Bookstores are really relaxing places, particularly since many Japanese ones have responded to the rise of digital publishing by merging with cafes and creating inviting places to hang out and peruse the goods. With the quiet babble of background noise and a squishy chair to sink into, you may find your eyelids drooping over the new Murakami. However, a comfy chair is not a bed and the stores are generally not open 24 hours, so if you give in to sleep, you’ll probably find yourself turfed out at closing time with a crick in your neck.
If this has been a problem for you in the past, you’ll want to reserve a spot at Book and Bed, a new hotel in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro neighborhood that invites bibliophiles to sleep in the stacks.
Set to open this September, Book and Bed is a cooperation between designers Suppose Design Office, bookstore-cum-publisher Shibuya Publishing Booksellers, and real estate boutique R-Store.
According to the website, the hotel was conceived around the concept that dozing off while doing something you love is an amazing “in the moment” experience. And if what you love is perusing aisles of books, they want to provide a space with appropriate bedding where you can do just that.
Suppose Design Office’s bookshelves are built complete with bunks you can crawl into, capsule hotel-style. And like a capsule hotel, these are not exactly private rooms, but I suppose if you are dreaming of dozing off in a bookstore, you are OK with that communality.
Presumably there will also be shared showers and changing rooms and places to store your luggage.
As a book lover myself, I can certainly see the appeal of this hotel, but I’m not sure how different it is from some of the nicer internet cafes, where at least you can get a private space to sleep in, so I guess the price point and atmosphere will be key.
The hotel says they are targeting overseas and out-of-town travelers as their main customer base, which I suppose would make a change from sharing the space with the usual crowd of drunken Tokyoites who missed the last train home. Even among your favorite books, it’s hard to sleep surrounded by that thunderous snoring.
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