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The Uncommon Reader The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
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The Uncommon Reader Quotes Showing 1-30 of 78
“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.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
“A book is a device to ignite the imagination.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
“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.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
“You don't put your life into your books, you find it there.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
“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. Literature, she thought, is a commonwealth; letters a republic.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
“The days weren't long enough for the reading she wanted to do.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
“Above literature?' said the Queen. 'Who is above literature? You might as well say one was above humanity.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
“[B]riefing is not reading. In fact it is the antithesis of reading. Briefing is terse, factual and to the point. Reading is untidy, discursive and perpetually inviting. Briefing closes down a subject, reading opens it up.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
“Reading is untidy, discursive and perpetually inviting.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
“One reads for pleasure...it is not a public duty.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
“... Once I start a book I finish it. That was the way one was brought up. Books, bread and butter, mashed potato - one finishes what's on one's plate. That's always been my philosophy.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
“To begin with, it's true, she read with trepidation and some unease. The sheer endlessness of books outfaced her and she had no idea how to go on; there was no system to her reading, with one book leading to another, and often she had two or three on the go at the same time.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
“...she felt about reading what some writers felt about writing: that it was impossible not to do it and that at this late stage of her life she had been chosen to read as others were chosen to write.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
“But then books, as I'm sure you know, seldom prompt a course of action. Books generally just confirm you in what you have, perhaps unwittingly, decided to do already. You go to a book to have your convictions corroborated. A book, as it were, closes the book.”
Alan Bennett , The Uncommon Reader
“Authors, she soon decided, were probably best met within the pages of their novels, and were as much creatures of the reader's imagination as the characters in their books. Nor did they seem to think one had done them a kindness by reading their writings. Rather they had done one the kindness by writing them.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
“To read is to withdraw.To make oneself unavailable. One would feel easier about it if the pursuit inself were less...selfish.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
“I think of literature,' she wrote, 'as a vast country to the far borders of which I am journeying but will never reach. And I have started to late. I will never catch up.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
tags: books
“It was the kind of library
he had only read about in books.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
“Can there be any greater pleasure 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?”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
“Books are not about passing the time. They're about other lives. Other worlds.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
tags: books
“One recipe for happiness is to have to sense of entitlement.' To this she added a star and noted at the bottom of the page: 'This is not a lesson I have ever been in a position to learn.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
“I would have thought," said the prime minister, "that Your Majesty was above literature."
"Above literature?" said the Queen. "Who is above literature? You might as well say one is above humanity.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
“I have to seem like a human being all the time, but I seldom have to be one. I have people to do that for me.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
“[...] But then books, as I'm sure you know, seldom prompt a course of actions. Books generally just confirm you in what you have, perhaps unwittingly, decided to do already. You go to a book to have your convictions corroborated. A book, as it were, closes the book.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
“I libri non sono un passatempo. Parlano di altre vite. Di altri mondi. Altro che far passare il tempo, Sir Kevin; non so cosa darei per averne di più.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
“Archbishop. Why do I never read the lesson?”

“I beg your pardon, ma’am?”

“In church. Everybody else gets to read and one never does. It’s not laid down, is it? It’s not off-limits?”

“Not that I’m aware, ma’am.”

“Good. Well in that case I’m going to start. Leviticus, here I come. Goodnight.”

The archbishop shook his head and went back to Strictly Come Dancing.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
“...to her all books were the same and, as with her subjects, she felt a duty to approach them without prejudice...Lauren Bacall, Winifred Holtby, Sylvia Plath - who were they? Only be reading could she find out.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
“And it occurred to her that reading was, among other things, a muscle and one that she had seemingly developed. She could read the novel with ease and great pleasure, laughing at remarks, they were hardly jokes, that she had not even noticed before.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
“You don't put your life into books. You find it there.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader
tags: books
“Too late. It was all too late. But she went on, determined as ever and always trying to catch up.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader

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