Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Books To Go

15th wedding anniversary dinner at a nice new Japanese restaurant called Sake Manzo. It's just round the corner in the unlikeliest of places - on the edge of a housing estate - but very cool, full and good food. We went for Nagoya-style hotpot. The only downside was the handful of smokers. Yes, you can still smoke in restaurants here. 
Continuing the Japanese theme, we passed a new self-service library. There are getting on for 100 of them now in Beijing, each stocking around 100 titles on mainly fiction, biography, cooking and horticulture. They've done their research.
I was surprised to learn, through this article in the Huffington Post, that the first book-vending machine appeared in Britain as early as 1822. But selling books this way has never really caught on, even in Japan. Umbrellas, videos, magazines, flowers, coffee, beer, eggs, crepes, fruit, lobsters (!), and of course underwear, sure... but not books.

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