I attended a book release party/reading last night. As the author read from her new novel, I was struck in particular with the wording of one phrase, something that I'd been thinking about already. In the novel, one of the characters was interested in what one of the other characters was reading. She surreptiously approached his table to see what "his book" was. That was the phrase that struck me: "his book." Not the book he was reading, but the use of the possessive pronoun. As a bookseller, I understand that we own books (at the moment, I own about 15,000 or more). We buy and sell books. But there is a particular expression and feeling of ownership, especially while you're reading a book. My partner Sue often asks me "How is your book?" Depending on what I'm reading at the time, the answer might be "great," "pretty good," or "meh." But at that moment, it's my book. I know a few authors; let me use my friend Kevin Fenton as an example. He wrote Merit Badges, it's his book, he created it, strung the words and phrases together, made up (to some degree) the characters and situations. But the copy I have of Merit Badges at home is my book. It's more than a matter of owning a physical copy. I believe we cultivate and maintain a special relationship with books. It's why I do what I do. I like buying books, 'cause I like to see what people have, and I like to find things I haven't seen before. I like selling books, and I hope that people are happy with the books they buy from me. (And if they're not, or even if they are, I'll buy them back.) So....how's your book? Mine's pretty good.