Golden Age Crime – Japanese style! @PushkinPress #HonjinMurders


The Honjin Murders by Seishi Yokomizo
Translated by Louise Heal Kawai

The kindness of fellow bloggers is one of the great joys of the online interactions I have as part of the bookish interweb. As well as discussions, ideas, reading suggestions and general bookish mateyness, one of the other lovely things we do is share our books around! I always love to send on volumes I’m not likely to re-read to other interested bloggers, and I’ve been lucky enough to recieve books in return. “The Honjin Murders” is one of those, kindly sent on to me by Janet at From First Page to Last; I don’t know why I’d not picked up on it before because it sounded right up my street and turned out to be perfect distraction reading during our current situation…

Seishi Yokomizo was apparently one of Japan’s best-loved crime writers, so it’s to my shame that I’d never heard of his work. “The Honjin Murders” introduces his regular protagonist, the amateur detective Kosuke Kindaichi, who went on to feature in a series of 77 books; and it’s widely regarded as one of Japan’s greatest mystery novels. So quite a reputation to live up to, which I’m pleased to say the book did!

“Honjin…” is set in the winter of 1937, in the village of Okamura, where the place is full of excitement; a wedding is due to take place in the aristocratic Ichiyanagi family, a clan with a long dynastic history. But on the wedding night violent screams are heard from the newlyweds’ annexe, and the pair are discovered stabbed to death. This is no straightforward murder, however, as the doors and windows are locked from the inside, the murder weapon is outside the building and, crucially, there are no footprints in the snow. Add in the fact that spooky koto music is heard at night and a strange, masked, three-fingered man has been seen in the area, and the plot really does get thicker and thicker!

This is the book’s first translation into English, and I really can’t understand why it’s taken so long for this to happen – so kudos to Pushkin Press! I shan’t discuss too many specifics of the plot, because I would hate to spoil the pleasure for anyone else reading it, but it was such fun! “Honjin…” really is the Japanese equivalent of a Golden Age country house murder; there’s a posh extended family all present and correct, complete with their emotion baggage and the tensions caused by being under the same roof. There’s an impossible locked room crime, hints of mystery in the past and a mysterious stranger. The plot is wonderfully clever and twisty, and there was no way I was going to work out whodunnit and why!

Let’s talk about the amateur sleuth. Kosuke is a young man who travelled to America, narrowly escaped from drug addiction and set himself up as a private detective. Fortunately, he’s known to the late bride’s uncle Ginzo, who attended the wedding and who calls Kosuke in to investigate the slaughter. Yokomizo’s description of his detective paints a vivid picture, and the young man turns out to be very deceptive.

A young man alighted at N- station on the Hakubi Line, and came sauntering down the road towards K- Town. He was around twenty-five or -six, of medium build, on the pale side, and he would have been completely unremarkable if it weren’t for his unusual choice of clothes. He wore a matching set of short haori jacket and kimono in a kind of splash-pattern dye, with a traditional hakama skirt of narrow stripes over it. However, the haori and kimono were full of wrinkles, and the hakama, conversely, had lost any trace of its crisp pleats. His toenails were beginning to poke through the ends of his tabi socks, his wooden geta clogs were worn down, his hat had lost its shape… In short, for a young man in the prime of life he seemed shockingly indifferent to his appearance.

The image is almost of a Columbo-like character, yet Kosuke is sharp as anything, as well as being well versed in the classics of crime literature!

In fact, one of the delights of this book was the undercurrent of tongue-in-cheek nods to GA novels and authors – in fact, further back all the way to Poe – and many a knowing homage to the greats. There are references to A.A. Milne and Gaston Leroux, as well as Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie; and of course John Dickson Carr gets numerous mentions. Intriguingly, both the narrator and one of the family members have an almost unhealthy interest in classic crime, in particular locked room mysteries, and any lover of GA writing will get a kick out of this element of the book.

1930s Japan Travel Poster – Japanese Government Railways / Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

However, there’s another aspect of the book which is particularly interesting, and that is the focus on the changes taking place in Japan, both pre-WW2 when the mystery takes place, and immediately post WW2 when the narrator is telling the tale (the book was published in 1946). The author builds these elements into the storyline, and it adds fascinating colour and history to his tale. There is much here, as well, which throws light on differing attitudes towards men and women in Japanese society and how they might be changing. An acknowledgement in passing at the end of the book about recent events added poignancy to the narrative, too…

The story is told in the voice of an author, writing the story from a variety of reports and source (though whether this is a narrator standing in for the author or meant to represent Yokomizo himself isn’t spelled out and probably doesn’t really matter). He’s an engaging and down to earth companion, enthusiastic about his story and happy to show off his knowledge of crime literature and the mystery to hand. I’ll be happy to make his and Kosuke’s acquaintance again!

