This is the main branch of Katsuki Books.
The main branch of Katsuki Books, which was located near Fukui Station, went out of business on August 30th, 2020. It had opened in 1959, so it had been doing business for about 60 years.
Katsuki Books is special to people in Fukui because it represents the prefecture. In Chihayafuru, a well-known Japanese manga about competitive karuta, Arata Wataya, who’s the heroine’s friend and is from Fukui, works part time at a bookstore called Katsugi Books in Awara, Fukui. I think the Katsugi Books in Chihayafuru is an homage to Katsuki Books in Fukui. (What is Chihayafuru? and what is karuta?)
The main branch of Katsuki Books wasn’t a large bookstore, so the staff and customers were friendly with each other. I saw a lot of customers making small talk with the staff.
The store was in a five-story building. On the first floor, there were magazines and novels; on the second, there were academic and business books; and on the third, there were comic books and textbooks. There were about 30,000 books at the store.
There was a locally famous staff person at the store. She wrote online book reviews and also made good POP advertising displays for books. Her displays were so good that they were used at a lot of other bookstores in Japan.
Whenever I went to the store, I was excited to see new books and sometimes went there twice a day. A friend of mine once wrote that bookstores are like amusement parks for adults, and I agree with this. I really enjoyed going there.
I watched TV and found out that there were some people who’d taken commemorative pictures of the store—they’d missed its closing. The bookstore was a place that held a lot of memories for its staff and customers.
Although the store building is going to be torn down, the store has said that a new main branch of Katsuki Books might be built in the future. I’m looking forward to going there.
Bookstores in Japan are different from those in other countries. It might be good to go to a bookstore in Fukui if you happen to go there.