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28 Dec 2015 09:55
One stop shop: Morioka Shoten bookshop in Tokyo. (Photo: PR)
With hundreds of thousands of books published every year, the choice of what to stock can prove bewildering for booksellers. The owner of
one small bookshop in Tokyo has taken an unusual approach to the problem:
Morioka Shoten, located in the luxury shopping district of Ginza, offers just
one title to its customers.
Owned by experienced bookseller Yoshiyuki Morioka, the store
opened in May 2015, stocking multiple copies of just one title, which changes
Books to have featured in the shop include Finnish author Tove
Jansson’s novel The True Deceiver, in which a young woman fakes a burglary of
an elderly artist’s house to persuade her she cannot live alone, and Hans
Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales.
“Before opening this bookstore in Ginza, I had been running
another one in Kayabacho for 10 years.
“This bookstore that sells only one book could also be
described as ‘a bookstore that organises an exhibition derived from a single
book’. For instance, when selling a book on flowers, in the store could be
exhibited a flower that actually appears in the book. Also, I ask the authors
and editors to be at the bookstore for as much time as possible. This is an
attempt to make the two-dimensional book into three-dimensional ambience and
experience. I believe that the customers, or readers, should feel as though
they are entering ‘inside a book’.”
Other titles to have featured in Morioka Shoten include
Tsukiyo To Megane (Moon Night and Glasses) by Mimei Ogawa, Karachi No Moto
(Source of Form) by Akito Akagi, Koichi Uchida and Takejiro Hasegawa, and Karl
Blossfeldt: Working Collages, a collection of the artist’s photographs of
plants. The first title to be sold next year will be Maseru Tatsuki’s photo anthology
“The concept of this bookstore seems to have gained the
sympathy of a lot of people, and I receive a number of guests from all over the
globe,” said Morioka, who has sold 2100 books so far.
The bookseller added that while “the current book
market seems to be taking second billing to ebooks and other media such as
social networking services”, he believes that “a book is a physical
object with special attraction that has been, is and will always be the same,
and that many will continue to utilise physical books, especially as a
communication tool”. – (c) Guardian News & Media Ltd, 2015
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