[LIS-Forum] Japanese man on one-man mission to distribute books by bicycle

madhuresh.singhal madhuresh.singhal at advinus.com
Fri May 4 11:43:39 IST 2007

You might be interested to read this recent news appeared in Monsters
and Critics. I am copying below the news item, which is taken from its

Japanese man on one-man mission to distribute books by bicycle

May 1, 2007, 6:19 GMT

Tokyo - Kazuhiro Doi is on a one-man mission to change the world by
pulling a mobile library on a bicycle around Japan.

For more than two years, the 28-year-old has been distributing books on
the environment, civil disputes and other social issues on a custom-made
bicycle with a waterwheel-shaped bookshelf across his native Japan, the
Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported Tuesday.

Doi left his home in the central prefecture of Aichi in January, 2005,
initially to ask libraries around the country to carry a book published
by a non-profit organization Think the Earth.

The book documents the gravity of environmental destruction with about
100 photographs, including those of a mountain of industrial waste,
children injured in a chemical factory accident in India and penguins
covered with crude oil.

When Doi first flipped through the pages, he was shocked and moved. 'I
was slapped by what careless deeds human beings have imposed on Earth,'
Doi told the newspaper.

After spending sleepless nights contemplating what he could do, Doi quit
his full-time job and began a bicycle journey to Japan's libraries, but
not all libraries have been supportive of Doi's insistence that they
carry the photo book.

He then decided he had to be the library himself. After modifying his
bicycle and building his waterwheel bookshelf, Doi began cycling with a
library of about 20 books and giving them away to passersby who show
interest in his mission.

It's a library, but the users need not return the books. Doi said that
instead, he hopes the books circulate among friends and in communities
so many readers could learn about what is going on in the rest of the

Another project he has devised during his travels is to establish book

Doi has been leaving a few books at restaurants, community centres and
other social venues if the owners make environmentally friendly changes.

An owner of a ramen noodle joint, for instance, agreed to use reuseable
chopsticks rather than disposable ones, Doi said on a radio talk show.

After news of his mission began spreading, Doi has been treated to meals
or provided accommodation, but he also lands short-term, part-time jobs
to buy food and books to distribute.

Doi has so far visited about 1,200 libraries in 13 of Japan's 47
prefectures. By the time he turns 30, Doi said he hopes to have dropped
by all the libraries in the country.


Madhuresh Singhal
Assoc. Res. Scientist - Inf. Sc.
Advinus Therapeutics Pvt. Ltd.
21 & 22, Phase 2, Peenya Industrial Area, Bangalore - 560058
Phone: +91 80 28394959; Mobile 098861 82822
E-mail: madhureshsinghal at yahoo.com


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