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What You Are Looking For Is In The Library

What You Are Looking For Is In The Library

By Michiko Aoyamahardcover8 August 2023
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Booklovers earn $1.60 in rewards
At once heart-rending and heartwarming, this bestselling shortlistee of the Japan Booksellers' Prize is a celebraton of community libraries and the life-changing power of book recommendation.


'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


What are you looking for?

So asks Tokyo's most enigmatic librarian, Sayuri Komachi. She is no ordinary librarian. Naturally, she has read every book on her shelf, but she also has the unique ability to read the souls of anyone who walks through her door. Sensing exactly what they're looking for in life, she provides just the book recommendation they never knew they needed to help them find it.

Every borrower in her library is at a different crossroads, from the restless retail assistant - can she ever get out of a dead-end job? - to the juggling new mother who dreams of becoming a magazine editor, and the meticulous accountant who yearns to own an antique store. The surprise book Komachi lends to each will change their lives for ever.

Which book will you recommend?


  • Title: What You Are Looking For Is In The Library
  • Author: Michiko Aoyama
  • Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • ISBN: 9780857529121
  • Length: 204.0 millimetre
  • Width: 130.0 millimetre


15/11/2023 7:56:15 PM - Marianne
Utterly delightful!
What You Are Looking For Is In The Library is a novel by best-selling Japanese author, Michiko Aoyama. It is translated from Japanese by Alison Watts. Each of the five chapters focuses on a resident of Tokyo who has some dissatisfaction with their life. Through various means, they find themselves at the Hatori Community House, visiting its library. Nozomi Morinaga, the young trainee librarian points them in the direction of the librarian. Despite her forbidding demeanour, when Sayuri Komachi asks “What are you looking for?” they feel like gently enfolding words. She is a large lady who, between making recommendations for books, often sits behind her counter pulling wool and needle from her Kuremiyado Honeydome soft cookie box to indulge in the calming pastime of felting, creating mascots she gives away with those enigmatic recommendations: “This one’s for you. Please take it. It’s a bonus gift with the book.” At twenty-one, Tomoka Fujiki is unhappy with her achievements and lack of ambition: advancement in the women’s wear section of the Eden department store doesn’t exactly appeal. Kiriyama, her colleague in the ZAZ eyewear department, whom she later learns gave up an enviable career with a publisher, suggests updating her IT skills at the Hatori CH. Among several IT manuals, Sayuri’s puzzling pick for Tomoka is a popular classic children’s book, “Guri and Gura”, from which everyone she meets draws a different message. A change in perspective means that Tomoka comes to see her older, experienced part-time colleague in a different light, while Kiriyama’s attitude, “‘In a world where you don’t know what will happen next, I just do what I can right now” has merit. An accountant for Kishimoto, a furniture business, thirty-five-year-old Ryo Urase wonders if he will ever realise his dream of owning an antique store. It was his happy place as a teen, but while his younger girlfriend runs a successful online business selling sea glass jewellery, Ryo can’t see himself saving enough to start up, let alone succeed. Among business start-up guides, Sayuri also suggests for Ryo “How Do Worms Work” which, in a roundabout way, leads him to considering the possibility of parallel careers, with unexpected support from his girlfriend. After thirteen successful years with magazine publisher Banyusha as editor for their young women’s magazine, Mila, thirty-eight-year-old Natsumi Sakitani is disappointed to be relegated to Information Resources when she returns from maternity leave. Her birthing of a serial novel by the famous Mizue Kanata, later published as a book, apparently counts for little. At forty, she feels she is finding little satisfaction with either motherhood or her career. Sayuri tells her: “Life is one revelation after another. Things don’t always go to plan, no matter what your circumstances. But the flip side is all the unexpected, wonderful things that you could never have imagined happening. Ultimately it’s all for the best that many things don’t turn out the way we hoped” and recommends a novel “Door To The Moon”. Eventually, Natsumi realises she has been seeing herself as a victim. A suggestion from Kiriyama, a former colleague, finds her in a very satisfactory new career. Although Hiroya Suda went to design school with the intention of realising his dream to be a famous graphic artist, at thirty, he is still unemployed and living at home with his mother. When he finds himself in the library at Hatori CH during a shopping chore, the attractive young assistant librarian points him to Sayuri as the source of a cute Manga mascot. The frustrated artist draws inspiration from her recommendation, “Evolution- a visual record”, and begins drawing again. Regular visits to the library result in paid work and exposure of his talent. Masao Gonno has retired after forty-two years with Kuremiyado, and “now that I no longer work for a company I am no longer acknowledged by society at large.” He realises he was mistaken in thinking that he had a wide personal network when it was all business associates, and he has a worrying lack of hobbies. The man who gives him a Go lesson warns him about getting underfoot with his wife, Yoriko, who teaches IT at Hatori CH. Sayuri recommends a book of poetry, “Genge and Frogs” that surprisingly helps him reconnect with his somewhat estranged daughter, and he begins to see the remainder of his life from a different perspective. What initially seem like separate vignettes begin to connect when characters start appearing in each other’s stories, which allows further resolution and provides some back story. Aoyama gives her characters wise words and insightful observations, and her love of, and respect for, books and libraries is apparent at every turn, as “People working in the book industry are not the only ones who make the publishing world go round; most of all it depends on the readers. Books belong to everybody: the creators, the sellers and the readers. That’s what society is all about” and “Readers make their own personal connections to words, irrespective of the writer’s intentions, and each reader gains something unique” illustrate. Utterly delightful! This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Random House UK Transworld.


