Wasabi Stories vol.198: “What Kind of Book is Good For Readers?”


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“What Kind of Book is Good For Readers?”

Today’s story-teller is Shigehiko Toyama, a professor emeritus at Ochanomizu University.

The story is about reading books. First, he talks about ‘National Year of Reading’, which is this year.

Nowadays, there are more alliterates and it is considered that less books are selling because of that. However, Toyama has doubts about it.

He thinks that the number of people who read books is increasing. He also thinks that more books are published than the past and they seem to excess in supply.

So, he means that readers are not responsible for the decrease in the sales of publication.


According to him, more than 200 of new books are published each day. No wonder why a lot of books disappear from shelves without catching people’s attention.

And he doubts about a lot of books to be too thick.

Books over 200 pages are not unusual. Reducing the price or publishing short books is unprofitable so that publishers tend to sell longer books in order to raise price.

So Toyama is pointing out that book’s publishers are not considering things from readers’ point of view and they lack in invention. On the other hand, He praises that newspaper publishers are trying to decrease the characters per line


Toyama says, “A book you can read through is a good book. It feels great when you finish reading a book after spending a long time. You will become a booklover without a doubt if you experience this feeling a few times. I do not mind having many books if they were good books like that.”


The NIKKEI 02/02/2010 by Shigehiko Toyama (professor emeritus at Ochanomizu University)




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