I still buy books, you know. Remember them, those papery things that usually ended up full of receipts and train tickets? Although sometimes I wish I didn’t. Buy them, I mean. Trawling the discount tables in a Bangkok branch of Kinokuniya, I come across a copy of my Noughties book, reduced to 100 baht (about two quid in old money). Slightly more expensive (but then it is a hardback, I tell myself) is Padgett Powell’s The Interrogative Mood. The title gives the twist away: it’s composed entirely of questions, a structural gimmick to which such staples of fiction as plot and character are pretty much sacrificed. The subtitle – A Novel? – suggests that this is the whole point. It doesn’t particularly work as an overall piece, but there are some passing delights among the queries. For example: “If architecture is frozen music, do we not deserve a whole cookbook of such recipes?” Which almost seals up the puncture wound in my creative ego. Almost.