There are many different lines that I can quote from many different books. No single book stands out.
If you had asked me this question 10 years ago, I would have stated without hesitation: Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
Obviously the only reason I knew it so well was because, as part of a Drama assignment in school, I chose Viola’s long monologue to re-enact. Twelfth Night is my favourite Shakespearean play and I really love that soliloquoy but for the life of me, I cannot remember a single word of it now!
I also impressed (or stunned) a friend once, while we both watched Hammer’s version of Dracula with Christopher Lee. Just to be a know-it-all, I recited, with precision timing, a few lines of dialogue seconds before the relevant characters said it themselves. I dare say, I think I scared her more than the movie did.
The one fictional character I love quoting the most however, is off course the Great Detective himself.
My favourite quote ever is on the mechanics of deduction:
Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.
• A conjurer gets no credit when once he has explained his trick; and if I show you too much of my method of working, you will come to the conclusion that I am a very ordinary individual after all. (A Study in Scarlet)
• Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself; but talent instantly recognizes genius.
• Only one important thing has happened in the last three days, and that is that nothing has happened. (The Adventure of the Second Stain)
• What the deuce is the solar system to me? You say that we go round the sun. If we went round the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or to my work.
• What you do in this world is a matter of no consequence. The question is, what can you make people believe that you have done?