I don’t reread books often, but I made an exception for The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett, actually I relistened to it. It’s a novella I enjoy, one that reminds me of what makes reading special, of the joy of discovering books, new worlds, new outlooks, of the potential subversive powers of reading, about how books can impact our lives.
When her corgis stray into a mobile library parked near Buckingham Palace, the Queen feels duty-bound to borrow a book. And the Queen always does her duty. Far from just glancing at the one book and leaving it at however, she slowly discover the joys of reading. She begins reading widely and and slowly finds herself reading more and more, to the alarm of her staff. Her views change, and the Queen comes to question the prescribed order of the world and loses patience with the routines of her role as monarch. Her new passion for reading leads to surprising and very funny consequences for the country at large.
I just love this story. I thnk it’s one that everyone who appreciates books, knows how you can truly lose time lost in a book, how sometimes reading just one more chapter can distract you from things you “should” be doing.
And a couple of quotes, since this book is just too quotable.
What she was finding also was how one book led to another, doors kept opening wherever she turned and the days weren’t long enough for the reading she wanted to do.
I totally agree with her on that. I would love a few more hours a day just to read.
The appeal of reading, she thought, lay in its indifference: there was something underferring about literature. Books did not care who was reading them or whether one read them or not. All readers were equal, herself included. Literature, she thought, is a commonwealth; letters a republic.
And do you agree with the following bit?
Yes. That is exactly what it is. A book is a device to ignite the imagination.
5 out of 5 stars
Category: General Fiction
First published 2007
2 hours 27 minutes
Read by the author
Book source: Library