One consequence of my hopeless eyesight is that, over the past couple of years, reading has become somewhat difficult. Even armed with industrial-strength magnifying spectacles, issued by my eye doctors, it is a strain to read standard size type.

I have always loved books as physical objects, and eschewed their digital, electronic counterparts. But having been given a Kindle Fire tablet as a birthday gift, I have become – of necessity – a convert to the e-book. I can read again, voraciously, without having to peer like a little mole.

Thus, in the last few months, I’ve been splurging, my reading life as demented and enthusiastic as ever it was. I’ve reread Beckett (Molloy) and Kafka (America), Henry Fielding and Mickey Spillane, read Theodore Dalrymple’s marvellous book on litter (Litter : The Remains Of Our Culture), Melanie Phillips’ memoir Guardian Angel, Francis Iles, Derek Raymond, and James Hadley Chase, H P Lovecaft, William Hazlitt, and Sir Thomas Browne, and am currently bingeing on Georges Simenon. What a wonder he is.

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