Cover Image: Days at the Morisaki Bookshop

Days at the Morisaki Bookshop

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Member Reviews

Thank you Frenzy Books for the eARC! This was honestly just such a relaxing read. Itโ€™s very slow-paced and everything that happens is just so subtle. This book does cover some darker topics, but they are discussed in such a relaxing way, if that makes any sense. I enjoyed the story and how things ended up for Takako. I loved the part where she bonds with her uncle over books theyโ€™ve read. This book describes the setting so well too. I really want to visit that coffee shop because it sounds so cozy. This book just gives me relaxing Ghibli vibes.
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I would liken this book to a slice-of-life story. It's about a twenty-some young woman trying to find herself after a bad break-up. She finds solace in her uncle's used bookstore, amongst all the books on the shelves. 

Be forewarned that there are two parts to this book. I was a little surprised since the second portion of the book shifts a little in focus. However, that didn't deter me from enjoying the book. I'm always happy to read a book about books/booklovers.
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Days at the Morisaki Bookshop is a gently written slice-of-life love letter to bibliophiles written by Satoshi Yagisawa and translated by Eric Ozawa. Released 4th July 2023 by HarperCollins on their Harper Perennial imprint, it's 160 pages and is available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout.

This is such a warm and whimsical story, entirely character driven. It meanders, often touchingly, through the daily lives, dreams and hopes of the characters and their interactions with one another. It's indelibly Japanese in its sensibilities, culture, and grammar. It does read as though it's literature in translation (and that's not a bad thing). The translation work is competent and seems true to the original text. 

The book is full of references to other works of Japanese literature. In the translator's afterword, he notes that not all of the books mentioned are available in translation (yet), but also notes many of the ones which are currently available. 

Four stars. It's a delightful very short read. Quite a lot of story, without a lot of conflict or action. A relaxing and delightful experience. This would make a great choice for public or school library acquisition, book club discussion, or home library. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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"๐™‰๐™ค ๐™ข๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ง ๐™ฌ๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™š ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™œ๐™ค, ๐™ค๐™ง ๐™๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™ข๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ฎ ๐™—๐™ค๐™ค๐™ ๐™จ ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™ง๐™š๐™–๐™™, ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ก๐™ก ๐™ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ, ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™๐™–๐™ซ๐™š๐™ฃโ€™๐™ฉ ๐™จ๐™š๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ฎ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ. ๐˜ผ๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฉโ€™๐™จ ๐™ก๐™ž๐™›๐™š. ๐™’๐™š ๐™ก๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™ก๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™ฎ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™›๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™ฎ"

4.3 ๐ŸŒŸ

A wholesome cozy book, where you just want to lay around, reading & to get comfort. Telling a story about Takako who is sad over the breakup with her boyfriend & resignation, then finds solace in the room above her Uncle's secondhand Bookshop. The book is divided into 2 parts, in which the first part focuses on Takakoโ€™s journey. While part 2 revolves around her uncle & his wife Momoko who disappeared 5 years ago & suddenly returned to the bookshop leaving her uncle more unanswered questions.

First of all, I love how this book is based on the existing place which is Jimbocho Book Town, Tokyo (also known as City of Books), & also houses the headquarters of multiple major Japan publishing companies including Shueisha! The book describes the town in detail which you couldn't help but be amazed with. I can imagine & smell all the books mentioned in the story. And I love all the literary references too.

I love the fact that the book is so cozy & relaxing. It's a book that reminds you to take your time to recover and take life at your own pace. And I love how it gives me reassurance that everything will be okay, and not all things that happen to you are a bad thing. The book also has such a lovely and beautiful comment about life and how you need to appreciate the little things in life; Book, coffee, your time with yourself etc.

Even though I didn't like part 2 that much but I appreciate the message behind it, & Takako's friendship with her aunt. it was very heartwarming & sweet. Overall, I highly recommend this book if you want something that is light, easy to read & just a cozy vibe โœจ huge thanks to Harper Publisher for the advanced review copy!!
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I picked this to try a taste of Japanese literature. I appreciate that the love of books transcends culture. Iโ€™m not sure if it was the translatorโ€™s style or the original writing style but I found the dialogue stilted and the pacing uneven. It wasnโ€™t the most enjoyable read but Iโ€™m glad I tried it.
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This book was such a fantastic exploration of life and depression and loss. Takako experiences a devastating breakup and ends up in a deep depression. She quits her job and spends time listless and sleeping. When she gets a call from her uncle asking her to help out in his bookstore, Takako is reluctant but makes the trip. While she is there she starts to find herself again. She is finally able to get out of her funk and go back to her normal life in Tokyo. In the second part of the book, she gets a call from her uncle once again. He needs her help again. This time she gets to help him with finding himself. 

