Book Off

Secondhand books are big business in Japan and nationwide you’ll find the somewhat aggressively named Book Off (ブックオフコーポレーション) chain of used bookstores as well as innumerable tiny mom and pop shops packed to the rafters with eclectic assortments of reading material.

Tokyo Secondhand Bookstore

The sign across the top of the bookshop above would indicate the owner isn’t a Kindle fan:

“Violence occurs where there are no books.
The flood of digital media its one step forward to the loss of humanity”.

Tokyo Secondhand Bookstore

Back in 2004 I remember coming across R.O.D: Read or Die (リード・オア・ダイ), a series of light novels which follow the adventures of Yomiko Readman, an agent for the Special Operations Division of the British Library, who runs operations all over the world to fight book-related crime and terrorism.

Tokyo Secondhand Bookstore

In it, she lives in a cramped apartment literally surrounded by books from floor to ceiling and it seems pretty clear where the author got their inspiration from!

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