Howard Jacobson says he doesn't read books in bed any more- and wonders how many do. Well, me for one. It's a habit I've reverted to in old age. I read during the day too, but I've established it as a rule or discipline that the books I keep on my bedside table are not the books I pick up in an afternoon. If I were to keep the same book on the go continuously it would make the chapter at bedtime less special. It would be like bingeing on a box set instead of having to wait a week for the scheduled appearance of the next episode of a favourite show. As it stands I have to wait a full 24 hours to find out what Alan Quatermain did next or how the trial of Queenie Philips is going to turn out- and that somehow intensifies the pleasure.