The Cat Who Saved Books, by Sosuke Natsukawa, is a book I read for Dolce Bellezza’s fifteenth Japanese Literature challenge. It is a book for book lovers! There are many books in that genre of books and bookstores, but this book was a sweet fantasy that didn’t disappoint. It’s a perfect read for a dark January afternoon.
From the publisher:
“Bookish high school student Rintaro Natsuki is about to close the secondhand bookstore he inherited from his beloved bookworm grandfather. Then, a talking cat named Tiger appears with an unusual request. The feline asks for–or rather, demands–the teenager’s help in saving books with him. The world is full of lonely books left unread and unloved, and Tiger and Rintaro must liberate them from their neglectful owners.”
Some wise words from the book:
“Suddenly the cat spoke.
‘ Books have a soul.’
‘ A book that sits on a shelf is nothing but a bundle of paper. Unless it is opened, a book possessing great power, an epic story is a mere scrap of paper. But a book that has been cherished and loved , filled with human thoughts, has been endowed with a soul”
“I think the power of books is that – that they teach us to care about others. It’s a power that gives people courage and also supports them in turn. [. . .] Empathy – that’s the power of books.”