Obscura Volume 21 / Autumn & Winter 2016
“A Book is a Dream You Hold in Your Hands.”
“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.” ― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
This Autumn & Winter 2016 edition reminds us that books have the power of speaking to our hearts.
Highlighted stories include:
1. “The Worst Reading, The Best Reading” – We had an in-depth conversation with Matsuura Yataro, the famous used book store owner, magazine chief editor, column writer and author in Japan, about the importance of reading. He also recommended a list of 5 books that he has read for hundreds of times.
“I could see myself in Takamura Koutarou’s, Henry Miller’s and Jack Kerouac’s books. To be more precise, these books rescued me. They told me that ‘the wrong way of living’ is an alternative. Knowing that ‘the correct way’ is in fact not an absolute singular truth, I was motivated to live an honest life.” – Matsuura Yataro
2. “A Bookshop Without Bounds” – Ofr, a cult book store in Paris, is not just a location for purchasing books but also a driving force for building a community of creative free spirits. We interviewed Alexandre Thumerelle (the shop owner), Iris de Moüy (a children’s book author) and Susanna Shannon (an art director) on what Ofr means to them.
“Those who have ‘fire’ inside them, those who need us, and those who hope for the betterment of this city – we welcome them all.” – Alexandre Thumerelle / Ofr Owner
3. “The Books of Solitude” – Taiwanese book designer Lin Xiao-Yi shared with us her unique aesthetic on designing beautiful books based on fragments of visual memories.
“I wish the books I design can enjoy solitude in a bookstore, like Chinese paintings in art galleries when only one dim light is used to subtly brighten the painting in a dark, dusky room. Yet, it will still be seen.” – Lin Xiao-Yi
4. “To Mend The Broken Yet Beloved” – Handcrafted books demand a very high level of skill, and involve many complicated and tedious procedures. Hong Kong-based bookbinder Jennifer Li showed us her dedication to this precious art form.
“When a customer asks me to restore a book that has pages that cannot be turned, upon completion, I get considerable satisfaction from watching customers’ smiling faces while they turn the pages of their beloved books again.” – Jennifer Li
Obscura will be available at global stockists beginning 15th December 2016, and online at obscura-magazine.com.
Cover photography by 松浦弥太郎