I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.
This series is, for the most part, pretty episodic, so I'll try to briefly mention which stories are covered in each volume. In this volume, Natsume learns about the Book of Friends and gains Nyanko-sensei as a bodyguard. Many years ago, Natsume's grandmother traveled from place to place, dominating yokai (spirits and supernatural beings) and forcing them to write their names in her Book of Friends. As the owner of the Book of Friends, Natsume could opt to control those yokai, but instead he decides to give as many names back as he can. In the second chapter, he helps a Dew God get his name back and sees that there can be good/bittersweet relationships between yokai and humans. In the third chapter, he learns that someone has been exorcising yokai in a particular area, and he discovers that one of his classmates can probably see yokai too. In the fourth chapter, Natsume helps a swallow yokai see the human who befriended her one last time before she fades away.
Even though I've seen the anime multiple times, and nothing in this volume was a surprise to me, it still made me cry. Natsume says he doesn't care for yokai and maybe sees giving them their names back as a way of cutting them out of his life. However, in reality, his efforts seem to increase his empathy for them. Natsume's a kind kid, and I think Nyanko-sensei senses that too.
The artwork is nice, but has a very wispy feel to it, different enough from the anime that it took me some time to get used to it.
(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)