Tokyo bookstore renews writer's passion for print

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Looking for my print copy of The Flamingo’s Smile recently I was struck by the practicality of having things online–instead of spending two hours moving books around I finally found the piece I was looking for with two minutes of searching a library website. But as Downey says it’s the tangibility. It’s the visual reminder. I might forget some books if I didn’t walk by them at least a dozen times a day.

I guess we need reminders like this, though, that it doesn’t have to be an either-or world. Both print and e-books have their advantages that make it worthwhile to keep both.

Tsutaya is mostly a nationwide entertainment rental chain. Outside of Tokyo they are often the only game in town if you want to rent a movie, CD or comic book and they usually stay open till at least midnight meaning in many towns they are the only source of anything to do besides drinking or mate karaoke after 10PM.

I haven’t been to the Daikanyama store mentioned in the article but its hardly their first large scale bookstore/cafe/etc. If memory serves that would be the one at the far edge of Roppongi Hills by TV Asahi’s building towards the Azabu Juban district. They’ve also had two smaller but similar in terms of display and “curation” in the Tokyo Midtown office/shopping complex for years now.

I find it funny that survival manuals and “what to do when the world ends” type books are available on Kindle. I just purchased “The Knowledge” by Lewis Dartnell, using my Kindle, but I was seconds away from buying the Kindle version before I understood the supreme stupidity of it. It’s not that I think the world will end, but sometimes the medium is part of the message, and you just have to respect that.

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