So “The Honjin Murders” turned out to be a marvellous read, a real classic crime mystery with wonderful twists (in setting and context, as well as the crime itself!) As I said above, I’m really surprised that this book hasn’t been translated before because it’s such a good read and completely absorbing (which is very welcome at the moment). I so enjoyed my first encounter with detective Kosuke Kindaichi and, most pleasingly, it won’t have to be my last, as I see that Pushkin Press have put out another one of his adventures….! 😀

Thanks so much to Janet for so kindly sending on the book – you can read her review here!

Exploring modern Japanese literature with the Red Circle Minis @shinynewbooks @TeamRedCircle


You might recall that amongst the images of piles of books I shared recently on the Ramblings, there was one featuring three attractive and slim volumes of Japanese literature. These are the Red Circle Minis, and they’re the result of a fascinating new initiative from Red Circle Authors. The latter is a venture which refuses to be categorised – website, publisher, agent, promoter, general cheerleader for Japanese writing; all of these could be used to describe Red Circle!

The Red Circle Minis

Co-founded by Richard Nathan and Koji Chikatan, Red Circle Authors has an impressive website with all manner of resources for anyone wanting to explore Japanese literature. The Minis are the first three editions in a planned series – bite-sized, beautifully produced pieces of fiction ideal for a quick literary fix. The range of subject matter covered is already wide, taking in AI issues, the psychology of searching for missing children and the curse of TV celebrity.

I’ve written more extensively about the Red Circle venture for Shiny New Books here; and I cover the first three Minis in more detail here. The Red Circle Minis were a joy and delight to read, so do have a look at my Shiny New Books pieces and check out Red Circle – I’m very much looking forward to seeing what titles appear next! 😀

Images of beauty and decay #mishima @classicpenguins #Japan


The Frolic of the Beasts by Yukio Mishima
Translated by Andrew Clare

You might recall me getting a teeny bit over-exited on the Ramblings a while back, when I discovered that some newly-translated Mishima was about to make its debut in pretty Penguin editions. He’s an author I have a history with; as I’ve mentioned before, I went through a serious Japanese lit phase pre blog, and Mishima was something of an obsession. So naturally I picked up the Penguin Modern “Star” and the Modern Classic “The Frolic of the Beasts” as soon as they came out; but I’m having to hold back on the former as I’m reading the Moderns sequentially and it seems wrong to jump ahead… However, “Frolic…” has been sitting there on the shelf looking quizzically at me since it arrived, and as I was in Japanese literature mode recently after reading the Red Circle Minis (more of which later), the time was right for frolicking with Yukio… ;D

With a memory as rubbish as mine, and no proper record of what I read when, I’m going to be hard-pressed to say how this compares to the author’s other works. “Frolic…” is from 1961, so later-period Mishima; his first published novel was 1948, although he wrote short works before that; and he died in 1970. So by the time of “Frolic…” Mishima was an established author, and here he’s definitely at the height of his powers.

“The Frolic of the Beasts” concerns, of course, love and human relations. There are three main protagonists: Koji, a young student madly in love with the older Yuko. She, in turn, is married to the even older Ippei, a literary critic and libertine. The triangle created by these three troubled humans is a complex one, and as the book opens we see the three frozen in time, having their photograph taken by a harbour. There are references to past incidents, and hints of those to come, while Mishima nails his characters to this precise point in their history. It is no secret by the end of that opening that some of the characters are now dead; what follows is a masterly piece of storytelling as the author gradually and beautifully reveals the events which led up to that point.

She folded her parasol, asking the question in her typically sensuous voice, which conjured up the image of a small, stifling room filled with fetid flowers.

