Friday, August 29, 2008

Passing Time in New Zealand

More from the Queen about the purpose of books:

When Sir Kevin tries to understand the Queen's new love of reading:

'I can understand,' he said. 'Your Majesty's need to pass the time.'

'Pass the time?' said the Queen. 'Books are not about passing the time. They're about other lives. Other worlds. Far from wanting time to pass, Sir Kevin, one just wishes one had more of it. If one wanted to pass the time one could go to New Zealand.'
I agree with the Queen. There is never enough time for all the reading I want to do.

Though I'd love to visit New Zealand and pass the time there.
(And, of course, I'd take a book.)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Defined By The Queen

‘Yes,’ said the Queen. ‘We would make a good team. Ah, well. The road not travelled. Who’s that?’

‘Who, ma’am?’

‘The road not travelled. Look it up.’

Norman looked it up in the Dictionary of Quotations to find that it was Robert Frost.

‘I know the word for you,’ said the Queen.


‘You run errands, you change my library books, you look up awkward words in the dictionary and find me the quotations. Do you know what you are?’

‘I used to be a skivvy, ma’am.’

‘Well, you’re not a skivvy now. You’re my amanuensis.’

Norman looked it up in the dictionary the Queen now kept always on her desk. ‘One who writes from dictation; copies manuscripts. A literary assistant.’

I've discovered part of the time I am an amanuensis. Who knew?

Making Time - Like The Queen

More words of wisdom from the Queen:

‘Do you read, Summers?’ she said to the chauffeur en route for Northampton.

‘Read, ma’am?’


‘When I get the chance, ma’am. I never seem to find the time.’

‘That’s what a lot of people say. One must make the time. Take this morning. You’re going to be sitting outside the town hall waiting for me. You could read then.’

Seems she knows about stealing.

Reading With The Queen

I just finished reading a fun novella. It was The Uncommon Reader, A Novella, by Alan Bennett. I've never read anything by him before, but apparently he's well known in Great Britain. This book is a fun read, with many parts that made me smile/laugh/grimace I'll share with you.

When the Queen had just picked up her second book from the mobile library:

“The Pursuit of Love” turned out to be a fortunate choice and in its way a momentous one. Had Her Majesty gone for another duff read, an early George Eliot, say, or a late Henry James, novice reader that she was she might have been put off reading for good and there would be no story to tell. Books, she would have thought, were work.

And a bit later, as the household began to notice her reading....
As it was, with this one she soon became engrossed, and passing her bedroom that night clutching his hot-water bottle, the duke heard her laugh out loud. He put his head round the door. “All right, old girl?”

‘Of course. I’m reading.’

‘Again?’ And off he went, shaking his head.

This novella was very entertaining. It was interesting to see inside the life of royalty, and see how reading fits/doesn't fit with the duties of being a royal.

Check it out.