[Looking for nominations!] Intermediate Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: セーラー服と機関銃

森崎書店の日々

Author: 八木沢 里志
Page count: 205
Natively: Level 32

Summary

Japanese

本の街・神保町を舞台にした青春恋愛映画の原作小説。

交際を始めて1年になる恋人から、突然、「他の女性と結婚することになった」と告げられた貴子は、深く傷ついて、ただ泣き暮らす毎日を送ることになった。職場恋愛だったために会社も辞めることになった貴子は、恋人と仕事をいっぺんに失うことに。そんなとき叔父のサトルから貴子に電話がかかる。叔父は40代、奥さんの桃子さんに家出され、ひとりで神保町で「森崎書店」という古書店を経営していた。飄々としてつかみどころがなく、親類の間では変人として通っていたサトル叔父、小さい頃は貴子も遊んでもらったこともあったものの、ここ数年は交流はなかった。その叔父からの連絡は、「店に住んで、仕事を手伝って欲しい」というものだった。誰かの救いを求めていた貴子は、叔父の申し出を受け入れて、本の街のど真ん中に住むことになった――。
物語の1年半後を描いた続編小説「桃子さんの帰還」も収録。

【編集担当からのおすすめ情報】
監督が一読、「映画にしたい」と思った魅力的な原作小説。

English

e wise and charming international bestseller and hit Japanese movie—about a young woman who loses everything but finds herself—a tale of new beginnings, romantic and family relationships, and the comfort that can be found in books.

Twenty-five-year-old Takako has enjoyed a relatively easy existence—until the day her boyfriend Hideaki, the man she expected to wed, casually announces he’s been cheating on her and is marrying the other woman. Suddenly, Takako’s life is in freefall. She loses her job, her friends, and her acquaintances, and spirals into a deep depression. In the depths of her despair, she receives a call from her distant uncle Satoru.

An unusual man who has always pursued something of an unconventional life, especially after his wife Momoko left him out of the blue five years earlier, Satoru runs a second-hand bookshop in Jimbocho, Tokyo’s famous book district. Takako once looked down upon Satoru’s life. Now, she reluctantly accepts his offer of the tiny room above the bookshop rent-free in exchange for helping out at the store. The move is temporary, until she can get back on her feet. But in the months that follow, Takako surprises herself when she develops a passion for Japanese literature, becomes a regular at a local coffee shop where she makes new friends, and eventually meets a young editor from a nearby publishing house who’s going through his own messy breakup.

But just as she begins to find joy again, Hideaki reappears, forcing Takako to rely once again on her uncle, whose own life has begun to unravel. Together, these seeming opposites work to understand each other and themselves as they continue to share the wisdom they’ve gained in the bookshop.

Translated By Eric Ozawa

Availability

Amazon
Bookwalker

Personal Opinion

I’ve seen this book for sale here (in English), and it made me curious since I just automatically want to read books about bookstores/libraries… The story seems simple, and while I can’t say much about how enjoyable it is, the fact that it contains more day-to-day vocabulary, no sci-fi (as far as I can tell) and a first person narration makes me think it would be a nice, not too difficult pick for the club. There was also a movie, though it wasn’t greatly rated it seems.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Relatively easy themes/vocabulary (bookstore, romance, day-to-day life)
  • It’s been released internationally relatively recently, which should make it easier to find
  • Generally good reviews

Cons

  • Not sure for now

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One



Additional Pages


Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
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  • Moderate effort
  • Significant effort
  • So much effort my head might explode
  • I don’t know
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