Twitter user Toto (@Thort_100) recently tweeted a post that was highly viewed on the SNS platform. One day, Toto went to a coin laundromat, where he found a notebook. On the cover of the notebook was written: "Let's share your happy news!" He looked it over and realized it was for customers to write in while waiting for their wash to finish. He snapped a shot of one page and posted this picture.

Image reproduced with permission from Toto (@Thort_100)

Naturally, several laundromat customers had taken the opportunity to communicate the good things that had happened in their lives recently.

Image reproduced with permission from Toto (@Thort_100)

Loosely translated, the page reads:

  • “There is someone I really love right next to me.”
  • “I might catch the happiness” “←Catch it!”
  • "I got a girlfriend and we got married…in my dream.” “←Bitter sweet!”

Sure enough, people were interested in sharing tidbits about their lives and responding to what others had written. Toto captured another page of entries:

Image reproduced with permission from Toto (@Thort_100)

  • “There was no pen here, so I bought one at the Family Mart next door. These comments warm my heart. Life can be turbulent, but let’s try to have fun!”
  • “I ate sushi!”

Indeed, many people wrote about their happiness, and others left a comment. Some more insightful than others…

Finally, Toto also included this comment:

"Twitter no longer has these kinds of heart warming conversations, but they’re ongoing in this notebook."

People reacted to Toto’s post:

  • "I like 'I ate sushi’ the best.”
  • “This warms my heart.”
  • “This notebook is like a rose made of people's kindness. There are no thorns. I feel like Twitter is full of arguments recently.”
  • “Everyone’s happiness makes me happy too.”
  • “What a kind world.”
  • “It’s so sweet. Their handwriting contains love."
  • “It’s nice that some people leave comments on other’s message.”
  • “This makes me feel fluffy on the inside."

Love letters to a closing book store

Sure enough, people like messages like this. They are moved by the sense of love they seem to communicate. While the people participating in Toto's post were writing kindly to other people, some direct the same sentiment to the places they frequent. Take, for example, a book store in Osaka. When it closed, many people felt the need to pay their respects. On this occasion, however, many wrote "love letters" to the store. You can see an image of these messages here.

This particular book store was Tengyu Sakai Shoten which closed January 28, 2019. It was popular among the locals. When it closed, they put messages on the windows of the book store. Indeed, many were surprised by the bookstore's sudden departure because it had been opened for over 14 years.

Customers’ messages included:

  • "It's been a week since I learned this book store was closing. I’m still shocked.”
  • “Thank you for all the memories. Also, thank you to your staff.”
  • “You accommodated wheelchairs. That was so helpful!”
  • “This store was the only place I could relax after school or my part-time job"
  • “I expect that this book store opens again. No books, no life.”
  • “I loved finding a ‘treasure’ among the used books. During this time of online shopping, it was nice to have a real book store. Paper books are still important.”
  • “Used book and books are a culture. I want this bookstore to open again.”
  • “The number of bookstores is decreasing these days, and it makes me sad. I’m looking forward to seeing this book store open again someday here in Sakai. Thank you for 14 years. See you again!”
  • “I love you”

A bookstore in a town is not just someplace for selling books. It becomes a part of the character of the city. If bookstores disappear, we'll lose the experience of becoming lost in a bookstore discovering great releases. For bookworms, bookstores are an essential place where they can be themselves. Sure enough, digital media is convenient, but handwritten messages and physical books also play a role in society.

By - Luke Mahoney.