Christmas Order Cut-off Dates

Due to increased demand during the Christmas period, there may be some delays in shipment and delivery due to high traffic. The table below is a guide to our Christmas order cut-off dates, however please check your “ESTIMATED DELIVERY DATE” on all items ordered prior to checkout to ensure you receive your order by 24th December.

Christmas shipping cutoff dates

Delivery options: Shipping to an Australian address

Service Price per order
Australia wide
Delivery time1
After dispatch
Saver Delivery (Tracked)
via Australia post

Items in order will be sent as soon as they arrive in the warehouse. Order may come in multiple shipments, however you will only be charged a flat fee.
$9.99 2-10 days after all items have arrived in the warehouse
 Express Delivery2  (Tracked)
via StarTrack Express3

Items in order will be sent via Express post as soon as they arrive in the warehouse. Order may come in multiple shipments, however you will only be charged a flat fee.
$14.99 1-2 days after each item has arrived in the warehouse

1 The expected delivery period after the order has been dispatched via your chosen delivery method.
2 Express is not available on all items.
3 Please note this service does not override the status timeframe "Dispatches in", and that the "Usually Dispatches In" timeframe still applies to all orders.

NB All our estimates are based on business days and assume that shipping and delivery don't occur on holidays and weekends.


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Once we receive your order we verify it, complete invoicing and prepare your item(s) before we dispatch them from our Sydney warehouse.

You will notice that each product page on the Web site includes an estimated delivery date range for Saver Delivery, as well as for Express Delivery if it is available for that product.

This Estimated Delivery date range is a combination of:

  • the time to dispatch your order from our warehouse, and
  • the time taken to ship your order to you.

In addition to the estimated delivery date range, on the product page you will find how long an item will take to be dispatched.

  Dispatch time
The time it takes to verify the order, complete invoicing, prepare your item(s) and dispatch.  
The dispatch time will depend on the status of your item(s) at our warehouse.  
Immediate download

Immediate download

Digital downloads only

Dispatches next business day

Usually dispatches next business day+

In stock at our warehouse.

Dispatches in 4-5 business days

Usually dispatches in 4-5 business days+

Order placed with supplier, estimated arrival time to warehouse is 4-5 business days. 

Dispatches in 5-14 business days

Usually dispatches in 5-14 business days+

Order placed with supplier, estimated arrival time to warehouse is 5-14 business days.

+ All our estimates are based on business days and assume that shipping and delivery don't occur on holidays and weekends.


