Book Review: Kino No Tabi

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.

good point about the niche books occupy. they can also be slipped in your purse or taken into bed with you, a step i personally haven't taken with online materials.

though i haven't read past the second story, i'm looking forward to reading more of kino no tabi.
I'm glad you're going to be review books more often. I have to admit that the frequency with which I read books has gone down lately and the frequency with which I read articles has gone up. Now that I have access to lots of databases here at GVC, I've been getting electronic versions of articles from some of my favorite scholarly sources and the good weekly liberal mags.

But I still read books too! I really need to get a good one to settle down with right now.
You'll have to tell me what you think about The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
What book did you give in the book exchange?
I was going to give Assassination Vacation, but we ended up leaving that in Bloomington, so I gave Jon Stewart's America, Teacher's Edition, which turned out well because my sister-in-law gave Assassination Vacation.
Hi, just a random passerby...

"tabe" I believe, is the word for eat.
"tabi" is a journey or trip, and the translation for Kino no Tabi for the animated series is Kino's Journey, so.... yeah.

I'm not Japanese, just a guy who watches too much anime, I guess. haha Anyway, I really enjoyed watching Kino no Tabi. I don't read very much... books in high school and elementary school never interested me. Well, Angels and Demons is an exception, but that's besides the point. I want to read the Kino no Tabi light novels, which are quite common in Japan. There are a few other light novel series I'd like to read, but that would require learning Japanese at this point. The only thing that irks me is that the translated versions are taking a while to be released here... I think there's only 2 books out here, and in Japan Shigusawa is approaching book 10.

Welp, that's all I got to say.
"Kino no Tabi" is usually translated into "Kino's Travels" or "Kino's Journey."

The translation for the book isn't very good, actually. I was a bit disappointed. But the books were adapted into a television series by avant-garde anime director Ryutaro Nakamura. You should check it out, if you have free time. It's one of my favorites.
Kino no Tabi is a really great series
both the light novels and the anime have things you can learn from^^
It's a wonderful philosophical anime that is a rare treat to see. I reccomend reading the original (Japanese) novels and watching the series and it's 2 movies.hahaha but that might be for "crazy" anime fans like me
I'm glad you took the time to pick up the book^^ More power to readers!

"Sekai wa utsukushiku nanka nai, soshite sore yueni utsukushii" ~Kino
("The world is not beautiful, therefore it is")
Classification of fantasy and reality is itself a fantasy that humans created.
Life... It begins when you first make a distinction between yourself and others.
From that moment on, the world becomes a stage for the story in which you are the main character.
All people live in a fantasy in which they are the main character.
But the world doesn't recognize you as the main character at all.

Well, I know this post is several years old, but...

As a speaker of Japanese and a fan of Kino no Tabi, the english translation does not do the novels justice. Not necessarily a fault of the translator, just of the differences between Japanese and English. As much as I love the series, I almost think it should have never been translated (or at least not as-is). Some things just cannot be translated, like the ambiguity of Kino's gender in the beginning of the series. English just isn't as versatile, we're forced to have a he/she/it attached to our sentences. So perhaps this is just a disclaimer, literary Japanese does not always compute into english.

Be number 10:

knows half of 8 is