Dec 08, 2017 | By Carlene Thomas Bailey
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Morioka Shoten is a bookstore that only stocks one book. It’s a gallery for books. Here, in this small, bare-bones boutique, the book basks in the limelight. There’s artwork and photographs too and other items related to the book on nearby walls to give you more context, which only adds to the uniqueness of the store.
The gallery-like space can be found on the ground floor of the Suzuki Building in Ginza, Tokyo. Built in 1929, it was once home to the legendary graphic design office Nippon Kobo. Today what you get is one book in one store that rotates its offering. The place is minimal like its concept. The walls are bare, the ceilings sparse and the concrete floor left untouched. The only furniture you’ll find is a vintage chest, a working desk and a table displaying the book. It’s minimal, inside and out.
Stripping things back to just the one book makes for a refreshing change. This is yet another reminder (there’s a lot as of late) to slow down and savour what we buy, how we buy it and why. Things are getting noisier and noisier. We’re bombarded by choice. But this offers an alternative. It offers respite and reprieve, a refuge from the endlessness of today’s incessant offering.
Plus, with its one-at-a-time philosophy, Morioka Shoten is perhaps a sign of things to come. Consumers are becoming more considered about what they buy – they’re looking to trim down their purchases – to buy less, but better. This minimalist bookstore is a reflection of that.
The Buzz: This new bookshop with its singular focus is definitely something to watch out for. Another one-book bookstore recently opened on Hudson Street in New York. This idea of a gallery-like space is also trickling into beauty retail, as Nendo launched Beauty Library in Tokyo, a new store designed to encourage people to take the time to learn about the products on offer. This slower, more considered approach to what we buy and how we buy it is explored in our Going Slow report on Think Tank. For those who are subscribers, head to the site now where you can explore this concept in more detail.
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