27 Important 'The Book Thief' Quotes By Markus Zusak

Georgia Stone
Dec 12, 2023 By Georgia Stone
Originally Published on Jan 27, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Markus Zusak's The Book Thief book in the garden

'The Book Thief' is a historical fiction novel, a made-up story that revolves around historically true events.

The book, written by Markus Zusak, was published in 2005 and further adapted into a film in 2013. The book was banned and challenged earlier as it made intricate claims about the Nazi rule.

Markus Zusak wrote 'The Book Thief' in a unique format as 'Death' is the narrator of the story where he could easily comment on the inhumanity of humans.

He writes in the end, ‘I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.’ The book consists of Liesel, the protagonist, and 'The Book Thief' who went against the Nazi trend of burning books and stealing from the bonfire so she could read.

Following are a few important death quotes as well as the 'The Book Thief' quotes about Liesel and Hans, Max, and Rudy Steiner quotes too that you will yourself say sometimes.

Markus Zusak Quotes About Humans And Life From 'The Book Thief'

Showing love for things like books and people without hesitation was something that the humans had to face every day during Nazi Germany. Markus Zusak tried to show the hardships that everyone faced through the following quote list.

1. 'A small fact:
You are going to die....does this worry you?'

- Narrator, 'Death And Chocolate'.

2. ‘I guess humans like to watch a little destruction. Sandcastles, houses of cards, that's where they begin. Their great skill is their capacity to escalate.’

- Death, '100 Percent Pure German Sweat'.

3. ‘If only she could be so oblivious again, to feel such love without knowing it, mistaking it for laughter...’

- Narrator, 'Champagne And Accordions'.

4. ‘The only thing worse than a boy who hates you: a boy that loves you.’

- Narrator, 'The Kiss'.

5. ‘The impoverished always try to keep moving, as if relocating might help. They ignore the reality that a new version of the same old problem will be waiting at the end of the trip—the relative you cringe to kiss.’

- Narrator, 'Arrival on Himmel Street'

6. ‘Imagine smiling after a slap in the face. Then think of doing it twenty-four hours a day. That was the business of hiding a Jew.’

- Narrator, 'The Swapping Of Nightmares'.

7. ‘The human heart is a line, whereas my own is a circle, and I have the endless ability to be in the right place at the right time. The consequence of this is that I’m always finding humans at their best and worst.’

- Death, 'One Toolbox, One Bleeder, One Bear'.

8. ‘She was saying goodbye and she didn't even know it.’

- Narrator, 'Confessions'.

Stunning Quotes About Death From ‘Book Thief’

Death as a narrator shows the power of words throughout the novel. All the people face death every time in some way or the other. This list below comes directly from the words of Death itself.

9. ‘It kills me sometimes, how people die.’

- 'The Cardplayer'.

10. ‘I am haunted by humans.’

- 'The Handover Man'.

11. ‘I've seen so many young men over the years who think they're running at other young men. They are not. They are running at me.’

- 'The Accordionist'.

12. ‘He steps on my heart. He makes me cry.’

- 'The End Of The World (Part II)'.

13. ‘I have to say that although it broke my heart, I was, and still am, glad I was there.’

- 'The End Of The World (Part II)'.

14. ‘Even death has a heart.’

- 'The Floating Book (Part I)'.

Important Quotes By Different 'Book Thief' Characters

Sometimes a word from the protagonist girl could give a new way to the other characters. This quote list would get you to even like the other characters for their important quotes and words.

15. ‘I have enough books at home... I’m rereading something else with my papa. You know, the one I stole from the fire that night.’

- Liesel, 'The Gamblers'.

16. ‘One was a book thief. The other stole the sky.’

- Narrator, 'The Sky Stealer'.

17. ‘You’re either for the Führer or against him—and I can see that you’re against him. You always have been.’

- Hans Junior, 'Hitler's Birthday, 1940'.

18. ‘It was the book she wanted... She wouldn’t tolerate having it given to her by a lonely, pathetic old woman. Stealing it, on the other hand, seemed a little more acceptable. Stealing it, in a sick kind of sense, was like earning it.’

- Narrator, 'The Whistler And The Shoes'.

Memorable Movie Quotes From 'Book Thief'

Though death feels like it is haunted by humans, read these many quotes from the 2013 much-loved film that shows different things and sides that best describe humans.

19. ‘Words are life, Liesel.’

- Max.

20. ‘I have seen a great many things. I have attended all the world's worst disasters and worked for the greatest of villains. And I've seen the greatest wonders. But it's still like I said it was: no one lives forever.'

- Death.

21. ‘A person is only as good as their word, Liesel.’

- Hans.

22. ‘I'm not lost to you, Liesel. You'll always be able to find me in your words. That's where I'll live on.'

- Max.

23. ‘Memory is the scribe of the soul.’

- Max.

24. ‘At night, when darkness came to her room, she would tell her brother about the day. She would remind him how the sun felt on his skin, what the air felt like to breathe, or how snow felt on his tongue. And that reminded her that she was still alive.’

- Liesel.

25. ‘It's always been the same. The excitement and rush to war. I met so many young men over the years who have thought they were running at their enemy, when the truth was, they were running to me.'

- Narrator.

26. ‘Max:Tell me, where do you get these words?

Liesel:It's a secret.

Max:Who would I tell?

- The Book Thief

27. ‘If your eyes could speak, what would they say?’

- Max.

Main image credit: hamdi bendali / Shutterstock.com

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Written by Georgia Stone

Bachelor of Arts specializing in French with Film Studies, Bachelor of Arts (Year Abroad) specializing in Literature, History, Language, Media, and Art

Georgia Stone picture

Georgia StoneBachelor of Arts specializing in French with Film Studies, Bachelor of Arts (Year Abroad) specializing in Literature, History, Language, Media, and Art

Georgia is an experienced Content Manager with a degree in French and Film Studies from King's College London and Bachelors degree from Université Paris-Sorbonne. Her passion for exploring the world and experiencing different cultures was sparked during her childhood in Switzerland and her year abroad in Paris. In her spare time, Georgia enjoys using London's excellent travel connections to explore further afield.

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