Volume 1: Miss Shioriko and the Peculiar Guests (originally translated by TehPing at hellping.org, this chapter edited by ND)
Whenever I get off at an unfamiliar stop, I will often look for an antiquarian bookshop if time permits.
Once I find a signboard at the end of a shopping street or a crossing, I will randomly enter one, and then look up at the bookshelves that reach the ceiling.
I like the atmosphere they give off, something newly published books lack. It feels like there is a thin membrane applied on them after they are passed down people’s hands—of course, I do really like the hard, thin texture of newly printed pages.
There are vastly different ways to treat books; amongst those who keep their books in neat condition, some have the habit of using bookmarks, and some have the habit of removing the dust jackets. When reading through old books, my interests are not simply the contents of the books themselves, but also what kind of persons the previous owners were.
I did not know when it started, but at some point I thought of writing a story involving old books. I set Kita-Kamakura as the stage, as this peaceful place is similar to an ideal setting I wanted to write about, long ago.
On a side note, as of this writing there is no antiquarian bookshop around the Kita-Kamakura station (as far as I know). Thus, there was no clear model behind the shop the protagonists work at besides the one in my own head. I wrote this story thinking that if this kind of shop had been available during my high school years, I would definitely be a regular customer here.
However, the old books appearing in this work are real. These are all books I love, books I have memories of. I hope to write a story that can end up becoming like these books.
To all people involved in the making of this book, and to all who read all the way through the afterword, I humbly thank you.
- Sōseki Natsume (1909), Sōseki’s Complete Collection Volume 8, And Then, Tokyo, Iwanami Shoten
- Shinya Yaguchi (1929), “Sōseki’s Complete Collection of Stories, Tokyo: Seieisha
- Uchida Hyakken(1949), “Teacher Sōseki’s Random Notes”, Tokyo: Kawade Paperback
- Morita Sōhei (1967), Sōseki Natsume, Tokyo: Chikuma Shobō
- Kiyoshi Koyama (1955) Monument Gleaning + Saint Andersen, Japan: Shincho Paperback
- Kiyoshi Koyama (1969), Japan, Kiyoshi Koyama Complete Collection, Tokyo: Chikuma Shobō
- Jirō Konwa and Kenkichi Yoshida (1930), Modernology, Tokyo: Shunyodō Publishing
- Peter Dickinson (1975), Walking Dead. Translated and published in Tokyo: Sanrio SF Paperback, 1981, code 26-C
- S.N. Vinogradov and A.F. Kuzmin (1955), Introduction to Logic. Translated by Hisao Nishimura and Yoshio Nomura (1973), Tokyo: Aoki Paperback
- Osamu Dazai (1936), The Late Years, Tokyo: Sunagoya Bookstore
- Osamu Dazai (1989), Osamu Dazai’s Complete Collection, First Edition, Tokyo: Chikuma Shobō
- Toshiyuki Kajiyama (1974), The Many Exploits of the Book Watchman Baron, Tokyo: Tōgen CompanyTa
- tsurō Dekune (2007), The Price of an Author, Tokyo: Kodansha