“I am a product of … of endless books. My father bought all the books he read and never got rid of any of them. There were books in the study, books in the drawing room, books in the cloakroom, books (two deep) in the great bookcase on the landing, books in a bedroom, books piled as high as my shoulder in the cistern attic, books of all kinds reflecting every transient state of my parents’ interest, books readable and unreadable, books suitable for a child and books most emphatically not. Nothing was forbidden me. In the seemingly endless rainy afternoons I took volume after volume from the shelves. I had always the same certainty of finding a book that was new to me as a man who walks into a field has of finding a new blade of grass.” (C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy 1965)
While we only had a fraction of that number of volumes in my own home, books were a key part of my childhood too though mostly obtained by weekly visits to the local library. You could say I am a product of dusty shelves and wooden floors, of sunlit corners and dark secret recesses, of clunking radiators and tiny cardboard tickets.
- Lamentation by C.J Sansom
- Satantango: Dancing to the Devil’s tune