Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata.
a short book that made me think.
it's about this woman Keiko. Keiko is 36, but still single, and has been working at a convenience store for the last 20 years.
this novella nudged me to think about the expectations we as a society place on one another as we get older.
a few more notes I had:
- Keiko is a sociopath. she has to copy the mannerisms and dress of her coworkers to fit in. but I do this too, it's just more automatic to me. subtly I adjusting my actions and appearance to fit situations.
- Keiko is obsessed with the convenience store. And oddly... this reminded me of what satisfying work looks like?
- Cravings She craves the convenience store the way I crave writing. She hears the "voice of the store" and gets cravings to fix parts of the store that could be improved. It's why I returned to blogging after some years - I'll have these article ideas and I have this itch to publish.
- Competence (through experience) She's excellent at convenience store work because she has 20 years of experience (duh). The more experience you have with a role, the more you competent you are. The more competent you are, the more enjoyable it is. It's not that much what the work is IMO. Cal Newport agrees.
Convenience Store Woman won the Akutagawa Prize in 2016.
i'd recommend this book to anyone who wants a quick read that's a bit unusual. i was able to finish it within one bout of insomnia 💪