The Uncommon Reader
Author: Alan Bennett (Biography.com)(Macmillan)(United Agents)
Obtained: Library copy
Why this book?:
I read it for my grandma's book discussion group, but I suggested it because it sounded interesting.
Queen Elizabeth II of England happens upon a mobile library and the story goes from there. I enjoyed this as the light, brief read that it is. But there were some points that caught my attention.
So the Queen falls into reading, but it doesn't sit easily with her at first. This is because she is used to "doing" and reading is much more passive. But not too far into the book the mobile library no longer shows up. Funding has been cut, and that stop has been cut along with it. The Queen acknowledges the gentleman (librarian?) that drove the mobile, but does nothing about the lack of funding. I wanted to scream. If you're so into doing, as well as so passionate about reading, why didn't you do anything about that? Huh? Huh?
Anyway, the Queen's reading has become a bit of an obsession, and parts of that I recognized... She gets books from various locations, she keeps a book with her always, she wants to talk about books constantly... But other parts were not so familiar. I don't think I've read the majority (if any) of the books named. And I didn't recognize most, with the exception of the classics.
I simply couldn't fathom why the Queen's staff despised reading so. Oh, maybe I could understand he slacking in her duty, but couldn't they work around that?
Then we come to the point where the Queen's passion shifts. I hesitate to expound on this because I don't want to give too much away. But I do not believe anyone that truly loves books and reading can drop them quite so quickly or easily.
The ending was interesting, though. And after I'd finished reading it I spent a couple hours familiarizing myself with the royal family (Which I have previously paid NO attention to).
It's worth reading such a brief book for the interest ad therefore knowledge I got out of it. Let alone the fact that I found it to be an overall pleasant read. My grandmother, on the other hand, kept asking what the point of the story was. We'll see what everyone else thought at the meeting.