All of my domain's state houses had bookcases containing at least 100 books, and library usage was normal, writes Jones. 
The most influential person in my life was my sixth-form history teacher. He repeatedly emphasised that absolutely everything is interesting. As there were only six pupils - our fellow "students" mostly gone at 15 into the labour-short Hutt factories - we had virtually personal tutorage and quickly bolted through the syllabus.
Thereafter, the teacher introduced diverse topics such as medieval church architecture, alchemy and the Scottish clearances. But what he was really promoting was not simply knowledge but inquiring minds, surely the most important tool to maximise one's life in every sense. And I have no doubt the best way to achieve that is through reading.
Recently, in my favourite Wellington haunt, Quilters second-hand bookshop, I asked John Quilter how many of his clientele were young folk, for excluding America, it's now rare to see people under 30 in bookshops. "We get students with a sense of curiosity," he replied, this reflected by their purchases.
In my youthful pre-television and pre- near everything else days, reading was a principal activity.