Library in Japan Comes Under Fire for Trying to Break a Book Toppling Record
Via The Telegraph
Plans for a library in Japan to celebrate its recent renovations by attempting to break a book domino world record have been widely criticized by Japanese people as disrespectful to books. Gifu City Library will reopen on July 18 following a redesign by the conceptual architect Toyo Ito, and promises to take its place among the world’s most spectacular libraries.
The book domino event on July 12 was intended to promote Gifu as a “book city”. However the Asian news site Rocket News 24 reports that disgruntled readers have criticized the library’s decision, with one critic of the plan explaining that “Japanese people hold books in high regard, almost as sacred.”
The event organizers had planned to sell the books in its used books store after the event, but this was not enough to mollify incensed book lovers. The head of a book cafe, Takayuki Kitamura, wrote in a blog post: “When I first saw this, it made me feel really bad.
“As a kid, I was taught never to mishandle books. By mishandling the books, we’re mishandling the minds of the people who wrote them.”
The event’s Facebook page has been inundated with complaints. “If one of my old books is in there, please don’t use it. Please do not be a fool,” wrote one. Another said: “Books are not toys to be used as dominoes. Gifu City government should be ashamed.”
United Biscuits, the Windsor-based producers of Penguin bars and Jaffa Cakes, is the current holder of the record officially known as “most books toppled in a domino fashion”. The company set the record at its annual sales conference in January, when staff toppled 5,318 books in just under two and a half minutes.