We find that Koji has recently returned from a spell in prison, and the reason for this makes his acceptance back into the family of Yuko even more unusual. There was in the past infidelity all round – Ippei had regular mistresses and Yuko had Koji; however, that was not enough for Yuko, and the complex powerplay between her and her husband brought about the first act of violence in the book, for which Koji paid the price. His return to Ippei and Yuko, now living by the coast where Yuko manages a plant nursery, brings tensions to the surface once more. The behaviour of this trio is mirrored by three young people in the town, Kimi and two young men who view for her favours. Kimi is the daughter of Teijiro, who tends the nursery, yet avoids him when she visits the town; here, too, there is baggage. The story unfolds with an inevitability, particularly since we have an inkling of what will happen; and, as the quote on the blurb says, we watch “the three of them – three fish caught in a net of sin“, yet unable to escape.

I’ve deliberately kept my description of events vague, because watching Mishima unfold his tale is mesmerising and too many details would spoil that. As I said, by the time he wrote this book, Mishima was an author totally in control of his characters and story, and the book is quite breathtaking. When I read his “Acts of Worship” for the #1965club I was blown away by his portrayal of the complexities of relationships, and his nuanced rendering here is just as striking. He captures Yuko’s fickleness, cause of so many problems; Koji’s immaturity and obsession with Yuko; Ippei’s arrogance and need to control. And he can completely throw you off balance, as when he drops into the narrative unexpectedly a shocking, almost casual revelation by Kimi’s father.

Koji dreamed of the worlds infiltrated by his dispersed flowers and leaves. He imagined a society of dazzling immensity and grotesque pitch-dark complication where these flowers and leaves hung, as if they were little ribbons secured here and there over its body. The flowers were mere caricatures there. These flowers and leaves would scatter and infiltrate shrewdly, like germs, a variety of entirely useless places in society for the purposes of practical sentimentalism, hypocrisy, peace and order, vanity, death, disease…

But above and beyond his narrative skills, what struck me strongly was his incredibly beautiful prose; it’s marvellously evocative of place, so much so that the setting becomes tangible as you read. The small fishing port of Iro, where much of the book takes place, is vivid and alive; and Mishima’s sense of, and sympathy with, the natural world is powerful and intoxicating.

Via Wikimedia Commons – see here for attribution: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Yukio_Mishima_01.jpg

Mishima’s characters are not necessarily particularly *nice* people; they’re flawed and damaged, and yet I felt sympathy for them as I read. The author seems to basically see humanity as being controlled by animal passions; hence, presumably, the title of the book. The narrative is laden with imagery: of death and decay, of beauty and corruption; and the moral corruption of Mishima’s characters is mirrored in much of the natural world which juxtaposes that beauty with squalor.

I’ve left it a little while before writing about this book, because it was a powerful read and I wanted to let it settle a bit before marshalling my thoughts. “Frolic…” is most definitely a book which stays with you; not only for its compelling and ultimately tragic storyline, but also because of the stunning writing and the images left in the mind after finishing it. I’ve no idea why this book hasn’t been translated into English before, because I thought it was outstanding. Maybe it’s regarded as minor Mishima compared with his more famous works; but for the writing alone it deserves its place in his canon, and frankly if there are any more untranslated Mishimas out there to come my way in the near future, I shall be a very happy woman!

“velvet nights spiked with menace” – in which Angela and I are reconciled…


Fireworks by Angela Carter

As a rule, I don’t generally have disastrous reading experiences. Life is too short to waste on books you don’t like so I try to tailor my reading to things I actually want to read or hope I’ll get something from; or to continue the ongoing search for those works which change your life. However, I had a less-than-pleasant encounter with Angela Carter during our week of reading for the #1977club, when I found “The Passion of the New Eve” to be most unpleasant with no redeeming features. This *did* irk me a bit, because I’ve enjoyed her work in the past; so, as Carter is the author of the month on the LibraryThing Virago Modern Classics group, I resolved to try again, and picked up “Fireworks” a slim volume of short works.

Sorry Virago, but I really *don’t* like that cover at all – I want a green version……

First published by Virago in 1988, the book collects works that span a number of years, some as early as 1974 (though it isn’t specified which is dated when). I had previously read, and been intrigued, by the opening story “A Souvenir of Japan”; and indeed several of the stories seem to be set there (and apparently draw heavily on the period Carter lived there in the early 1970s). There are nine stories here, all very disparate in subject but all very much in Carter’s style.

