Here’s a literary antidote to pre-Christmas consumer frenzy. This Japanese bookstore, Morioka Shoten Ginza in Tokyo’s chic Ginza district, stocks only one title at a time, in a single room. Takram Design Engineering, the firm engaged as branding director for the store, describes it as “a place where a blissed conversation between readers and authors emerges through slow reading – just like a Japanese traditional tea room.”
As Takram explains, the store sells “only one book; more precisely, multiple copies of one title that changes weekly, with a small book-inspired art exhibition on the walls.” Morioka Shoten had already built a strong following at its original venue in Tokyo’s Kayabacho, so the new venture had some impetus behind it. Since its launch in May this year, however, Morioka Shoten Ginza has become an attraction all of its own. The title on display changes every week, with artwork exhibits to supplement the books.
Interviewed in The Guardian, bookseller Yoshiyuki Morioka does contrast the store’s concept to ebooks, stating that “the current book market seems to be taking second billing to ebooks and other media,” while “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.”
That said, it seems to me that the one-title-a-time concept could allow for digital displays as well, supplementing print copies with the various digital editions available. But overall, it’s great to see a venue that gives individual books the attention they truly deserve.