The Best First Lines of Books: Chosen by Early Bird Books Followers!

We asked our Early Bird Books followers to tell us their favorite first lines.

best first lines

"There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife."

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

best first lines

“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.”

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

best first lines

"’Take my camel dear,’ said my aunt Dot, as she climbed down from this animal on her return from High Mass."

Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay

best first lines

“The man in black fled into the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

best first lines

“It wasn't a very likely place for disappearances, at least at first glance.”

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

best first lines

"The circus arrives without warning."

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

best first lines

"Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well."

best first lines

“Scarlet O’Hara was not beautiful but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were.”

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

best first lines

“It was a dark and stormy night.”

Too many stories have started with this one!

best first lines