‘I am a product of long corridors, empty sunlit rooms, upstairs indoor silences, attics explored in solitude, distant noises of gurgling cisterns and pipes, and the noise of wind under the tiles. Also, of endless books.”

So wrote CS Lewis. A Gen Xer like me couldn’t claim quite the same, because we had television and boomboxes, and the attic in my childhood home wouldn’t have taken much exploring, being about six feet square. On the other hand, I had woods and fields in which I was at liberty to wander alone, as long as I returned for meals. I’m certainly the product of solitude and many, many books.

The elaborate fantasies I span before going to sleep each night made me far more eager to