This is such a beautiful book. I loved the realistic depiction of depression. Even though it was such a short book, I felt really connected to the characters. I also loved that books played such a big role in the book. Books really are transformative and this book was able to showcase this. I need to pick up a physical copy of this book to have on my shelf. I loved seeing the growth that all the characters went through during the story and really found myself feeling for them. I cannot wait until the sequel is translated so I can get my hands on it!
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Takako feels like her life has turned upside down when her boyfriend tells her heโ€™s getting marriedโ€”but not to her. Devastated, she quits her job (which is where she met both him and the woman he will be marrying) and mopes at home until her somewhat estranged uncle invites her to stay at his bookshop in Jimbocho to clear her headspace, in exchange for helping him run the store. Reluctantly, she agrees, even though she has no interest in books. Eventually, she finds herself falling in love with the books around her, with reading, with the bookstore, and her temporary home in Jimbocho and the people in it.

This book is as much a love letter to Jimbocho as it is to reading. Jimbocho is a part of Tokyo with a rich history, and known for all its secondhand bookstoresโ€”something that Takakoโ€™s uncle is proud to share with her on the day she moves in. The book also drops the names and titles of various Japanese writers and works of literature, not all of which have English translations. Itโ€™s one of those feel-good books where you get the see the protagonist gradually heal from her emotional turmoil, and in turn tries to heal those around her, and you get the read about the closeness of a tight-knit community brought together by their love of their space and the things that make their neighbourhood unique.

The narrative itself wasnโ€™t particularly memorable or exciting, and the characters didnโ€™t leave much of an impression on me either (apart from my wanting to give Takakoโ€™s ex a good punch in the face) but it was generally lighthearted and endearing, easy to get through.
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2.5 ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ.5 stars! This book is about Takako and how her life evolves when she lives at the Morisaki book shop. She recently had something happen in her life which made her move to her uncleโ€™s bookstore and this is where her life changes and also where she forms new relationships. This book was OK not really, as interesting as I thought it would be for me
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The setting is perfect. A whole neighborhood filled with second hand book stores? I am moving there. The personal story in part one was kind of meh, but part 2 was more impactfull. Loved this line a lot:

"I read them voraciously, the authors whose names I knew but hadnโ€™t read, the ones whose names Iโ€™d never even heard of, any book that seemed interesting. And yet for all I read, I found book after book that I still wanted to read. Iโ€™d never experienced anything like this before. It made me feel like I had been wasting my life until this moment."
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Living in a bookstore may sound like a dream come true for some readers but for the main character in this story, it's a last resort when her personal and professional lives implode simultaneously due to a relationship that she completely misread. There are a few different complicated relationships offered in this quiet novel including that of her uncle, who owns the bookshop, and his wife. Definitely worth a read.
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This was a quick and easy read about a young woman who loses her boyfriend and then her job. She is at a loss with what to do next, until her Uncle invites her to come and help him with his bookstore located in a city of bookstores.  I enjoyed watching Takako find her love of books and her relationship with her Uncle grow.  

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Perennial for an advanced review copy in exchange for an honest opinion.
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Days at the Morisaki Bookshop follows a young woman named Takako whose boyfriend has just informed her that heโ€™s about to marry another woman. In her devastation she agrees to move into the small apartment above her uncleโ€™s bookshop rent free. In the beginning Takako doesnโ€™t really care about the shop or her uncle, but as she works in the shop she learns to love books, grows closer to her uncle, builds relationships with new people, and finds herself again. 

This book is just as fun and wholesome as it sounds.  Watching Takako learn about the quirks of book lovers and learn to love books herself made me smile. The writing is simple but beautiful and descriptive, which is my favourite writing style. At the beginning of the book Takako was unlikable and miserable. By the end I really cared about her and the new happy life she was building for herself.It was satisfying and refreshing to read about a main character who had a solid growth arc. Overall I just felt like this was an entertaining little story with great characters and good writing. It has all the basic elements of a good read. 

My big complaint is that halfway through the book a completely different story starts. I didnโ€™t care about that story. If the entire book had only been the story described in its summary I wouldโ€™ve probably given it 5 stars, but the second story felt a little random and unnecessary. 

I recommend this! I personally think itโ€™s great, but on top of that itโ€™s such a short book that I highly doubt you will regret reading it even if you donโ€™t like it.
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A very short book (160 pages says Goodreads) that took me quite a bit of time to get through. I was initially drawn in by the cover (judging a book by its cover, ya ya ya) but I also liked the synopsis as well: A non-reader decides to work at her uncleโ€™s secondhand bookstore and discovers a new love of reading while connecting with her family. While I found that this book was just ok at the end, what I really enjoyed was the armchair travel aspect of it; this books takes place in a small pocket of Tokyo that is filled with cafes and bookshops galore (aka paradise). I liked the way that the scenes were described and it helped me get through the slow pacing of this book. It also encouraged me to bump Japan slightly higher on my travel bucket list. 

Thanks a lot @ netgalley and @ harperperennial for the eARC!
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Thank you NetGalley and Harper Perennial!

