My mother used to read to us on the battered old couch. As the light faded, we would snuggle up and read along with her pointing finger. It was magic; it was spells; it was home. Her glasses slightly askew on her thin, eager face, ‘Come hither,’ she would urge. Come Hither was the title of the orange-covered anthology from which she read. Sometimes she might break off to impress on us: ‘A good book is the precious lifeblood of a master-spirit. Milton.’ We always got quotations in that form. ‘Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day. Shakespeare,’ she would pronounce, crossly plugging in the Hoover. Or ‘If at first you don’t succeed, Try, try again. Proverb’ – tartly, when we complained about homework.