I speak as if he had no secrets from me. Well, then, you must realize that I was suffering from love and I knew him as intimately as I knew my own image in a mirror. In other words, I knew him only in relation to myself. Yet, on those terms, I knew him perfectly. At times, I thought I was inventing him as I went along, however, so you will have to take my word for it that we existed. But I do not want to paint our circumstantial portraits so that we both emerge with enough well-rounded, spuriously detailed actuality that you are forced to believe in us. I do not want to practise such sleight of hand. You must be content only with glimpses of our outlines, as if you had caught sight of our reflections in the looking-glass of someone else’s house as you passed by the window.

I don’t know if it was just that I was in the right mood this time, but I found myself seduced by Carter’s prose from the very start. The stories cover much ground – the complexities of personal relationships (“A Souvenir…”, “Flesh and the Mirror”); myth, legend and brutality in far countries (“The Executioner’s Beautiful Daughter”, “Master”); morality (or lack of it) in disintegrating landscapes (“Elegy for a Freelance”, “Master” again); being an outsider, the ‘other’ (“A Souvenir…” again, “The Smile of Winter”); plus strange and haunting works which draw on fairytale and fantasy (“Penetrating to the Heart of the Forest”, “Reflections”, “The Loves of Lady Purple”). These stories are disturbing and beautiful and I found myself lost in other worlds brilliantly created by Carter in astonishing prose.

These tree trunks bore an out-crop of plants, orchids, poisonous, iridescent blossoms and creepers the thickness of an arm with flowering mouths that stuck out viscous tongues to trap the flies that nourished them. Bright birds of unknown shapes infrequently darted past him and sometimes monkeys, chattering like the third form, leaped from branch to branch that did not move beneath them.

I mentioned brutality and yes, there is violence (emotional, physical and sexual); however, I didn’t have quite the problem with it that I did reading “Passion…” Maybe I recognised that it was necessary here for the stories Carter was telling; maybe the storytelling was so strong that I could see the point; or maybe her beautiful writing counterbalanced the darkness and provided a necessary harmony in her work. Certainly Angela Carter’s prose was just stunning in these tales; hypnotic and haunting, it convinced me that I hadn’t been wrong in my belief that I had loved her work previously – and still can and do. The stories are multi-faceted, multi-layered things of beauty and cruelty, and I think that a second reading would pull out many more references and resonances than I saw on my first read.

I had fallen through one of the holes life leaves in it; these peculiar holes are the entrances to the counters at which you pay the price of the way you live.

Picking favourites is always difficult (and maybe controversial!) when reading a collection of short works, but I have to mention in particular “Reflections”; this wonderful and dark fairy tale, drawing on mythology, had the most amazing imagery and the pictures it painted in my head will stay with me.

Carter in the early 1970s

So Angela and I are reconciled. Yes, there is violence and cruelty (and rape, I’m afraid) in these stories, but this time around I felt Carter was using these things for a purpose. The worlds she portrays are beautiful and brutal, filled with vivid landscapes, striking imagery and troubled people, smoke and mirrors, dreams and allegories. I am pleased to say that I will *definitely* be reading Carter again

#1947 Club – Visiting post-War Japan


The Setting Sun by Osamu Dazai
Translated by Donald Keene

One of the joys of this reading week has been the fact that so far it’s taken me to some very far flung places! “The Labours of Hercules” took Poirot all over the world; “The Plague” was set in French Algeria; “A Girl in Winter” looked at England before and during WW”; and now I’m off to post-War Japan with Osamu Dazai’s work, “The Setting Sun”.


Dazai (June 19, 1909 – June 13, 1948) was an enigmatic figure whose early suicide (after several attempts) turned him into a cult in Japan. “The Setting Sun” was one of his last works, and it’s set immediately after WW2 – which of course saw a crushing defeat for Japan. This loss is referred to throughout the book, and the story is one of decay – of the old way of Japanese life, of the old regime, of the old morality and specifically of the aristocracy. The book is narrated by Kazuko, daughter of noble family who have fallen on hard times. The father is dead, the brother Naoji missing, and Kazuko and her mother (always referred to as being ‘a lady’) scrape a living. The family home has been sold and they’ve moved to a small dwelling in the country. But despite constant sales of clothes and jewels, the family barely get by, and the situation is not improved by the return of the prodigal son. Naoji himself is in decline, being a recovering drug addict and pretty much an alcoholic.

But Kazuko is no blushing flower, and has her own history of a broken marriage and a stillborn child, as well as dalliances with artistic friends of her brothers. And as her mother and brother continue to decline, Kazuko is drawn to change and a need to live.

