I owe a lot to my Mum. It’s from her that I inherited my ridiculous sense of humour, my disdain for housework – and, most importantly, my love of reading.
The thing is, although my Mum and I are both readers, we’ve never really been into the same kinds of books. She reads crime novels; thrillers – even historical fiction. Her shelves are full of novels by Lee Child and John Grisham and Patricia Cornwell. They’re quite different to the books on my shelves. Though we talk about reading all the time, we’re always discussing completely different books.
When I was growing up, most of my family’s books occupied a huge, floor-to-ceiling shelf in the passageway between bedrooms. My Mum’s books held a special fascination for me for two reasons: firstly, because there were so many of them, and secondly, because they were kept on the top shelf, out of our reach.
Amongst my Mum’s books were her Agatha Christie novels. I remember their simple, covers, all variations on the same design; a neat row of white spines. I vaguely recall some of the titles…
But, for some reason, I’ve never read a single Agatha Christie novel.