I was recently in a charity shop. Richard (my 17-week-old son) was on my back in his backpack seat and doing his usual trick of flirting with everyone who comes within gurgle-range. I was browsing books. I found one for him and one for me:
Option One: ‘What do you say?’, by Mandy Stanley; an animal noise book designed to delight little people.
Option Two: ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, described by Rushdie as one of the most beautiful books written in any language, ever.
I had only fifty pence in my pocket and my wallet was at home.
Oh but which to choose?
The urge to be a selfish parent was strong.