For several years, I've sometimes heard that `there's no spirit in bookstores compared with what they were' or what is worse, 'it's not interesting'. In fact there's some interesting books at bookstores. It's not too much to say that there's more genres of books than ever. Then why have I heard such rumors?
The new bookstore called 'PROGETTO' which opened on the 27th of this August is trying to face this question head-on. What do you call a new bookstore which doesn;t exist in the current publishing business? We interviewed a person from Project K.Y. who runs 'PROGETTO'.
What are the things about the new shop which is different from what existing publishing business can do?
One thing is to cooperate with various creators in a free form, another is the distribution, especially the way to act as an agent. I think Gasbook is a model. We were in a situation that it's very hard to distribute things of strange form or non-print media. I wanted to organize items with their contents not their forms, but there's lots of limits to do such things at an existing bookstore. There's lots of problems of distribution and organization. In this bookstore, we want not only to sell books but to also hold exhibitions and events. We want to support overall creations. We're thinking to sell products in a good way, in a closer cooperative system of creator and distributor. Creators are making products with some message, so we don't want to act against their wills, we just want to tell their message to customers. In other words, we want to show creators the fact that 'there's another message in this product'. Anyone in the actual scene of sales hasn't done this although they can. We want to do that.
Are you thinking to publish or release something from PROGETTO being collaborated with creators?
We're thinking to make our original goods or original publications in the future, but we're working with only two members and the thing we have to do right now is to lay the groundwork systematically. It's really the future plans. We're thinking to start with the cooperation system for events such as an exhibition or talk show. Also, we'll basically sell products which are published privately on commission for two months. Whether we would sell the products continuously after the period depends on their sales and our own judgment. We want to provide a place for young creators with such an approach.
Is there any judgment if they're sold at the shop not unconditionally?
At this stage we basically welcome everything if they're not against the law and suited to our shop's direction.
Are you thinking to develop using the Internet?
We wanted to start our own homepage before the shop opened, but it was pretty hard to do that because of the problems of equipment and products. We're thinking to start it after things are all set.
'PROGETTO' is a bookstore for creators specializing in visual books, mainly design/photograph/architecture/art. They also deal in digital content such as DVD and CD-ROM, prints by artists and posters, and aim to make a futuristic style of bookstore which can present various values with a plain style and transmit information that links creators with customers. I'll keep my eyes on their future developments having the power of overall medium as bookstore.
Address: LA CIITADELLA, 4-1 Ogawa-cho, Kawasaki, Kanagawa
Text: Akira Natsume
Translation: Mayumi Kaneko