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Review of 'Days at the Morisaki Bookshop' - Satoshi Yagisawa

'Days at the Morisaki Bookshop' is a love note to books and reading. It describes everything I love about my favourite hobby - the thrill as you discover each new author and the sheer, indulgent pleasure of spending hours absorbed in a book.

However, it also reveals the redemptive power of books - their ability to change a person's outlook on life and the power to bring comfort and hope in times of trial. It even touches on the subject of books guiding people through difficult periods of their lives and the profound effect one book can have on someone.

Takako's story is a fairly common one, in that the perfect life she imagines for herself is far removed from reality and it isn't until she discovers books that she truly comes to terms with the truth of her existence. It is her uncle's story, however, that I found more engaging. His relationship with his estranged wife is a complicated one, but I found myself rooting for him and Momoko, far more than I did for Takako. Whilst she has some personal growth throughout the book, I found her quite self-centred even after she had supposedly had her big personal revelation, whereas both Momoko and Satoru accept each other for what they are. Takako constantly seems to be wanting people to be more than they can be and this isn't necessarily a positive quality.

Nevertheless, my ambivalence towards the main character in no way detracted from my enjoyment of the book because the story was incredibly rich and the other characters extremely interesting.

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