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  • Brazen

The Bookshop Woman

Nanako Hanada

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Japan, Memoirs, Literature, Dating, relationships, living together & marriage

The Bookshop Woman is a soul-stirring book about a Japanese bookseller's self-discovery in Tokyo as she recommends complete strangers 'the book which will change their life'

THIS BOOK IS A LOVE STORY TO BOOKS.

A love story to climbing all the way down a book's rope, free diving to its bottom, and then resurfacing at its close, ready to breathe a different kind of air.

Nanako Hanada's life is in crisis. Recently separated from her husband, living in youth hostels and internet cafes, her work is going no better. Book sales at the eccentric Village Vanguard bookstore in Tokyo, which Nanako manages, are dwindling. Fallen out of love in all aspects of her life, Nanako realises how narrow her life has become, with no friends outside of her colleagues, and no hobbies apart from reading and arranging books.


That's when Nanako, in a bid to inject some excitement into her life, joins a meet-up site where people meet for 30-minute bursts to find romance, build a network, or just share ideas. She describes herself as a sexy bookseller who will give you a personalised book recommendation. In the year that follows, Nanako meets an eclectic range of strangers, some of whom wanted more than just a book, others she became real friends with.


Written with a subtle but sharp sense of humour, The Bookshop Woman is a heart-warming book about a bookseller's self-discovery. It offers a glimpse into bookselling in Japan and the quirky side of Tokyo and its people. Books, once again, offer inspiration and serve as channels for human communication.

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