Friday, September 10, 2010

Will Miss #231 - tachiyomi

One of the most fascinating things I witnessed early in my stay in Japan was large groups of people, particularly men, who stood in book shops and convenience stores and just read the magazines or books. The shop owners never sweated this, despite the fact that many people read entire magazines, books, or comic books (manga) and didn't make a purchase. The publications would sometimes become thumbed through enough that they could not be sold. Sometimes a "sample" was put in front to accommodate people who stood and read (called "tachiyomi" in Japanese). This type of acceptance and patience with the status quo is one of those distinctly Japanese things that is unlikely to be found back home.

I will miss this unprofitable tolerance on the part of shopkeepers, which I assume they do in order to build goodwill with customers.