Thursday, April 18, 2013

Books on books on books

Book: Kingyo Used Books
Author/illustrator: Seimu Yoshizaki
Published: 2005 (Shogakukan)

I told my boyfriend not to lend me this first volume of this series because I’d want to read all four (which are the only ones out of eleven to be translated to English) at once because it’s about a used bookstore and OF COURSE I liked this book. Do you even know who I am, dear Reader?

But, it turns out, although I liked this book and did read it in one setting and am looking forward to the next adventures that selling used manga can bring, I find myself being able to wait.

I think that’s mostly because I wanted a little more from each little episode that’s presented here. Most of them would be so much stronger if they had just a bit more of an ending than someone hugging a book and smiling about how that book helped/changed them for the better. And this is coming from someone who does that ALL THE TIME in real life.

It’s still really heartwarming in a non-cheesy way to see how books spark inspiration, and relief, and nostalgia, and how they affect each customer in a different way that still ends up binding them together as a group with mutual appreciation. My favorite story was the one about a young American who gets obsessed with an old detective manga and lives it out in his real life and comes to Japan to meet the author because that one acted out the ending of how the book affected not just the boy but everyone around him, but the one I identified most with was the art student who reluctantly read a manga about a great artist and discovered that she wasn’t competing with all the artists in the world or even herself, but that she just wanted to contribute and be a part of that world.

I’m phrasing it badly, but that’s how I always want my writing to feel like. So brownie points to that story.

And it really does feel like visiting a bookstore, because I can go in and out when I want/can and can browse all the books at my leisure because they’re not going anywhere anytime soon, and all those stories are sitting there up to the ceiling waiting patiently for me to get back to them.


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