> Skip to content

Article  •  18 August 2023


Contemplating a life change? You need to read this cosy Japanese fiction

Reviewers agree – if you’re feeling in a rut, it’s time to read What You Are Looking For is in the Library. Learn more and see what readers are saying about it.

Contemplating a life change? If so, it’s time you reach for the novel, What You Are Looking for is in the Library

If you’re wondering how fiction will help you through real-life challenges – well – that’s even more reason to give this book a try!

'What You Are Looking for is in the Library' book cover.

About What You Are Looking for is in the Library

What You Are Looking for is in the Library is a Japanese bestseller all about the life-changing power of books. Five stories converge on one common character, Sayuri Komachi. A librarian by trade, Sayuri has a special gift for providing book recommendations that fulfil customers’ deepest desires.

Already loved by thousands of readers around the world, the inspirational tale teaches us to listen to our hearts, seize opportunities and fulfil our long-held dreams.

Reasons to read it

  • You love Japanese fiction
  • You’re looking for a cosy read
  • You need inspiration to take a big step in your life
  • You’re a fan of magical realism
  • You love books (and books about books)
  • You want a quick but brilliant weekend read

What readers are saying

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Emma | Books (@neverawaste)

‘Reading this at this particular moment in my life felt like fate. Hopefully everyone reading it will have some sort of moment like that as it really added to my reading experience.’ – @neverawaste
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by S 📖 (@bookishmornings)

‘One thing I truly loved was the non-obvious and non-judgmental advice provided by the librarian. Her calming presence brought stability to the characters, enabling them to see their challenges from new perspectives. Moreover, her guidance brought some of them together in unexpected ways, creating heartwarming connections.’ – @bookishmornings
‘This is an incredibly sweet, charming, and wholesome novel about feeling lost, and finding your way with the help and support of others.’ – Willow Heath, Books & Bao
‘Awhhh this book. This book is exactly what I need in my current state of life . . . I'm glad this book got a translation because I think it’s the book for everyone who is going through hard times in their life, the questions we might ask at some point in our life when it comes to jobs, the uncertainty of the future, and this book provided possible situations and I believe we can relate to these characters.’ – Bella Azam on Goodreads
‘It really is a homage to books and reading, and the way another's words can sometimes change our lives. Highly recommended to book lovers in general and especially fans of Japanese modern fiction. I am giving it 5 stars.’ – Nicki J. Markus on Goodreads
‘I felt it came at the right time for me where I am considering changing things up in my own life and hearing about encouraging stories did feel of a comfort. This book feels warm and fuzzy, perfect for a day of self-reflecting whilst curled up with a cat on your lap and a cup of something sweet and warm.’ – Spacey Amy on Goodreads

Complete the scene

Ready to dive into a feel-good reading session?

Here are a few pointers to set the mood.

  • Set up a cosy reading space: Grab your favourite blanket, dim the lights, and maybe play some soft instrumental music in the background.
  • Prep some sustenance: Once you start reading, you won’t want to put this book down, so we suggest having some food and drinks at the ready. Brew a cup of tea, bake the ultimate chocolate chip cookies and you’ll be ready to go!
  • Gather some backup books: After you turn the last page, your heart will be yearning for a new read to replace What You Are Looking for is in the Library. To avoid the post-reading hangover, stock up on a few similar titles to move on to next. She and her CatNorwegian Wood and Anxious People are all great options.

Featured Titles

What You Are Looking for is in the Library
The irresistible hardback Times bestseller and bookshop favourite about the healing power of books and community; Time magazine Top 100 books of 2023; 'An undeniable page-turner' New York Times
Read more
She and her Cat
The Japanese and Times bestseller, now in gifty gold-foiled paperback with flaps, including irresistible inside illustrations
Read more
Norwegian Wood
Now a major motion picture.
Read more
Anxious People
An instant number 1 New York Times bestseller and touching new comedy from the author of multi-million copy bestseller A Man Called Ove
Read more

More features

See all
The best books to read with your book club in spring 2023

These are the Penguin Random House books that over 48,000 book clubs voted as the best group reads this October.

The best books to read with your book club in spring 2022

See the Penguin Random House books that over 800,000 book clubs voted as the best group reads during the month of September.

Meet the characters from Lessons in Chemistry

Learn about a few of the major characters from Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus.

The 10 bestselling fiction books of 2023

Check out our top-selling fiction books this year.

Some of the most anticipated books of 2024

From authors including Rachael Johns, Amor Towles, Leigh Bardugo and so many others!

A useful guide to Anne Enright

A guide to author Anne Enright and her books.

Didn't get to Europe this year? These 3 books will transport you there

Revisit three Amanda Hampson books to experience European summer from the comfort of your living room.

QUIZ: Which Clive Cussler character are you?

Ever wondered which Clive Cussler character you’re most like? Take this quiz to figure out which adventurous protagonist you share similarities with.

QUIZ: Which One Of Us Is Lying Character are you?

Are you most like Bronwyn, Addy, Nate or Cooper?

QUIZ: Which Matilda character am I?

Find out which character you’re most like from Matilda by Roald Dahl.

Podcast: The story behind Fiona McIntosh's newest book

Listen to the Unscripted podcast episode where this author tells-all about her upcoming release.

How one author separates himself from his legal background

Find out how author Richard McHugh wrote his new book The Cutting while working full-time as a barrister.

Looking for more articles?

See all articles