When will my order arrive?

The Estimate Delivery Date is when your order is expected to arrive at your chosen delivery location.

Once you have submitted your order you will receive confirmation and status update emails.

  • If you order multiple items and they are not all in stock, we will advise you of their anticipated arrival times.
  • For items not readily available, we'll provide ongoing estimated ship and delivery time frames.
  • Once your order has been dispatched from our Sydney warehouse you will receive an Order Shipped status email. This will contain your tracking information

All our estimates are based on business days and assume that shipping and delivery don't occur on holidays and weekends.


Tracking delivery

Saver Delivery: Australia post

Australia Post deliveries can be tracked on route with eParcel. You can track your delivery by going to AusPost tracking and entering your tracking number - your Order Shipped email will contain this information for each parcel.

  • Delivery with Standard Australia Post usually happens within 2-10 business days from time of dispatch. Please be aware that the delivery time frame may vary according to the area of delivery and due to various reasons, the delivery may take longer than the original estimated timeframe.
  • If you have not received your delivery following the estimated timeframe, we advise you to contact your local post office first, as the parcel may be there awaiting your collection.
  • If you have not received any information after contact with Australia Post, please contact us to confirm that the details for delivery logged with us are correct. We will then contact you with the appropriate action.

Express Delivery via StarTrack Express

You can track your delivery by going to StartTrack tracking using your consignment number. The consignment number is emailed to you along with the invoice at the time of shipment.

  • Please be aware that the delivery time frame may vary according to the area of delivery - the approximate delivery time is usually between 1-2 business days.
  • For enquiries regarding the delivery of your order, contact Star Track Customer Service on 13 23 45 - and quote the above consignment number.
  • If you have not received any information after contact with Star Track, please contact us to confirm that the address for delivery logged with us are correct. We will then contact you with the appropriate action.

International delivery

To track orders sent by DHL, go to DHL tracking


International orders

Deliveries to destinations outside Australia are made by DHL courier, and cannot be made to post office boxes. Charges for international delivery destinations are available below. For international deliveries we will hold your order until we can send you all your items at once.

Parcel Weight New Zealand Hong Kong US & Canada United Kingdom
Up to 1kg $30 $35 $40 $45
1.5kgs $35 $45 $50 $60
2kgs $40 $50 $60 $70
2.5kgs $45 $60 $70 $80
3kgs $50 $65 $75 $90
3.5kgs $55 $75 $85 $100
4kgs $60 $80 $95 $105
4.5kgs $65 $85 $100 $115
5kgs $70 $95 $110 $125


If your order weighs more than 1.0kg (2.2lb, roughly equivalent to 1 or 2 paperbacks), we'll let you know what your delivery charge will be, and seek your approval before sending your order.

Please note that some countries may charge the recipient duties on the 'import' of parcels from time-to-time. As these charges are the responsibility of the recipient, please check the customs service in your destination country to see if charges are applicable.

To track orders sent by DHL, go to DHL tracking


Delivery restrictions

Remote areas: Please note that there may be a surcharge if shipping international orders to a remote area. You can check if the delivery address is in a remote area at DHL Remote Area Services.

Reshipping: If your order is returned to us by the delivery company due to incorrect or insufficient delivery details, you will be charged the cost of reshipping the order. Please note that if the delivery address is incorrect and the order has been shipped, depending on the delivery option selected we may not be able to change the delivery address until the order has been returned.


Problems with your delivery

In the event that the courier company fails to deliver your order due to invalid address information, they will return the order back to Dymocks Online.

Dymocks Online will do their best to ensure the information you have input is accurate. We cannot guarantee that your order will arrive at its destination if you have not provided correct address details and as much information as possible to assist the couriers when delivering e.g. company name, level, suite etc.

If your order has not yet been shipped you will need to send Dymocks Online an email advising the error and requesting a change in details. If your order has a status of "packed" or "shipped" we will not be able to guarantee any change in shipping details.

Unfortunately, you will be liable for any costs incurred in return to sender parcels if the information you provided was inaccurate.