I dream I am in a second-hand bookshop (I often dream I am in second-hand bookshops), in this instance a beautifully overcrowded one full of library stacks and reading tables o’ertopped with ranter’s pamphlets and hardbound Victorian train timetables and antique maps of the Hebrides. It’s a treasure trove, a booknerd’s Nirvana, but my eye doesn’t linger long on the majority of the merchandise, as something truly astonishing catches my eye: a black Penguin Classics edition the size of a Gutenberg Bible called, with crashingly obvious irony, The Portable Perec. ‘Why have I never heard of this?’ I wonder, and make my way to the book, which is so enormous, it has a long oak reading table all to itself. I open the book at random – though the word ‘book’ feels unequal to the task of describing this wood-pulp leviathan: ‘tome’ seems so much more felicitous – a task that would be a deal easier with two sets of arms instead of one, such is the sheer heft of the volume. The contents are as marvellous as I could possibly have expected: copious footnotes (in columns, no less!), a thirty page index, illustrations from 16th century textbooks on natural history (they’re the best), and more newly discovered Pereciana than you could possibly imagine. (Though I clearly imagined it.) This is paradise; waking up will be harder than ever.