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Japanese Life & Culture

Public Library Offers "Grab Book Bag" to Encourage Book Reading

By January 9, 2017 at 11:55 pm
Grab Book Bag at Shinagawa Public Library
Grab Book Bag at Shinagawa Public Library(Photo : Facebook @city.shinagawa)

The traditional Oriental calendar signifies the year 2017 a "Year of Bird" when everything starts afresh high up into the sky. A public library in Shibuya, Tokyo had an idea to take advantage of the tradition.

The Shinagawa Public Library offered a fresh service to attract more bookworms: "Grab Book Bag". I'm not sure if you are familiar with what we call "Fukubukuro" or lucky bag which contains a mixture of goodies or occasionally a set of rather costly items sold for the fun of opening to find what's it. It's sealed tight, so no one knows what's inside till you buy one and open it.

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Now, this "Grab Book Bag" happens to contain 3 books each on different subjects not necessarily of your own choice. That is, you are to lend the bag not knowing what's in it, instead of lending books of your own choice. The library reports that the idea of "Grab Book Bag" is verwell accepted.

The philosophy behind this is that the bookworms are encouraged this way to get acquainted with books of otherwise aliens fields or by authors they are not otherwise familiar with. The library arranged 43 bags for grownups and 40 for children for lent for normal 2 weeks.

A female grabbed her bag out of curiosity and said:

"Well, I'm so curious what three books are in there. Such a fun to open it at home."

Chief librarian Koichi Kimura commented:

"The idea is for more people to come get acquainted with books, and to offer them more chance to meet new books, so to speak.

"We will try to introduce similar projects and events to promote book reading."

Well, it's really a cool way of encouraging more people to get acquainted with book reading and of enlightening the public to the mission of public libraries. (Nathan Shiga) 

Source: NHK

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