Monday, October 11, 2010

The Uncommon Reader


The Uncommon Reader is a wonderful novella that is meant for readers and lovers of books. It's for anyone who's ever been asked the questions, 'Why do you read? When do you have the time? What do you read?' Did you notice that only people who don't read ask questions like that? How can I answer the question, 'what do I read?' To answer that question, I'd have to write an essay. Well, The Uncommon Reader  gives us witty and charming answers to all these questions from the point of view of the Queen of England, who's just discovered her love for reading at a very advanced age.

One day, while out walking, the Queen comes across a mobile library. Wishing to be polite, she borrows a book at random and though it turns out to be quite dry, she finds herself borrowing another and another after that. She soon discovers the joys of reading, becoming an opsimath or "one who learns only late in life." Her staff and advisers are dismayed and try to discourage her new hobby.

This is a charming little book filled with  wonderful quotes about the joys of reading.

“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.”

"You don't put your life into your books, you find it there." 

"The appeal of reading, she thought, lay in its indifference: there was something undeferring about literature. Books did not care who was reading them or whether one read them or not. All readers were equal, herself included."

“Can there be any greater pleasure’, she confided in her neighbour, the Canadian minister for overseas trade, than to come across an author one enjoys and then to find they have written not just one book or two, but at least a dozen?’ And all, though she did not say this, in paperback and so handbag size.”

14 comments:

  1. Thought this was absolutely charming - and as you say the perfect way for booklovers to explain their obsession!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I loved The Uncommon Reader - I read it twice, it was so short! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. One of the most enjoyable books I've ever read. Glad to know you enjoyed it as well.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi, Mrs. B! Another blogger lent me this book because I've always wanted to read it. Except that I haven't gotten around to it, yet. Anyway, reading more reviews about it gets me more excited.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I wonder if the Queen actually does like reading or not!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love the sound of this book! I have noted it down. Will hunt for it then next time I go book shopping. Thanks for sharing :) This was a lovely review :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love the quotes you included here! This sounds like a really fun book for anyone who loves books. I'm thinking it would work well for Christmas gifts for my book lover friends. Is it too soon to start thinking about those things?

    ReplyDelete
  8. oh I did so enjoy it too. I loved the first quote - it's so so true.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I expect to be charmed by this book just like you was if I ever get around to reading it :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Such a splendid book! So glad you enjoyed it! Love the quotes you included!

    ReplyDelete
  11. This book was a little gem I found in the library having heard absolutely nothing about it before I read it. I (of course) loved it and thought it was quite charming. Someone has sent a copy to the Queen, surely.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I loved this book too. Your lovely choice of quotations has brought it all back to me. Such a delightful read.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I just completed this book and will post on it very soon-I liked it a lot and thought also that a lot of wise and perceptive things are said about the reading life in this book-there was some purely gratuitous crudity in some of the conversations between the Queens page and an employee of a prime minister that I was a bit shocked by just because it seemed pointless

    ReplyDelete
  14. I just read and reviewed it and would really like you to visit my blog.

    I found the book after reading your review here.

    ReplyDelete

There was an error in this gadget

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails