I like mysteries. I like mystery stories. I’ve just read The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Now I’m 100, I have difficulties getting down to shelves. Somebody has made a selection on a particular shelf I can reach.
I choose them more or less at random, you could say, although if I do come across a favourite author, I will, you know, get it from there. And that’s interesting, because you do read books that you might not otherwise have done.
The best part of school reading was when we had some lovely teachers who used to read to us. One English teacher would always have a lesson a week where he’d read, and he read lots of interesting things.
I couldn’t always relate to reading in school. I could relate to my Mum’s stories. I would have run home just to listen to the stories my Mum had, of the village, and the gurus and the stories about Guru Nanak and the Sufi and all the stories they knew off by heart in the Guru Granth Sahib, because they just listened to them.
Sometimes you don’t understand the teachers because a lot of our teachers would be, like, not from the East End, so they wouldn’t have a cockney accent and they would be very posh. And you think “Oh, they talk with a plum in their mouth”.
What engaged me was pictures, but also text. Pictures of buildings and architecture, because Whitechapel Library had a wonderful collection of Art History upstairs. I think a lot of people think that reading and writing is just all about text, but you can read buildings and see text in shapes and geometry.