The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

I love the Queen. In this delightful novella, the Queen of England discovers a love of reading. It begins when her corgis lead her to the mobile library. Once she enters to apologize for the barking, she can’t leave without borrowing a book, and there the joy in reading begins.

Reading takes over every spare second of the Queen’s life. She would rather read than attend opening, reads in her carriage, in her gardens, everywhere she can. Unfortunately her advisers, from her personal secretary to the Prime Minister, are not pleased, but the Queen does not let that deter her.

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 actually listened the audio version of this, narrated by the author. Somehow looking back, it seems odd to have listened to a book that was about the love of reading, but it made me laugh, smile and empathize with the Queen. I know there have been times when I’ve ignored my family because I’m engrossed in a book. I’ve even been known to sneak in a few pages sitting at a stoplight.

I loved how it showcased reading. Reading enriched the Queen’s life. Anyone at any age can read for enjoyment, for learning, to broaden their horizons.

Books are not about passing time. They’re about other lives. Other worlds. Far from wanting time to pass, one just wishes one had more of it. If one wanted to pass the time one could go to New Zealand.

This one actually made me want to go walking, just to hear a little more. For me, that’s saying a lot.

First published September 18, 2007
2 hours, 27 minutes

Challenges: 100+

I borrowed my copy from the library and the above is my honest opinion. I am an Amazon associate.


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