Japanese Library Causes Uproar for Attempting to Break “Book Dominos” World Record

If you enjoy reading Electric Literature, join our mailing list! We’ll send you the best of EL each week, and you’ll be the first to know about upcoming submissions periods and virtual events.

Should books be used as dominos?

A large majority of the Japanese public, in the wake of Gifu City Library’s planned attempt to break a world record, are up in arms about this seemingly obscure question. According to the Telegraph, the book domino event “was intended to promote Gifu as a ‘book city,’” as well as to celebrate architect Toyo Ito’s renovations.

Book-lovers, however, have vehemently criticized the upcoming event as disrespectful to the books and their authors. The Telegraph provides an example of a particularly scathing remark, found on the event’s Facebook page: “Books are not toys to be used as dominoes. Gifu City government should be ashamed.”

Is the world record attempt a shameless, even cruel betrayal of books in pursuit of fame and revenue, or is it perhaps a harmless, entertaining act of celebration?

United Biscuits, a UK-based food manufacturer, is the current record holder after toppling 5,318 books — specifically, copies of The Guinness Book of World Records — domino-style.

The book domino event in Gifu City is set to take place on July 12th, right before the library reopens on July 18th. Liam O’Brien of Melville House reports the event is rumored to involve 10,000 books.

More Like This

Why Writing a Memoir is Like Making Kimchi

Michelle Zauner, the musician Japanese Breakfast and author of "Crying In H Mart," on food as an expression of love

Apr 22 - Jae-Yeon Yoo

Can This Two-Week Program Make You a Better Reader—And Do You Want It To?

I did self-improvement guru Ryan Holiday's "Read to Lead Challenge," and I learned... well, something

Apr 22 - Chelsea Leu

Win a Round Trip to Complete Oblivion

"That Old Seaside Club" by Izumi Suzuki, recommended by Makenna Goodman

Apr 21 - Izumi Suzuki 
Thank You!