Feb 1, 2019
BEPPU – On January 10, past and present members of the Yomiuri Shimbun reading club held a panel discussion at the APU library. In addition to APU President Haruaki Deguchi, panelists included writer Ren Inzaumi, Tokyo University of Agriculture professor Fumitaka Shibata, Meiji University professor Katsuyuki Shimizu, Kyoto University professor Sochi Naraoka, National Museum of Japanese History professor Takehiko Matsugi, and writer Miyuki Miyabe. They each introduced two books that fit the themes “great books for the younger generation” and “my favorite genre/specialty.” About 50 participants came from on and off campus for the event.
The event was moderated by Professor Shibata who first explained how reading club members usually choose books to recommend and then began the book introductions. Based on the theme “great books for the younger generation,” panelists introduced books in various genres not limited to their specialty. Panelists shared with participants how they felt the first time reading the book, or what occasions make them feel like re-reading it. In the second half, panelists introduced books within in their favorite genre or specialization. In the question and answer session, an audience member asked Professor Naraoka, “What are your criteria for choosing a good book?” He advised, “for sociology books, I choose ones with citations that are listed properly according to the rules.” Ms. Miyabe said, “for novels, I find that books about main characters with names you can’t remember are often not very interesting.”
The event finished off with a rock, paper, scissors tournament for the books recommended by Ms. Miyabe and Professor Shibata, keeping the excitement level high until the very end. When President Deguchi asked the crowd, “Did you find that interesting? Do you like books more now?” participants applauded loudly.
In the rock, scissors, paper tournament, third-year College of International Management student Mr. Yamamoto won Ms. Miyabe’s recommended book. He commented, “I came here because I was invited by a friend, but I received book recommendations by book authors and feel more familiar with books now. I hope to read books in all sorts of genres from now on.”