Another unanticipated outcome from my browsing the family bookshelves was the discovery of "The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio" and soon after "30 Droll Stories" by Balzac (based on "Les Cent Contes drolatiques". Within the complex and verbose prose, I found, to my delight, that the stories were all about sex ! I am not sure whether mum or dad ever read them and my brothers were either not readers, or too young to penetrate the texts. For years, I enjoyed reading from these before sleep....
In my life: books and their uses
My mother was an insatiable reader. She belonged to book clubs most of her life - sometime actively involved in two at a time. Her favourite genre was biography and autobiography and piles of these tomes would be beside her bed and in various rooms.
My father rarely read for pleasure. His favourite genre historical fact. Nevertheless, he also accumulated many beautiful old illustrated books for their potential to inspire his team of record album designers at the World Record Club. In about 1966, I moved all the volumes of a beaultifully illustrated nature encycloedia into my room. I decided one of the volumes of the rarely opened set would make a good secret hideaway. I used dad's cutting instruments (as an artist his desk was full of expensive toys whose constant dissappearance would infuriate him). I cut a large hole through the central pages. I have no memory of what I stored in there, but about 5 years later, my father discovered this vandalism and was not amused.