Plenty of hotels around the world feature libraries, or aspire to various bookish overtones—rooms named after different writers, curated volumes in each suite. But most of these spots have, you know, something else going for them, like pools or cocktails or cozy accommodations. Then there’s Tokyo’s Book and Bed, which I learned about from Mashable, and which is, by contrast, defiant about its lack of comforts. “The perfect setting for a good nights sleep is something you will not find here,” the hotel’s website says:
There are no comfortable mattresses, fluffy pillows nor lightweight and warm down duvets.
What we do offer is an experience while reading a book (or comic book).
An experience shared by everyone at least once: the blissful “instant of falling asleep.”
It is already two a.m. but you think just a little more … with heavy drooping eyelids you continue reading only to realize you have fallen asleep.
Our concept is thus a readers’ haven—an accommodation bookshop.
(Books aren’t sold, though. It’s just an expression.)
Dozing off obliviously during your treasured pastime is the finest “moment of sleep,” don’t you agree?
With books as our central theme, we decided to create a hostel offering the greatest “moment of sleep.”
The space is a sort of bunkhouse, with sleeping nooks built into bookcases. Now, why you couldn’t just as well read while staying somewhere more comfortable, with more privacy, is not something the owners address. But I like their uncompromising style—and at under forty U.S. dollars a night, it’s certainly an affordable way to read yourself to sleep. Maybe people like the children’s-room feeling of the low couches for sprawling and reading the hostel’s seventeen hundred books. Or perhaps there’s just something comforting about everyone around you reading—an experience you can’t even find in a library anymore.
Sadie Stein is contributing editor of The Paris Review, and the Daily’s correspondent.