"Days at the Morisaki Bookshop is about a young woman who loses everything but finds herselfโ€”a tale of new beginnings, romantic and family relationships, and the comfort that can be found in books"

A book for those who want to take a break, for those who need to reroute their paths, for book lovers, for those who are a little lost. Days at the Morisaki Bookshop is perfect for anyone who wants to take it slow and live quieter--taking the time to find what is worth doing and maybe accepting that we need to make mistakes along the way. <3
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โ€˜Days at the Morisaki Bookshopโ€™ by Satoshi Yagisawa was a gorgeously written, tranquil sanctum of a book. It was vivid, sweet, emotional, full of authentic human connection and falling in love with books (and oneself). I loved MC Takako, and the atmosphere of the bookshop was just the best thing. Highly recommend!
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This book touch on subjects like family, new beginnings, and friendships.  I wasn't sure about this book at first but I slowly got into it and it was a very beautiful story that I will think about for some time.
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I was drawn to this story initially because of the bookish premise.  After twenty five year old Takako loses her boyfriend and her job in the span of a day, she has nowhere else to turn โ€” so when her uncle Satoru invites her to stay in a room above his Morisaki bookshop in exchange for helping him watch the shop several hours a day, Takako agrees, even though she has never been a reader and has no interest in books.  When she arrives at the location of her familyโ€™s bookshop in Jimbocho, she finds that the area is actually a book loverโ€™s paradise where โ€œeverywhere you turned, there was another bookshop.โ€  At the Morisaki bookshop, Takako is (literally) surrounded by books day and night โ€” not surprisingly, she also encounters various people who love to read.  Pretty soon, Takako experiences for herself the healing power of books, but more significantly, her stay at the bookshop ends up changing her life in ways she never thought possible.

This was a simple, quiet story filled with eccentric yet endearing characters that you couldnโ€™t help but love โ€” for me, these were the main strengths of the book.  Unfortunately, the execution didnโ€™t quite work for me, as the writing felt choppy and stilted, with some sections sounding really awkward to read.  The pacing also felt off, with the two parts that the story was divided into feeling like two different books, which kind of threw me off a bit.  Iโ€™m not sure if something was lost in translation or the original work was written this way, but I just felt like there was more potential to the story than was tapped into.  And I must admit that I was a tad disappointed with the second half of the story veering away from the bookish aspects that played such a huge role in the first half.

Overall, this was an โ€œokayโ€ read.  I enjoyed some aspects over others and definitely felt the first half of the story was much stronger. This is an instance where I wish I knew Japanese so I could check out the original work and see if the experience would be different.  Ah well, thatโ€™s how things go, I guess.

Received ARC from Harper Perennial via NetGalley.
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Thank you to Net Galley and Harper Perennial for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.  The story centers on an area in Tokyo called Jimbocho which is filled with second hand bookshops.  Takako, who recently learned that her boyfriend is marrying someone else, she's a bit a lost and agrees to live at her uncle's bookshop rent free in return for working and helping at the bookshop.  She meets people and the neighborhood and regular customers and learns more about her aunt who up and left her uncle suddenly.  This is a story about people and relationships and learning from each other about life, love and joys of books.
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This book was so easy for me to love. It is short (under 200 pages) and a paean to what books, bookshops and reading can mean to people.

Two of the main characters are a twenty-something young woman who has been hurt in a relationship and has, as a result, left her job. She goes to stay with an uncle who has taken over the family used bookstore.

When Takako first arrives, she has no interest in reading but one night all that changes. Through her, readers discover the excitement and sweetness that happens when the world of books opens to a person.

The neighborhood where the bookshop is located is a real one. I would love to go there.

This book is filled with quotable moments. For example:

It was as if, without realizing it, I had opened a door I had never known existedโ€ฆIt was as if a love of reading had been sleeping somewhere deep inside me all this time, an then it suddenly sprang to life. ..And there was no danger Id run out of booksโ€ฆIt made me feel like I had been wasting my lifeโ€ฆ

Anyone who loves books and/or books about books, read this one. You wonโ€™t be sorry.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Perennial for this title. All opinions are my own.
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I read in another review that the reviewer always feels calmer when reading translated Japanese books and I have to say that I completely agree with her [and didn't realize that was what keeps drawing me to all the books I have read in recent years and loved so much]; even in the midst of a tense scene, there is just so much calmness and peace and I find my whole body relaxing, which is a glorious thing when reading. 

This is a lovely little novel about a girl who needs a change, a bookstore and how being there changes her in ways she never thought possible and just how important family [even the ones we think are odd] and friends are in times of trouble. I loved every second of this book [it made me want to go to Tokyo and just lose myself in all the bookshops there and finish up the day in a lovely little coffee shop] and am so glad that I was able to read it. 

Thank you to NetGalley, Satoshi Yagisawa, Eric Ozawa - Translator, and Harper Perennial Paperbacks for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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