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  • Published: 23 July 2024
  • ISBN: 9781804994139
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $22.99

What You Are Looking for is in the Library

The uplifting Japanese fiction bestseller

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


For fans of The Midnight Library and Before the Coffee Gets Cold, this soul-stirring Japanese novel shows how the perfect book recommendation can help us fulfil our dreams.

Sayuri Komachi is no ordinary librarian. Sensing exactly what someone is searching for in life, she provides just the book recommendation to help them find it.

In this uplifting book, we meet five of Sayuri's customers, each at a different crossroads:

- the restless retail assistant eager to pick up new skills
- the mother faced with a demotion at work after maternity leave
- the conscientious accountant who yearns to open an antique store
- the gifted young manga artist in search of motivation
- the recently retired salaryman on a quest for newfound purpose

Can she help them find what they are looking for?

What You Are Looking For is in the Library is about the magic of community libraries and the discovery of connection. Already loved by thousands of readers all over the world, this inspirational tale shows how, by listening to our hearts, seizing opportunity and reaching out, we too can fulfil our long-held dreams.

Which book will you recommend?


'I definitely want to visit this library. I feel kinder after this book' 5***** Reader review
'It made me laugh and cry. It made me feel comforted and warm inside' 5***** Reader review
'Wonderful. It made me look for connection in my life' 5***** Reader review

  • Published: 23 July 2024
  • ISBN: 9781804994139
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Michiko Aoyama

Michiko Aoyama was born in 1970 in Aichi Prefecture, Honshu, Japan. After university, she became a reporter for a Japanese newspaper based in Sydney before moving back to Japan to work as a magazine editor in Tokyo. What You are Looking for is in the Library was shortlisted for the Japan Booksellers' Award and became a Japanese bestseller. It is being translated into more than fifteen languages. She lives in Yokohama, Japan.

Praise for What You Are Looking for is in the Library

I ADORED this uplifting, hopeful novel ... A joy from start to finish, this book makes you feel anything is possible

Wendy Holden, Daily Mail

There's a wistful, warm-hearted appeal to Aoyama's paean to the power of books ... [it's] a quirky slice of feel-good fiction that you could recommend to anyone

Mail on Sunday

An endearing novel and a tribute to the transformative power of books and libraries

Irish Times


Sunday Post

The novel is an undeniable page-turner, its mechanism energized by a simple question, posed again and again by the uncanny librarian, Mrs. Komachi. The question brings Michiko Aoyama’s characters often to the brink of tears; and not only her characters, but this reader, too. It is the great question of the library, and of the bookstore, and maybe of life: What are you looking for?

New York Times

If what you are searching for is a believable take on contemporary life in Tokyo, seasoned with a dash of whimsy, you’ll find your perfect match in this heartwarming novel

Japan Times

There’s a special kind of magic in recommending books to other people and Michiko Aoyama captures that perfectly here. Full of charm; a genuine comfort read


It's been a rotten year, so spark joy with this!


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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.