Recently, two shops dealing with books have opened in the Aoyama area of Tokyo. One is a book shop and the other is a select shop with has a book floor. What they have in common is that their emphasis lies in book selection, and that they cater for the same kind of people. The atmosphere and the concept of these two shops are completely different but I feel this kind of shop, which adds value on their own selection and sell not only books (or clothes) but also various other items, is increasing now. So I decided to speak with Hiroshi Eguchi, who is a buyer for these two shops and also is an owner of Utrecht.
First, I’d like to introduce BOOK246, which opened in May. It is produced by the renowned travel magazine “Paper Sky”. “The theme may simply be ‘travel’, but I try selecting books which make people feel that ‘traveling is good’ by reading them. It could be a book with the straightforward theme, ‘travel’, or one that stirs the imagination.” With the existence of “Paper Sky” magazine, Eguchi says, it was easier to decide on the concept.
Their goal is to provide customers with new discoveries, from new or old books, while still covering the usual guide books . He says old books are effective in bringing depth to the shop. People can find new books in a large book shop even if it takes a lot of time, but by displaying the new books with selected old books or other items, customers feel the depth of time and broaden their interest. “Even with a general new book, you would probably have a different outlook on it if you find various connections to the book.”
‘Something unique in old books’ is the top priority; there is no point if it’s just cheaper than a new one. What is required of old books is not practical information but imagination. Good old books are not just simple antiques but make people feel like going out. However, nothing can happen without first encountering the good books.
Read more ...