Why do Japanese people use book covers?

If you buy a book at a bookstore, you are most likely asked, “Would you like a book cover?” This is a unique Japanese culture and in fact its history dates back to 90 years ago! Since the Taisho era, there was a tradition of bookstores tending to wrap the books with unique designed papers. Nowadays, many people customize their book covers, but the stores generally provide paper made ones.

Bookstores use book covers so they may:

1. Know if the payment is completed at a glance

2. Use it as a marketing strategy to not only advertise bookstore or the publishing company, but also other advertisement of movies, events etc

3. Print descriptions of the book for customer’s convenience

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Customers who use book covers:

1. They want to prevent the books from damaging. Some people keep it clean so that they can sell it off at a good price. Being slightly based up can take ¾ of the resale price.

2. Japanese people desire privacy. They don’t want people to know what they are reading or their preference, even if the contents aren’t embarrassing.

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Ones who say “No” to book covers feel:

1.”Its unnecessary”

2.”Feel bad for the store staffs”

3.”Waste of resources”

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What about you? Could you relate to this unique Japanese culture?