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Overview

「Land of Books」 Nothing Is Written! (本の国」 ("Hon no Kuni") —Nothing Is Written!—) is the seventh chapter of the second volume of Kino's Journey —the Beautiful World—.

Synopsis

Kino is in a library. The most abundant recreation in this country is books, and libraries are everywhere. Seeing as it's the major attraction, Kino decides to borrow a few to read herself while Hermes sits by idly(and bored) in their hotel room. Kino spends her days in the country reading the books available, and on her walks to and from the libraries all the passerby she comes across can be heard discussing contents of books they've read, interpreting their contents and ranking them.

On the day before she departs, Kino meets a man who is staring intently at Hermes and asks whether Kino really uses the it to travel. She does and asks if he's interested in travelling.

The man explains his story that he is indeed interested, but more so in the notion of leaving the country rather than travelling itself. The man dreams of writing a book and having is published, but he isn't able to do so in this country. All the books within the country were brought by traders from the outside who visit on a regular basis to buy and sell books. Because of this books are always plentiful, and publishing and print companies don't exist. Even though its citizens adore reading, no one thinks of writing and the idea of someone writing a book it heavily criticized and laughed at by the citizens, therefore he would need to travel out of the country to realize his life's dream.

Kino asks whether the man knows how to ride a motorrad, which he doesn't. She then points out that he would have to be content being stuck in his homeland if he can't travel and they part ways while he thinks about his situation.

The next morning as Kino and Hermes leaves the country they meet the man walking along the road outside the country walls. They're surprised to see him, and he explains that after thinking things through he decided to run away. Though he lives a perfectly happy life in the country, the drive and urge to follow his dreams to be an author are too great and he decided to sacrifice his livelihood to pursue it. Even though he can't drive, he can travel by walking. His parents attempted to forcibly confine him at home, but he tricked them to escape and his friends whom he told he was leaving urged him to return, but not one of them wished him a safe journey.

Kino asks what he will be doing, and he says though he can't drive he can walk and ski. He plans to head south where snow should be falling soon and should be able to travel by skiing or on sled. Kino gives him a few pointers on maintaining his persuader, firearm safety and survival advice before they part ways. She wishes him a good trip.

Hermes asks Kino if she thinks he'll be alright and successful, but she says no. To have a dream is one thing, but to realize it is another though it'd be nice if one could just make their own dreams and wishes come true. Hermes then points out that the advice Kino gave the man was exactly what Master had told her many years ago.

Media Differences

  • The anime version of this chapter has the greatest amount of differences from its light novel base compared to other anime episodes. The anime version includes a plot about an illegal book-publishing resistance group and the existence of Critics who determine if books are "Safe" and "Not Safe." None of this exists in the light novel. The only part of the anime episode that is consistent with the light novel chapter is the existence of a person who wants to leave the country to write.
  • A Tale of a Tank —Life Goes On.— is featured in the anime episode as a book that Kino reads.