There I was perusing the bookstore shelves, when this cover caught my eye.
I wasn’t planning on buying any books, as my to be read list was already overwhelming. I figured I’d just take a photo to remember the title. After wandering the rest of the store and taking a few more photos of future tbr titles, I circled back and found myself face to cover with the above book. It was meant to come home with me. You can’t argue with that kind of feeling. Well you can, but I didn’t want to, so I carried the book to the register happy to be bringing home a new friend.
No, I didn’t start reading right it away. Well, to be honest I did read a few pages, but that’s all, as I had to finish the book I was in the middle of first. Once I’d finished The Last Cuentista, I eagerly gazed at the cover of The Cat Who Saved Books. The illustration by Yuko Shimuzu made me feel as if I’d somehow already entered the atmosphere of Natsuki Books the secondhand bookstore in the tale.
The story’s protagonist, Rintaro Natsuki, is a hikikomori who has just lost his grandfather and inherited the secondhand bookshop. Soon after, a talking cat who quotes The Little Prince and offers Zen philosophy enters the store requesting his help and Rintaro is drawn into the first of four labyrinths (a reference to the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur) through which he journeys toward his own self-discovery. His grandfather’s words, ‘Books are very powerful’ will serve him on his journey and will, along the way, gain a broader meaning for him and, as was my experience, for the reader who embarks on the journey with Rintaro.
There are a number of poignant passages I’m tempted to type out just to share with you, but I think it’d be better if you find them on your own. Let me know when you do. I’d love to discuss them.
As for me, I’m about 25% through the book for the second time around and Rintaro’s soon to be heading toward the second labyrinth.
Let me know if you take a chance on The Cat Who Saved Books and what you think about it.