Circular Yokohama’s Hoshiten Circular Library collaborates with VALUE BOOKS, Inc.
- On 2024年1月11日
- book gift project, Circular Economy, Circular Yokohama, circularity, Hoshiten, Hoshiten Circular Library, library, secondhand book, VALUE BOOKS, Yokohama
The Hoshiten Circular Library initiated a collaboration with VALUE BOOKS, Inc., a company involved in the buying and selling of used books. The library is operated by Circular Yokohama, one of harch’s online platforms dedicated to advancing the circular economy in Yokohama.
What is Hoshiten Circular Library?
Hoshiten Circular Library is a circulating bookshelf where books that someone no longer reads are passed on to the next person. Everyone brings a little bit of their unwanted books and puts them in the bookshelf, and then someone else takes them. The books are installed in the “qlaytion gallery” in Hoshiten qlay, the activity base of Circular Yokohama, with the aim of sharing the knowledge and stories of local people in a circular manner as the books travel and circulate in the city.
Thinking about where “priceless books” should go
Founded in 2007 and based in Ueda City, Nagano Prefecture, VALUE BOOKS, Inc. is mainly engaged in the business of buying and selling used books. The warehouse is stocked with approximately 1.5 million books at any given time. It is one of the largest online bookstores in Japan.
VALUE BOOKS receives 30,000 books per day, but only half of these, or 15,000, are resold on the reuse market. Much of the difficulty in reselling is not the condition of the books, but the balance between supply and demand, such as the difficulty in ensuring profitability due to fluctuations in market value. This makes many books “priceless books.” In view of the economics of the business alone, it may be easy to let go of the books that are not priced or do not sell.
However, VALUE BOOKS, Inc. is also involved in a number of projects that utilize priceless books, with the mission of “creating an environment where people in Japan and around the world can freely read, learn, and enjoy books.”
One such project is the “book gift project.” The book gift project provides books free of charge to various places in need of books, mainly nursery schools and elementary schools. In addition, since 2018, the company has been carrying out a project using its mobile vending vehicle, “BOOKBUS,” to deliver books to locations where individuals believe having books available for free reading would be beneficial, even in the absence of bookshelves. To date, books have been delivered to more than 40 locations, including not only Nagano Prefecture, where the company has its base, but also Tokyo and the greater Tokyo metropolitan area.
Hoshiten Circular Library × VALUE BOOKS, Inc.
VALUE BOOKS’ desire to “create opportunities for books to continue to be books” and Circular Yokohama’s desire to “create a place where people can experience a circular lifestyle as if it were play” overlapped and led to the realization of this collaboration.
Through the book gift project, 500 books will be delivered to the bookshelves of Hoshiten Circular Library. The donated books will be added to the bookshelf of Hoshiten Circular Library sequentially from January 2024 onward. Why don’t you hold the “priceless books” in your hands and participate in the circulation of used books that VALUE BOOKS and Circular Yokohama are aiming for?
As it continues to sell used books online, VALUE BOOKS, Inc. is growing in number of friends, expanding its social impact, and stepping out of the Internet to devote itself to direct, face-to-face business activities. Circular Yokohama will continue to send out the message of “changing society with books” together with VALUE BOOKS, so that as many books as possible that pass through Hoshiten Circular Library will continue to be loved as books for as long as possible, even a day longer.
[Reference] Where do “priceless used books” go? A Story of Circularity by VALUE BOOKS | Circular Yokohama (in Japanese)
[Reference] “Book Present” project by you and bookstores | VALUE BOOKS (in Japanese)
[Reference] Books travel within the community. “Hoshiten Circular Library” opens in qlaytion gallery! | Circular Yokohama
[Reference] VALUE BOOKS, Inc. (in Japanese)