Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The thing called Books

They are one of the 21st century fast disappearing endangered species. Partly due to human destruction of their natural habitat as those of us pre-Justin Bieber generations lovingly referred to them as "bookstores".
Being the capital of a nation renowned not just for their immense adoration for new technology but also for protectively embracing old-traditions, Tokyo, surprisingly, have kept those areas well nurtured. As a result "books", in diverse subspecies including hybrids, are still thriving here. Even more impressive is the fact that people are very much encouraged to visit the so-called "bookstores" which many remain accessible to the public until the early hours of the morning.
I spent a couple precious hours tonight, my first night back in the city in almost over a year, indulging myself in not just one but two "bookstores". I picked up several of the internationally celebrated variant known as "manga" for a son of a friend who, despite already being a multi-lingual Dane, is learning Japanese. He's one of those blessed young ones brought up to still be passionate about the special sensation when the body comes into contact with the book's texture, known in the old English language as "paper".
Trust me, a visit to Tokyo is never complete without the rare experience of immersing yourself late evening in one of those magical spaces.

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