Monday, December 22, 2008
I'm an opsimath
I first saw this word in this lovely little book I am reading by the wonderful Alan Bennett (that's him in the photo). The book is called The Uncommon Reader and it's about Her Majesty the Queen becoming a reader. I don't want to tell you too much about it because if you then went and bought it (ha, like you'd go and buy a book on my say-so) you wouldn't want me to give the whole plot away here. Oh, okay then - HM joins the local mobile library, gets the reading bug but people are not happy that she does this. An opsimath is how the Queen describes herself in the book - somebody who begins to learn things late in life.
I think learning new things late in life is very important because you've got to keep your brain active somehow. The same things we think about day in day out are all much of a muchness - what shall I wear today; what shall I cook today; I wonder what's on television - and we need to keep those neurons lit up somehow. So, if you want to read a good little book which is very cheap in the scheme of things - and it is a little book, small in size with only 124 pages - then this comes really recommended by me.
I do love the way Alan Bennett writes. He's come to a lot of people's attention in the last few years with his excellent play The History Boys, but there is far more to him than that. He's what you call a National Treasure.