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‘I’m depressed,’ the book says.

‘We can’t both be depressed,’ I say. ‘One of us needs to function.’

‘Well it’s not going to be me,’ the book sniffs. ‘And anyway, you’re not depressed. You’re fine.’

‘How would you know?’

‘Trust me, I know,’ says the book.

‘So why are you depressed then?’ I say.

‘It just struck me. I’m your worst book. While you were sleeping last night I lined all the others up and read them. And it’s just what I thought. I’m definitely the worst.’

‘You’re not that bad,’ I say.

‘I’m terrible. Terrible. How can you even think of sending me off in this state? It’s not even funny. Your last book was so lovely, by the way.’

‘You think so?’

‘I know so. Really great. A proper piece of work.’

‘Like you, you mean?’

‘Careful!’ the book says.

‘Not like that. I mean, like, a real piece of work, not just 40 plonked down poems? It’s funny you should say that. I’d rather gone off it.’

‘But it’s great! Much better than me.’

‘It’s only because I’ve gone off it that you exist,’ I say.