Excerpt: The Uncommon Reader

Had she been asked if reading had enriched her life she would have had to say yes, undoubtedly, though adding with equal certainty that it had at the same time drained her life of all purpose. Once she had been a self-assured single-minded woman knowing where her duty lay and intent on doing it for as long as she was able. Now all too often she was in two minds. Reading was not doing, that had always been the trouble. And old though she was, she was still a doer. She switched the light on again and reached for her notebook and wrote: ‘You don’t put your life into your books. You find it there.’
— Alan Bennett