Chapter 5 of New Voices in the Dark: Splatter Film.


Koko Shinozaki lives in a mansion filled with books. Owned by her husband, Goro, the collection is a family heirloom, handed down to Goro by his father. He maintains and files the collection diligently, knows every book and its place in the library, and gets angry when Koko takes a book without asking. He also keeps a diary in which he records the events of every day in meticulous detail.

Goro is paranoid that something will happen to the library. He has nightmares about the books, and obsessively checks the library day and night to make sure nothing is out of place. When the favorite books of his parents disappear from the shelves, Goro collapses from stress.

After reading Goro's diaries, Koko discovers that her husband was very close to his mother, who would read him her favorite book, a love story called Wintertime for Rene. One day, she left the family to be with another man; Goro's father took it out on him by reading horror stories to him. Goro's father became obsessed with the idea of something happening to the library, eventually going insane as he tried to memorize every single book.

Later, Goro tells Koko that Wintertime for Rene has returned to them. He claims to have been visited by a beautiful woman who was able to recite the story to him; he believes that she is the personification of the book. However, he is subsequently visited by a monstrous apparition that is the personification of his father's favorite book: Hellskin, the most terrifying horror story ever written. Koko doesn't believe it's real until she sees the ghost appear for herself. The ghost's story causes her to faint from terror, but when she wakes, it has disappeared. Goro defeated it by memorizing the story and reciting it back to the ghost, causing it to fade away.

Goro never sees the ghosts of Wintertime for Rene or Hellskin again. He believes this is because he memorized the stories; since he knows them by heart, there was no more reason for them to exist. Deciding that every book in the library must become a part of him, he devotes himself to learning the entire collection of over 150,000 books by heart - even encyclopedias. His obsessive quest costs him his sanity.

In an attempt to destroy the "cursed" library, Koko burns down the house. Despite her efforts, Goro refuses to leave the library and dies in the blaze. She tells the authorities that there is no point in calling Goro's surviving family - his father lives in a psychiatric hospital, and is still reciting the contents of every book he has committed to memory.