The older and wiser heads of the world have always described revolution and love to us as the two most foolish and loathsome human activities. Before the war, even during the war, we were convinced of it. Since the defeat, however, we no longer trust the older and wiser heads and have to come to feel that the opposite of what they say is the real truth about life. Revolution and love are in fact the best, most pleasurable things in the world, and we realise it is precisely because they are so good that the older and wiser heads have spitefully fobbed us off on their sour grapes of a lie. This I want to believe implicitly: Man was born for love and revolution.

Her answer to her emotional dilemma is to throw herself at Mr Uehara, author friend of her brother’s, and frankly not much of a catch from the description here. She wanders round Tokyo looking for him, shamelessly caring nothing of the fact that he has a wife, a child and numerous lovers. Her encounter with him will decide her future, but what a broken future that is…

“The Setting Sun” was an unusual, sometimes fragmentary book, but absolutely fascinating. It’s chock full of symbolism, which of course refers to the so called “Land of the Rising Sun” being in decline, and there is a recurring motif of snakes. These turn up regularly, usually as a portent of death and at one point Kazuko burns some snake eggs which she feels brings on a kind of curse. Fire is a theme too, with the eggs, and with Kazuko almost setting fire to the house and consequently the whole village.

Kazuko herself is a complex character; Dazai’s books are often described as semiautobiographical and I did find myself wondering if her behaviour was typical of women of that era. She drinks, runs around Tokyo in pursuit of men and often seems to have little regard of what people think about her. But the more I thought about it, the more I understood that she was also symbolic. It seems to me that Kazuko and Naoji represent the reality of the aristocracy; on the surface very powerful and revered but underneath actually corrupt and dissolute.


Dazai’s style is also of interest; he has a very distinctive way of structuring his chapters, with what is almost the climax of the action at the start which he then works his way towards during the rest of that chapter. It makes for stimulating, if unusual, reading. As for the subject matter, I imagine that a scholar of Japanese life and culture would sense even more symbols and references in the book than I did; nevertheless, I did enjoy “The Setting Sun” immensely. It’s a book I think I admire and like, rather than love, and I put that down to a certain detachment in the storytelling. Kazuko herself was a character I struggled with in places; it’s hard sometimes to sympathise with her melodramatic monologues and although I understand she’s meant to be a woman caught in a changing society, trapped between ancient and modern, I didn’t feel she was necessarily rounded enough.

Despite that caveat, the glimpse of post-War Japan presented here was fascinating, and I’ll be interested to read his other cult classic “No Longer Human”, which I have lurking on Mount TBR. The 1947 Club is certainly throwing up some intriguing books and stay tuned to find out which counry I’ll end up visiting for my last reads of the week!

A Japanese Trio


Back in the day (well, the 1990s/early 2000s – not quite so far back as my First Big Reads in the 1980s!) I went through what OH called my Japanese Period, when I was fairly obsessed with the country, its literature and its art. I read stacks of books by and about Mishima, drank plenty of tea and covered the walls with Japanese prints. It’s a hankering that still comes back to me periodically, and it was rekindled recently by my little post on Richard Brautigan’s birthday. He was a real lover of Japan and its culture (and its women!!) and I felt the need to dig out some Japanese titles I hadn’t read yet. In fact, rummaging among the shelves of Japanese books was an enjoyable and therapeutic exercise, and I ended up picking out and reading three different books: “The Narrow Road to the Deep North” by Basho; “Of Love and Barley – Haiku of Basho”; and “The Book of Tea” by Kakuzo Okakura. The haiku book is one I’ve had for a long time; the tea book was a Christmas gift; and I sent off for the “Narrow Road” because I just liked the sound of it!

The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches by Basho

narrow road

Matsuo Basho is widely regarded as the greatest master of haiku, and Wikipedia says of him “Matsuo Bashō (?1644 – 1694) was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. During his lifetime, Bashō was recognized for his works in the collaborative haikai no renga form; today, after centuries of commentary, he is recognized as the greatest master of haiku (then called hokku). Matsuo Bashō’s poetry is internationally renowned; and, in Japan, many of his poems are reproduced on monuments and traditional sites.”

