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■ Featuring "1984 Pops," June 30 to July 30







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■ Sorry but let me ask. What kind of books supports bookstores most? Some best-sellers in fashion?

F: I don't deny, but not only those. Large-scale bookstores like us, including middle-scale, are often supported most by sales of textbooks which they use for getting a license. Sometimes it accounts for a half of whole. It's often said A.I. will account for most of our occupations now, isn't it? It's also a menace to bookstores.


■ What does it mean?

F: For instance, the National Bar Examination also loses the raison d'être when A.I. replaces us as lawyers. It reduces demand of the textbooks for the exams. Naturally, the sales goes down so much. So we booksellers are truly afraid of presence of A.I. now.


■ I've got it. I guess it especially makes middle-scale bookstores harder. The meaning of existence of bookshops is going to be demanded more.

F: I often say important is being live. Differently from online shops, actual booksellers can give an encounter with unexpected books to the customers. I believe that we need to keep our bookshelves beautiful, need a story upon the shelves, to give it to them.


■ Story?

F: If the bookshelves include some story, we can look for a book, will meet an unexpected book in talking with the shelves. People can talk with the shelves when it contains something like narrative. So I believe we have to make them keep a story.



True interesting books make the booksellers feel difficulty to classify. What genre should it be divided into? We booksellers are questioned when it comes up. The bookshelves are made through such a winding road. So, about the way of lining up books, we don't have the best one.


■ I see. You should keep the shelves better all the time for giving a good unexpected meeting to customers. But there's no the best answer.

F: Making signage is one of what we can contrive in bookstores. But I think speedier is directly talking with the customers. Some agencies encourage us to deal with coffee and general goods, but I believe they are not what we should do with. We can deal with stationery since they are connected with books. Booksellers are there for selling books.


■ I deeply agree with you. But isn't it hard for usual sellers to meddle with the customers?

F: Or rather there are some customers who meddle with booksellers, what is called incessant complainers. You might feel hard to deal with them, but the more harder they are, the better customers they will be. How come? They are seriously thinking about the bookstores in their own way. Or they don't bother to complain.

A short time ago, we held a book fair of anti-hate books. Then, appeared one customer who said "You are lining up such books, but Japan is being invaded by China and South Korea. You don't know?" I answered no and explained why we held such a book fair. He listened to me after a fashion. The more they complain, the more we can explain. The worst way is, I believe, that you reply to the complainers in an organization style.


■ To a person, we should also reply as a person not an organization?

F: Well, in our case, even if you make a complaint saying "Call the president," he'll just answer to you, "It's all up to Fukushima."

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