I love bookstores. Nothing compares to wandering the aisles, scanning the shelves, or flipping through art tomes on a meandering afternoon. Yes, many of us lead busy lives and favor the lure of the online book purchase arguing that there’s just as much discovery the further you fall down the “Other Recommended Titles” rabbit hole. But I beg to differ. Holding a book in your hand, feeling a page slide under your fingertips, or even engaging with your local bookseller for recommendations trumps the online experience every time because it’s human. I have hope for the local bookstore industry, though, and even more hope for the future after discovering the wonders of Japan’s Izu Book Cafe.
Located in the town of Izu, famous for its hot springs, and owned by a retired Japanese couple, the Book Cafe serves as both a home and community gathering space. Designed by architects Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijima of Atelier Bow-Wow, the house is built in a U-shape and sits within a sonorous forest. It contains two bedrooms and a studio in addition to a bookstore and relaxed cafe with doors that open to the lush grounds outside. Aside from offering a place for neighbors to stop by and sit for a spell, it serves as a quiet example of how architecture, innovation, and a reverence for the printed word can bring positivity to a community however vast or small. It makes you wonder what might be achieved in a similar way within our own communities. For a more in-depth peek, take a look at the video tour below.
Found via Good magazine