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.
[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.
...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.
The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.
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.
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.
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.
Books and bookcases cropping up in stuff that I've written means that they have to be reproduced on stage or on film. This isn't as straightforward as it might seem. A designer will either present you with shelves lined with gilt-tooled library sets, the sort of clubland books one can rent by the yard as decor, or he or she will send out for some junk books from the nearest second-hand bookshop and think that those will do. Another short cut is to order in a cargo of remaindered books so that you end up with a shelf so garish and lacking of character it bears about as much of a relationship to literature as a caravan site does to architecture. A bookshelf is as particular to its owner as are his or her clothes; a personality is stamped on a library just as a shoe is shaped to the foot.
Pass the parcel. That's sometimes all you can do. Take it, feel it, and pass it on. Not for me, not for you, but for someone, somewhere, one day. Pass it on, boys. That's the game I want you to learn. Pass it on.
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.
To read is to withdraw.To make oneself unavailable. One would feel easier about it if the pursuit inself were less...selfish.
It's subjunctive history. You know, the subjunctive? The mood used when something may or may not have happened. When it is imagined.
One of the hardest things for boys to learn is that a teacher is human. One of the hardest things for a teacher to learn is not to try and tell them.
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.
They fuck you up, your mum and dad', and if you're planning on writing that's probably a good thing. But if you are planning on writing and they haven't fucked you up, well, you've got nothing to go on, so then they've fucked you up good and proper.
I think of literature - she wrote - as a vast country to the far borders of which I am journeying but cannot possibly reach. And I have started too late. I will never catch up.
Dakin: The more you read, though, the more you'll see that literature is actually about losers.Scripps: No.Dakin: It's consolation. All literature is consolation.
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.
I didn't even have a clear idea of why I wanted to go to Oxford - apart from the fact I had fallen in love with the architecture. It certainly wasn't out of some great sense of academic or intellectual achievement. In many ways, my education only began after I'd left university.
Teachers need to feel they are trusted. They must be allowed some leeway to use their imagination; otherwise, teaching loses all sense of wonder and excitement.