"Sometimes people ask me if I am from a bookish family. I find it difficult to answer. One answer would be no, not in the traditional sense. My father left school at thirteen and my mother at sixteen. But another answer is: Christ, yes, they really were. Like a lot of working-class English people, in the Fifties and Sixties my father found his cultural life transformed by Allen Lane's Penguin paperback revolution. Now anyone could read Camus or D.H. Lawrence or Maupassant, for no more than a price of a pack of fags."
Zady Smith, "Library Life."