Doing Things, Everyday Things, Lovely Things

books fashion stuff things

There's a rather unique and peculiar Japanese trait of dressing up books in cloth covers. Ostensibly, it is for reasons of modesty, to hide whatever they are reading from the general public.  This makes sense since Japan regularly churns out thousands of books per year and much of it is not for the faint of heart. Almost all of it is also produced in the same dimensions, because they know you want to use that same cloth cover whose worn out spots carry the indentations of your soul.

Of course, the cloth cover is also very practical and protects the book while you're reading it and it's always nicer to the touch than paper or plastic.  It's also an identifier- it says its yours (especially if you add your own flourish), not anyone else's, even if the book it hides is owned by many.

This particular book, however, is a paper book cover pretending to be a cloth cover.  I have no idea why as the story is about finding one's ultimate purpose in life, when what one wants is frustrated time and again by self-doubt, falling short against others, and nagging calls to responsibility and adulthood.  The TITLE however, is about "Traveling While Wearing Minä" in reference to Designer Akira Minagawa who is known for blending Japanese and Swedish aesthetics so the pretend cloth cover as a book cover makes sense. 

It is an excellent read, but only if you read Japanese or Chinese.  I'm not sure if it has been translated into other languages.   


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