⟨ Misc ⟩

Dusk Till Dawn Among Books

Book and Bed Tokyo at Kyoto

Words / Ron Lam
Translation / Iris Heung

躺在床上,追看著小說,偶爾回過神時已天亮,偶爾翻著翻著便落入夢中,這該是所有愛書人都有過的經驗。去年九月於東京開設的旅館Book and Bed Tokyo,便以書為主題,內裡沒有高級的床褥或設備完善的運動會所,只有高聳至天花板的書架,以及由書架劃成的睡眠空間,讓旅客被書簇擁著,盡情地讀,然後沉沉睡去。這家話題性的旅館,今年十二月,終於在京都開設了首家分店。

東京店跟京都店不管在內裝及概念上都非常相近,最大的分別是替東京店選書的,是以出版及銷售影像書為主的Shibuya Publishing & Booksellers,而為京都店選書的,則是集合了畫廊、雜貨的綜合式書店惠文社。選書者不同,品味也不相同,但二者都顧及到來自海外的旅客,大量引入了英語書籍。

Book and Bed Tokyo的概念讓我想起巴黎富傳奇性的莎士比亞書店(Shakespeare and Company),莎士比亞書店為旅人提供免費住宿,條件之一是必須每天讀一本書。它大概是書店旅館的始祖。書是通往世界的窗口,如旅行是為了觀看遙遠的國度,於書店旅館裡,大概能看到更廣闊的風景。

Reading a novel insatiably in bed till dawn, or flipping through pages before accidentally falling asleep… Any book lover must be familiar with such experiences. Book and Bed Tokyo is a hostel opened in Tokyo last September. This “accommodation bookshop” does not provide guests with deluxe mattress or hotel clubhouse with various amenities. All you can find in Book and Bed Tokyo are floor-to-ceiling bookcases, and sleeping spaces partitioned by bookshelves. Guests will find themselves thoroughly surrounded by books, to indulge in their reading experience before entering a deep and satisfying sleep. Book and Bed Tokyo finally brought its concept to Kyoto this December and started its first branch.

The hostel has adopted similar interior design and concept for both its Tokyo and Kyoto branches. The biggest difference is the book selection. Shibuya Publishing & Booksellers, a publisher/distributor that focuses on photobook, is responsible for selecting books for the Tokyo branch; whereas Keibunsha Books , a bookshop that specializes in books related to gallery and miscellaneous goods, is responsible for the books in Kyoto branch. Although choices of books might be different, the two branches both consider for the needs of foreign guests and have a considerable number of English books on their shelves.

Book and Bed Tokyo reminds me of the legendary Shakespeare and Company in Paris, which provides free accommodation for guests, and in exchange, these guests are asked to “read a book a day”. This place is perhaps the very beginning of bookstore hostel. If traveling is to fulfil the desire of seeing more of the world, staying in a bookstore hostel may allow one to view even more through “window to the world”. ​