However, as well as a poet he was also an inveterate wanderer, and this collection brings together several brief travel sketches. Translated by Nobuyuki Yuasa, who also provides a very informative introduction, the book contains five pieces; from Basho’s earliest travellings in “The Records of a Weather Exposed Skeleton”, to the title work where his art had reached its highest point. Each is a mixture of prose and haiku, with the most successful being when the transition between the two is seamless, evoking the journey and its emotional effect on the traveller.

Intriguingly, the translator renders the haiku in a four-line, stanza form, rather than the more usual three-line format. He explains that the rhythms of the stanza would seem more natural to the English-speaking reader and that his book is more for lovers of poetry than for scholarly study – which is a lovely idea, and certainly I’m not going to go all purist about it.

It was the middle of April when I wandered out to the beach of Suma. The sky was slightly overcast, and the moon on a short night of early summer had special beauty. The mountains were dark with foliage. When I thought it was about time to hear the first voice of the cuckoo, the light of the sun touched the eastern horizon, and as it increased, I began to see on the hills of Ueno ripe ears of wheat tinged with reddish brown and fishermen’s huts scattered here and there among the flowers of white poppy.

At sunrise I saw
Tanned faces of fisherman
Among the flowers
Of white poppy.

The prose is spare, yet evocative, putting the haiku into context and showing us how Basho would take a moment of existence and capture it beautifully in a few lines. A lovely, slim volume with some beautiful, memorable imagery.

Of Love and Barley – Haiku of Basho


I picked this book up ages ago, but after reading Basho’s travel writing I wanted to read more of his haiku, and this collection has them rendered in the more traditional three-line format. Translated by Lucien Stryk, the book also has an excellent introduction by him which did a lot to help me understand the purpose of haiku which in turn helped me read and enjoy this book so much more. As Stryk says:

So the poet presents an observation of a natural, often commonplace event, in plainest diction, without verbal trickery. The effect is one of spareness, yet the reader is aware of a microcosm related to transcendent unity. A moment crystallized, distilled, snatched from time’s flow, and that is enough. All suggestion and implication, the haiku event is held precious because, in part, it demands the reader’s participation: without a sensitive audience it would appear unimpressive.

Certainly, these short but lovely haiku *do* capture the fleeting moments of life and perhaps are also useful in slowing us down a little, making us more mindful of our surroundings, of the everyday simple things which make up our life. In these days of mass media, constant distractions from gadgets and social media, and all the pressures of modern living, we certainly need all the help we can get to remember what it is to be human!

Moonlit plum tree –
spring will come.

The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura

book of tea

The third of my Japanese books was a Christmas gift from Eldest Child, picked from my wishlist. I can’t actually recall where I stumbled across mention of it, but I like tea and I like Japan, so I guess those things were instrumental in my choice!

Okakura himself sounds a fascinating character; given a Western education when young, he didn’t actually start to learn anything about his traditional culture until he was 11. He travelled the world, lived in India and America, and was something of a cultural ambassador for Japan. The book was written in English, and although it purports to be a study of Japanese tea culture (or “Teaism” as he jokingly call it) it’s actually a lot more. Okakura uses the format of his book to sneak in a number of observations about the differences between East and West, as well as providing a study of Japanese culture as a whole – its religions, its aesthetics and its attitudes to life, love and war.

Those of us who know not the secret of properly regulating our own existence on this tumultuous sea of foolish troubles which we call life are constantly in a state of misery while vainly trying to appear happy and contented. We stagger in the attempt to keep our moral equilibrium, and see forerunners of the tempest in every cloud that floats on the horizon. Yet there is joy and beauty in the rolls of the billows as they sweep outward toward eternity. Why not enter into their spirit or, like Liehtse, ride upon the hurricane itself?

There’s some beautiful, thought-provoking writing in this deceptively slim volume, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone wanting to explore the Japanese soul.

Reading these three volumes in succession was a wonderful experience; if I can’t travel in real life, at least I can do so in books, and my recent visit to Japan was a joy! 🙂

The Japanese have a word for it…..


Whilst browsing on Tumblr recently, I came across a post which pointed me to a very apt word which I think certainly applies to my book-collecting habits…

‘tsundoku’ – is defined as “the Japanese word for buying books & not reading them, leaving them to pile up”

japanese booksWell, that’s definitely me – I could illustrate this post with lots of pictures of Mount TBR but I won’t – what I will be posting tomorrow is pictures of the recently tidied shelves as I have been having a bit of Book Guilt. But I’m not worried – I’m sure it won’t last long…. 🙂

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