I’m going to start reviewing books, mostly because doing so will require me to start reading books again. Before this week, I hadn’t read a book in at least a year. I read a lot, but not books. I spend much of my time reading articles online from a wide variety of sources. And I periodically listen to audio books. But there’s some small niche of media that only really works in a book. Articles can’t possibly develop ideas in the same depth, and audio books always leave less room for imagination with the reader’s tone heavily influencing interpretation.

So I’m going to start reading books again, and the first book was Kino No Tabi. This book was lent to me by my librarian friend Libby, who read it before me. It was a good transition from my previous all-article reading diet to a new book-inclusive meal plan because it’s both relatively short and broken up into small chapters that could easily be read as independent stories.

Kino No Tabi was originally Japanese, but I read the English translation. I took Japanese back in university, so I can tell you that the title means "Kino of Tabi." Kino is the name of the main character, and I’m not sure what "Tabi" means. It might be some conjugation of the word "eat." I’m not sure.

Anyway, the story is basically that Kino rides a motorcycle from city to city and has different adventures in each city. Also, the motorcycle talks. That’s the kind of thing that would be incredibly distracting in a movie or audio book, but doesn’t seem very strange in the book. Without going into too much detail the adventures in each city are the kind of simple stories that reflect some larger idea about life in general.

Basically, Kino No Tabi is The Little Prince, only not as long, nor as good. I was interested enough to read to the end, but I don’t expect to read the next in the series. Oh yeah, there’s a series, called The Beautiful World. I don’t know if the second book has been translated to English yet or not.

Since I last read a book over a year ago, I learned that I don’t need to finish everything I start reading. That’s common sense, of course, but I never really learned it until I had too many articles in my aggregator and too many other things I wanted to do. I finally started reading things until I was no longer interested and then closing them, without the feeling I once had that I was missing out on something important by not finishing what I’d started.

So now I’m ready to apply that lesson to books. And while I won’t given an especially positive review of Kino No Tabi, it should say something that I finished it. It was good enough to finish but not good enough to continue the series. Let’s call that five out of ten stars, as a reference point for my future book reviews. Next up: The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which I won in the first annual Weaver family Christmas-in-November book exchange bingo tournament. Everyone won a book — more peer pressure to read books.