Last night I was finishing up Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami and absolutely fell in love with one particular passage in the book. It perfectly conveys a sense of place and any booklover would probably pick up on this specific paragraph as well.
The main character, Toru, is spending the night at a friend’s house. This friend happens to live above her father’s bookshop. Toru doesn’t feel much like sleeping and decides he’s got the perfect situation – a bookshop all for himself. C’mon, how many bibliophiles haven’t dreamt of this happening.
Toru finds an old book among the stacks, leaves some money on the counter, and settles down with the novel and a beer to read well into the night in the hushed bookstore. The whole night.
I thought about how wonderfully peaceful it is to read while the rest of the world is asleep. You know you won’t be interrupted and can let yourself get immersed in the story. I love to do that as well, granted, no beer for me; a glass of milk and cookies or M&Ms should do just fine.
By the way, I do highly recommend this book not only for that scene. Some reviews describe it as a coming-of-age novel, others as a partial portrait of the writer himself and other’s as an atypical romantic novel from Murakami. I loved it for all of that and more.
This is my second Murakami novel – I read Sputnik Sweetheart last year and can recommend that one as well. Not sure which novel of his to pick up next so if anyone has a recommendation let me know.