“It’s funny. No matter where you go, or how many books you read, you still know nothing, you haven’t seen anything. And that’s life. We live our lives trying to find our way. It’s like that Santōka Taneda poem, the one that goes, ‘On and on, in and in, and still the blue-green mountains.”
japanese literature, translated fiction
Hidden in Jimbocho, Tokyo, is a booklover’s paradise. On a quiet corner in an old wooden building lies a shop filled with hundreds of second-hand books.
Twenty-five-year-old Takako has never liked reading, although the Morisaki bookshop has been in her family for three generations. It is the pride and joy of her uncle Satoru, who has devoted his life to the bookshop since his wife Momoko left him five years earlier.
When Takako’s boyfriend reveals he’s marrying someone else, she reluctantly accepts her eccentric uncle’s offer to live rent-free in the tiny room above the shop. Hoping to nurse her broken heart in peace, Takako is surprised to encounter new worlds within the stacks of books lining the Morisaki bookshop.
As summer fades to autumn, Satoru and Takako discover they have more in common than they first thought. The Morisaki bookshop has something to teach them both about life, love, and the healing power of books.
“in those days, I really was like a butterfly waiting patiently to come out of its chrysalis. As I turned page after page, I was waiting for my chance to take flight.”
DAYS AT THE MORISAKI BOOKSHOP by Satoshi Yagisawa, translated by @ericozawa was such a comforting read to start off the fall season amidst the heavier books i’ve been reading recently. It follows 25-year old Takako after she moved to her uncle Satoru’s used bookshop in Tokyo after the end of a romantic relationship. She discovers the joy of reading, of enjoying time at the neighborhood coffeeshop and spending time with her uncle. It is a beautiful story of learning what it is that brings you fulfillment in life, but especially in your twenties.
“I wanted to see the whole world for myself. I wanted to see the whole range of possibilities. Your life is yours. It doesn’t belong to anyone else. I wanted to know what it would mean to live life on my own terms.”
I’d recommend this book to anyone and everyone, especially if you’re looking for a cozy read to start of the autumn season. 💛
“I don’t think it really matters whether you know a lot about books or not. That said, I don’t know that much myself. But I think what matters far more with a book is how it affects you.”
Have you read this book? I’d love to hear your thoughts down below!
Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day <3