Magical Bookstores in The Cat Who Saved Books | Book Review


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Genre: Fantasy, Magical Realism
Author: Sosuke Natsukawa
Published: September 2021 (English)
Publisher: Picador
Pages: 224 (paperback)

Thanks to Picador for a copy of this in exchange for review

Cats, books and quests. What more could we hope for in a book?

Quick thoughts
This is a 200-pager that packs a punch. With a young boy finding his way in the world after a death, the story embraces you on a healing journey that I found delightful and comforting. Plus there’s labyrinths of books and that’s always a good thing.

‘…better to stop focusing on money and talk instead about the books we read today.’

What it’s about
The Cat Who Saved Books follows young Rintaro just after his grandfather passes away. He lived with him at their secondhand bookstore, Natsuki Books, and now Rintaro is running it alone (despite being in school).

‘Books can’t live your life for you.’

The narrative takes off after a mysterious talking cat visits him and begs his help on a quest to save some books. There are four quests Rintaro goes on in these pages and each of them have a lesson to learn within.

‘Books teach us how to care about others.’

Why you obviously need this book
Books about books? Yes please. Books about books featuring kitties and magic? Double yes please.

‘Reading can be gruelling.’

This book is sweet yet dripping in heavy emotions, and it’ll leave you feeling courageous and inspired.

‘Thanks to books, it’s possible to learn not only about the people around us every day, but people living in totally different worlds.’

I actually really enjoyed going along with Rintaro and rediscovering my love of books on each step of the journey. We encounter ‘evil’ people mistreating books, but it really is so much more than that. It felt like the story deconstructued capitalistic ideals surrounding reading and proffered you back your innocent passion for literature.

‘Empathy — that’s the power of books.’

Final thoughts
If you’re looking for a quick and warm-fuzzy read, this is the one for you. And! It’s set around Christmas so you can totally swing this as a Christmas book, even though it’s barely mentioned and not a key point. Just saying.

‘I simply love books.’

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