books

The Japanese government teaches us the proper way to dry a book

Despite its image as a high-tech country, a lot of Japan’s government paperwork still takes the form of bound collection of hard copies of legal documents. The National Diet Library has the responsibility of housing countless numbers of these collections.

However, like a fiery balrog, water is the bane of physical printed documents (which admittedly have a bit of a problem with fire, too). The National Diet Library occasionally has to deal with restoring books that have become wet before water damage sets in. Recently, the library revealed its simple, easy to copy technique for properly drying out a soggy book.

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An easy expression to read: The amazing phone book sculptures of Long-Bin Chen

This may look like a stone sculpture, but in fact New York-based artist Long-Bin Chen used nothing but paper to produce the following series of carvings. That’s right, this is actually a stack of phone books, cut, shaped and coloured to form the face of Buddha. Check out the full gallery of Chen’s incredible work after the jump.

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Saving book worms from book germs: Libraries install Bacteria Elimination Boxes

Anyone who has ever worked in a library could probably tell you that wiping down the covers of the books in the children’s section is one of the most grimy and disgusting tasks you could ever be assigned. I’d personally rather clean the toilets with a wet wipe to be quite honest! Thankfully, in order to counteract at least the living layer of grime found on these and other books, many libraries in Japan have installed a Bacteria Elimination Box to kill off any harmful little microbes that previous patrons might have left behind. It’s the perfect piece of equipment for bibliophilic germaphobes exploring the stacks!

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The avant-garde art of book stacking in stores of Japan

With bookstores in Japan overflowing with manga, novels and non-fiction, it takes a lot to stand out and get noticed. However, with the advent of the three styles of book stacking we’re going to show, it’s impossible for passersby not to stop and take a gander at these literary works.

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Peep Into the Enchanted Worlds of Snow White and a Christmas Wonderland With These Books That Open to 360 Degrees of Charm!

Peek through the pages of either of these two wonderful “360° Books” from any angle and you get treated to an intricate view of a fantasy world like you’ve never seen.  All you have to do is keep opening the pages until you’ve created a circle and the scene inside has taken shape. Read More

Attention, Hipster Bibliophiles: Brooklyn Parlor Is Tokyo’s Newest “It” Cafe

Generally speaking, cafes are good places to grab a cup of coffee and relax a bit, but a truly great cafe will have such delicious food and such a chill atmosphere that you can while away hours in complete contentment. If you are looking for a place like that in Tokyo, let us introduce you to Shinjuku’s Brooklyn Parlor. Read More

How Your Old Videogames, Books and CDs Could Help Educate a Child

Take a quick look around your home. See anything gathering dust? Any old books sitting on the shelf unloved? That AKB48 CD you bought last year but are too embarrassed to listen to? How about those Playstation2 games that you never got around to playing before your console died?

Well now’s your chance to have a good old clear-out. Grab a cardboard box and turn that stuff into an education for a less fortunate child.

Japanese recycling giant Book Off is working in conjunction with Shanti Volunteer Association (SVA) to provide books and learning materials for children who have found themselves homeless as a result of war or natural disasters. As well as donating the in-store buy-back value of any books, CDs, DVDs and videogames donated by regular folk like you and me, Book Off is pledging an extra 10% of that value to the charity.

In short, some less fortunate kids get an education; you make some space in your home and get to feel warm and fuzzy. Read More

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