‘I’m tired.’

‘Go to sleep then,’ the book says. ‘There’s plenty for me to be getting on with while you’re gone. Put your feet up, go on. I’ll be fine.’

‘Can I trust you?’

‘Now there’s a leading question! What do you think? Have I let you down before? Don’t answer that.’

‘What will you be doing while I’ve been gone?’

‘Oh, you know,’ the book says, making a sweeping gesture with its hand. ‘Things. Stuff. There really is plenty to be getting on with. You go and sleep. I’ll be fine.’

‘I had a really weird dream the other night. There was this man, who wasn’t me but was, and he was a professor in moral ethics. And to pay for his child’s university education he did some really naughty things.’

‘I’m not your therapist,’ the book says. ‘I’m your book.’

‘But I thought you might be, you know, interested. It gets worse.’

‘I am not interested.’

‘I just wondered, how, you know, I could dream something up like that, a complete story, that was so -‘

‘You haven’t told me the complete story.’

‘You said you weren’t interested.’

‘You’re right, I’m not.’ The book stretches itself, and gives a loud, comic book yawn. ‘Right, I’m off,’ it says. ‘I’m done for the day, honestly. Time for a nap.’

‘But you said I could go for a nap,’ I say. ‘You would be ‘fine’, you said. You had ‘plenty to get on with’, you said.’

‘I lied,’ the book says.