Review: The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa
The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa (translated by Louise Heal Kawai) is a book about books.
It definitely gives readers a new perspective (more like a forgotten perspective) on reading.
Reading has evolved throughout the years which gives readers different motives to read.
A talking cat and a quiet teenage boy, Rintaro takes us through four labyrinths that hold its challenges respectively.
With this, readers uncover the core of reading that has been forgotten through the evolution of books and reading as a whole.
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Title: The Cat Who Saved Books
Author: Sosuke Natsukawa
Translator: Louise Heal Kawai
Genre: Fantasy Fiction, Japanese Lit
Amazon Rating: 4.3
Goodreads Rating: 3.74
A celebration of books, cats, and the people who love them, infused with the heartwarming spirit of The Guest Cat and The Travelling Cat Chronicles.
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.
Their mission sends this odd couple on an amazing journey, where they enter different mazes to set books free. Through their travels, Tiger and Rintaro meet a man who leaves his books to perish on a bookshelf, an unwitting book torturer who cuts the pages of books into snippets to help people speed read, and a publishing drone who only wants to create bestsellers. Their adventures culminate in one final, unforgettable challenge—the last maze that awaits leads Rintaro down a realm only the bravest dare enter…
The Cat Who Saved Books Review
What I Liked
This Book Changed My Perspective On Reading
This book is packed with wisdom on the act or reading itself. As a reader, it made me think and reevaluate why do I read books, why do I purchase them? What books do I enjoy and why do I enjoy them?
Some of the things I’ve learned from this book:
- Reading difficult books may be more rewarding than reading books that are simple/trendy.
- Personally, I do not read many literature classics. This book did make me realise how many historical, prestigious and valuable reads I’m missing out on.
- Buying books and reading books are two separate things. It saddens me to know that some of the books I’ve purchased have been sitting on my shelf for two or more years.
- Time is limited, you cannot read every book. Be picky about the books you read.
- Reading book summaries can be beneficial at times because time is limited. However, there’s always going to be something you’re missing out on if you choose to read a summary over the actual book.
- A book that sells is not necessarily a book that provides value to the reader.
There’s probably more. For such a short book (under 200 pages), this book has truly taught me so much.
There were not many characters to focus on and this made it was easier to follow the story and assess the character growth of each character.
Rintaro, Sayo and the tabby cat, Tiger were the most significant characters. The adventures these three took us on was not only great insight to readers, but also brought character growth Rintaro and Sayo respectively.
I really liked the fantasy aspect of this novel. Little details like – why only some people could see the cat was a nice touch. Honestly, it was an easy fantasy read. Nothing too elaborate or difficult to comprehend.
What I Disliked
There’s nothing much to dislike in my opinion. I only had trouble grasping how certain characters truly felt – maybe this was lost in translation.
But besides that, the translator did a great job as I had very little problem reading this book.
The final labyrinth for me was a bit underwhelming after the 3 labyrinths we visited in the book.
This is probably why I didn’t give this book 5 stars although I enjoyed reading it till the very end, I expected more from the final labyrinth.
The Cat Who Saved Books Quotes
Some of my favourite quotes from The Cat Who Saved Books:
Most people don’t get that obvious truth. They just go about their everyday lives, and yet ‘it is only with the heart one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.Sosuke Natsukawa
Books can’t live your life for you. The reader who forgets to walk on his own two feet is like an old encyclopaedia, his head stuffed with out-to-date information. Unless someone else opens it up, it is nothing but a useless antique.Sosuke Natsukawa
Because the obvious is no longer obvious in today’s world.Sosuke Natsukawa
Of course, everyone is eager to assert their own uniqueness, but since everyone is equally obsessed with asserting it, then there’s nothing unique about anyone.Sosuke Natsukawa
People want to enjoy masterpieces in an uncomplicated way, pleasurably, fashionably, as if they were a downloadable collection of Christmas songs.Sosuke Natsukawa
We don’t care about issues such as messages that needs to be imparted, or philosophy that needs to be handed down to the next generation. We don’t care about any harsh reality or difficult truths. Society isn’t interested in things like that. Publishers don’t need to worry about what they should be telling the world, they need to understand what the world wants to hear.Sosuke Natsukawa
There’s a big difference between the books you value and the ones that the rest of the society wants.Sosuke Natsukawa
Nobody is interested in truth or ethics or philosophy. People are worn out from living. All they want is either to be stimulated or healed.Sosuke Natsukawa
Your feelings about a book don’t determine its value.Sosuke Natsukawa
In the same way that music is made up of more than notes, books are more than just words.Sosuke Natsukawa
Empathy – that’s the power of books.Sosuke Natsukawa
Every difficult book offers a brand new challenge.Sosuke Natsukawa
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 soulSosuke Natsukawa
Logic and reason are never the best weapons in an irrational world.Sosuke Natsukawa
FAQ: The Cat Who Saved Books
What Is The Cat Who Saved Books Age Rating?
15 and up. However a reader older in age might enjoy this book more because this book is packed with more wisdom and thought-provoking quotes instead of being purely an action-filled fantasy novel.
What Is The Cat Who Saved Books Genre?
Fantasy Fiction, Japanese Literature.
What Is The Name Of The Cat In The Cat Who Saved Books?
Tiger is the name of the tabby cat that takes Rintaro on an adventure to save books after his grandfather passed away.
How Many Pages Is The Cat Who Saved Books?
198 pages. This short Japanese literature is packed with a lot of wisdom.
The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa is definitely a thought-provoking read. If you’re an avid reader, you’re most likely to enjoy this book as it is filled with wisdom and great quotes.
It is also a heart-warming story. Don’t be surprised if you end up shedding a tear or two when Rintaro shares his love for books. This love stems from his late Grandfather who owns a bookstore called Natsuki Books.
I also feel this book might benefit readers who are dealing with grief or the loss of a loved one.
Overall rating: 4.5/5
Should you read The Cat Who Saved Books?
Yes, if you love books and are not afraid to be challenged by the author. This book did make me rethink my reading choices and habits.