First Lines

First lines, first sentences, first pages–the beginnings of books are important. An intriguing cover may entice us to open a book, but it is the engaging text that makes us want to keep reading.

Below are some first lines of famous books, along with their cover art.  For more examples and links back to sources, click here

In the comments, add your own example of a great first line!  Include the title and author’s name.










8 thoughts on “First Lines

  1. Around 140 BC the Greek poet Antipater of Sidon began to write a poem which included a list of themata — a word which can be translated as ‘must–sees’.

    Wonders of the Ancient World, Justin Pollard

  2. In the book Uglies by Scott Westerfield, the first line was actually kind of unappealing. It was “The early summer sky was the color of cat vomit.” Even Though the first line wasn’t too appealing, it was still an amazing book.

  3. Those books are all splendid, the one first line you should’ve added was my favorite book pride and prejudice. That book has such an iconic intro line.

  4. What is the first line of the independent reading book you are enjoying now? Include it in the comments here. Be sure to include the author’s name and the title of the work.

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