There are many kinds of bibliophiles and bookworms in Japan. There are the hipsters who hang out at pristine artsy bookshops like T-Site in Daikanyama or Nadiff in Ebisu, et al. There are the manga fans who chase down rare titles at Mandarake or the serious aficionado searching for that first edition among the dusty shelves of Kanda. There are the socialites who would flock to Combine (now closed) in Nakameguro and now go to events at B&B in Shimokitazawa or the Mori no Tosho Shitsu “beer library” in Shibuya.
And then there are people who love being surrounded by books so much they want to stay overnight in a bookshop.
Junkudo, one of the main bookstore chains in Japan, has apparently spotted a demand for this kind of service and that’s why they are offering lucky group of customers the chance to do a “try living in Junkudo tour” on November 1st in the Kasumigaseki Press Center branch in Tokyo.
Of course, guests are allowed to read the books and magazines during the overnight stay. Junkudo recruited applicants for the trial run until September 30th, having been inspired to offer the service after receiving requests on social media from people keen to “live” in Junkudo.
The bookstore night camp will run from 5pm on November 1st until 8am on November 2nd. Reading lights will be kept on for late-night sessions with your tome of choice. You have to bring your own sleeping bag and other equipment (we recommend the King Jim Wearable Futon, aimed at officer workers pulling in all-nighters), and though it’s free to stay overnight, Junkudo asks you to purchase at least one book or magazine.
Junkudo received a lot of applicants and so will hold a lottery in October to choose who gets to experience the bookshop sleepover. There will be three sets of six guests at the bookstore-cum-hotel, though we imagine if it’s a success in terms of publicity Junkudo will make it a regular fixture.