Tokyo – A man who knows the pleasure of getting lost in literature is Shunsuke Mori. Since his junior high school days, he has dreamed of having his own private library and being surrounded by books. Now an adult, his vision has grown with him, and he has decided to open up a special “night library” in trendy Shibuya for grown-ups only to enjoy with, of course, a tipple or two to help them unwind. And thanks to like-minded netizens, his dream will soon be a reality.
Noticing that Shibuya – home of the famous scramble intersection that has become the go-to location for establishing shots of Tokyo used in the media – lacked an accessible library that stayed open late enough for people who work full-time to be able to enjoy, book-loving Mori resolved to build his dream library it as close to the sprawling station as possible and invite like-minded souls to share it. With a unit already purchased and currently being fitting out with shelves, counters, and the facilities required to provide drinks to customers, Mori realised that he’d need a little extra help if he was to fill his shelves with enough titles to make it worth visiting.
Turning to Japanese crowdfunding website Campfire, Mori asked the public for 100,000 yen (US$982) with which he could populate his library, using the platform to explain his vision and talk a little about himself.
“I’ve lived in Shibuya for a while, but the nearest library is quire far from the station and closes at seven,” he writes on the Campfire crowdfunding page. “‘Wouldn’t it be great if there was a place that you could visit to borrow a book when you’re in Shibuya, or the way home from work, or out drinking?’ I thought to myself.”
Neatly addressing all of these issues while fulfilling his long-held dream of a library of his own, Mori’s night library will be situated just seven minutes’ walk from Shibuya Station and be open from 6 p.m. until around 1 a.m.– late enough for pretty much anyone to stop by, grab one of the 10,000 books he proposes to buy with funds generated by the Campfire campaign, and relax with a drink.
Japanese net users, too, felt that Mori’s idea was a good one, and promptly threw their money his way, smashing his original target. Still with 22 days remaining until the campaign ends, Mori no Toshoshitsu has received more than 3,262,700 yen, or $32,000, from over 400 backers. Quite where he’s going to keep all of those new books in his modest shop space, we have no idea, but it’s clear that the people of Shibuya are just as keen as Mori to spend some time after work relaxing with a good book.
“Of course, those who wish to come and borrow a book without drinking are also welcome. It’d be nice if people could have chance meetings like in [Hayao Miyazaki’s] Whisper of the Heart,” Mori writes. You know, somehow we can imagine that happening.