Today I’m reviewing the cutest short read, The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa.
The Cat Who Saved Books is a heart-warming story about finding courage, caring for others – and the tremendous power of books.
Grandpa used to say it all the time: ‘books have tremendous power’. But what is that power really?
Natsuki Books was a tiny second-hand bookshop on the edge of town. Inside, towering shelves reached the ceiling, every one crammed full of wonderful books. Rintaro Natsuki loved this space that his grandfather had created. He spent many happy hours there, reading whatever he liked. It was the perfect refuge for a boy who tended to be something of a recluse.
After the death of his grandfather, Rintaro is devastated and alone. It seems he will have to close the shop. Then, a talking tabby cat called Tiger appears and asks Rintaro for help. The cat needs a book lover to join him on a mission. This odd couple will go on three magical adventures to save books from people who have imprisoned, mistreated and betrayed them. Finally, there is one last rescue that Rintaro must attempt alone . . .
Sosuke Natsukawa’s international bestseller, translated from Japanese by Louise Heal Kawai, is a story for those for whom books are so much more than words on paper
This book is just a cute short read, coming in at less than 200 pages, but manages to squeeze so much into that space. Rintaro is your stereotypical hermit of a bookworm; much happier to while away his days in his grandfathers second-hand bookshop than be out socialising.
Enter Tiger the tabby, a mysterious talking cat on a mission to save books, but he needs some help. Rintaros unwavering love for books is just the thing this cat needs, and soon he’s recruited the boy to assist him in rescuing ‘imprisoned’ books.
This is where it gets interesting – Each new challenge to rescue some books represents a different view on reading. From someone trying to achieve the perfect speed-reading technique, to someone who refuses to ever re-read a book no matter how much they enjoyed it, as there’s just not enough time to read all the books they would like to (Sound familiar?!). It’s down to Rintaro to help these individuals see the error in their ways, convincing them there’s a better way and helping release the books each person has mistreated, or ‘imprisoned’.
As a bookworm myself, I found this such a heart warming read. In his quest to get others to change their ways, Rintaro explores what it really means to love books and reading. The whole story highlights the magic and wonder that comes with reading a book, and feels a bit like a love letter to the act of reading. On a more whimsical side note, Tiger the tabby seems to be perfectly portrayed – If cats really could talk, I could imagine them being just as sarcastic, impatient and know-it-all as Tiger is in this book!