influences that are propelling you forward.



night circus quotes erin



During the hours spent watching the sheep as they wander aimlessly around their fields, he even wishes that someone would come and take him away, but wishes on sheep appear to work no better than wishes on stars.





“Follow your dreams, Bailey,” she says.

“Be they Harvard or something else entirely. No matter what that father of yours says, or how loudly he might say it. He forgets that he was someone’s dream once, himself.”





He wants to know everything about her. How she spends her time when not performing. How she interacts with her audiences. How she takes her tea.


I find I am more interested in learning about the woman than the magician.



night circus quotes erin



“Why haven’t you asked me how I do my tricks?” Celia asks.



“Because I do not wish to know,” he says. “I prefer to remain unenlightened, to better appreciate the dark.”





You prefer not to see the gears of the clock, as to better tell the time.





“It is difficult to see a situation for what it is when you are in the midst of it. It is too familiar. Too comfortable.”


“Love is fickle and fleeting. It is rarely a solid foundation for decisions to be made upon, in any game.”


“It is a matter of perspective, the difference between opponent and partner. You step to the side and the same person can be either or both or something else entirely. It is difficult to know which face is true.”


We add our own stories, each visitor, each visit, each night spent at the circus. I suppose there will never be a lack of things to say, of stories to be told and shared.


night circus quotes



“The finest of pleasures are always the unexpected ones.”





It is these aficionados, these rêveurs, who see the details in the bigger picture of the circus. They see the nuance of the costumes, the intricacy of the signs. They buy sugar flowers and do not eat them, wrapping them in paper instead and carefully bringing them home.

They are enthusiasts, devotees. Addicts.

Something about the circus stirs their souls,
and they ache for it when it is absent.





“It becomes difficult to tell the difference between old friends and business associates in cases like ours, I think. Whether we are the kind of people who make polite conversation to cover shared secrets or something more than that.”


“Have you ever been in love, Kiko?” Isobel asks.



“I have had affairs that lasted decades and others that lasted hours. I have loved princesses and peasants. And I suppose they loved me, each in their way.”


“I have seen a great many things that I might once have considered impossible, or unbelievable. I find I no longer have clearly defined parameters for such matters. I choose to do my work to the best of my own abilities, and leave others to their own.”


“We lead strange lives, chasing our dreams around from place to place.”





The past stays on you the way powdered sugar stays on your fingers.

Some people can get rid of it but it’s still there,
the events and things that pushed you to where you are now.





“Do you remember all of your audiences?” Marco asks.



“Not all of them,” Celia says. “But I remember the people who look at me the way you do.” “What way might that be?” “As though they cannot decide if they are afraid of me or they want to kiss me.”


“I could watch you all night,” he says.



“You have,” Celia says. “You’ve been in every single audience this evening, I noticed.”


The silence that falls between them is a comfortable one. He longs to reach over and touch her, but he resists, fearful of destroying the delicate camaraderie they are building. He steals glances instead, watching the way the light falls over her skin. Several times he catches her regarding him in a similar manner, and the moments when she holds his eyes with hers are sublime.





“It is destroying me that I cannot ask you to dance,” Marco whispers as she passes by him in the ballroom.



“Then you are far too easily destructible.” Celia murmurs softly.





Everything I have done, every change I have made to that circus, every impossible feat and astounding sight, I have done for her.


“I can see every seat,” she says. “You are not hidden from me when you sit in the back row.”



“I thought I would be too tempted to touch you if I sat in the front,” Marco says, moving from his chair to stand just inside the first row of chairs.



“Am I close enough for your illusion?” she asks.



“If I say no, will you come closer?”





“I have spent a great deal of my life struggling to keep myself in control. To know myself inside and out, everything kept in perfect order. I lose that when I’m with you. That frightens me, and—”



“I don’t want you to be frightened,” Marco interrupts.



“It frightens me how much I like it. How tempting it is to lose myself in you.
To let go. To let you keep me from breaking chandeliers rather than constantly worrying about it, myself.”



“I could.”



“I know.”





Precautions are wise in such unpredictable circumstances. No stranger than bringing along an umbrella for a walk on a day that feels like rain, even if the sun is shining brightly.


“All actions have repercussions,” Hector says. “That’s part of the challenge.”



night circus quotes Erin



“Bindings are permanent, my boy,” the man in the grey suit says.



“What am I bound to?” the boy asks, frowning at the scar where the ring had been moments before. “An obligation you already had, and a person you will not meet for some time.”





“How can I excel at a game when you refuse to tell me the rules?”





“Secrets have power. And that power diminishes when they are shared, so they are best kept and kept well. Sharing secrets, real secrets, important ones, with even one other person, will change them. Writing them down is worse, because who can tell how many eyes might see them inscribed on paper, no matter how careful you might be with it. So it’s really best to keep your secrets when you have them, for their own good, as well as yours.”


The truest tales require time and familiarity to become what they are.





Old stories have a habit of being told and retold and changed.
Each subsequent storyteller puts his or her mark upon it.
Whatever truth the story once had is buried in bias and embellishment.
The reasons do not matter as much as the story itself.





“I would have written you, myself, if I could put down in words everything I want to say to you. A sea of ink would not be enough.”



“But you built me dreams instead,” Celia says, looking up at him.


All the emotion in the cards when she would try to read about him, it was all for Celia. The circus itself, all for her. For every beautiful tent he creates, she builds one in return.



night circus quotes



“I made a wish on this tree years ago,” Marco says.



“What did you wish for?” Bailey asks.



Marco leans forward and whispers into Bailey’s ear. “I wished for her,” he says.





Two green-clad figures in the center of a vibrant ballroom,

so undeniably in love that the entire room flushes with heat.





“She was young and clever and beautiful. Because if the girl had not been beautiful and clever, she would have been easier to resist, and then there would be no story at all.”





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