Sunday, January 1, 2017

Updated Book List

After adding almost 200 new titles, there are now 2,907 books and other media in our library! We have also added a new category: "Graded Readers". 

Please click on the link called "Complete Book List (updated January 1, 2017)" under the "Important Pages" tab on the right-hand side of the screen to browse the collection. The list is organized alphabetically by author and by category. We will be updating the list regularly.

Upcoming Events & Openings: January 2017

Events & Openings

Saturday, January 7, 10am-5pm 
Living in Berlin 
A talk by Mine Serizawa at 3pm 

Image by Martin Schwartz

Sunday, January 15, 10am-5pm 
Sunday, January 22, 10am-5pm 
Sunday, January 29, 10am-5pm 

Wednesday Crafting Circle

January 11, January 18, January 25 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas Cheer & New Year 2017

Thank you to everyone who attended our "Christmas Cheer" event on Friday, December 23!

Every year we celebrate German Christmas with a real tree, ornaments and decorations, and traditional treats. It was a great opportunity to get together and learn more about the holiday and each other.

Book Ideas is now closed for Winter Break.

Our first opening after the break will be on Saturday, January 7, 2017
The first Crafting Circle after the break will be on Wednesday, January 11, 2017

We wish all our users a Happy New Year and a peaceful start to 2017!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Upcoming Events & Openings: December 2016

Openings & Events

Sunday, December 4, 10am-5pm
Saturday, December 10, 10am-5pm 
Holiday Ornaments 
with Naoko Kikuchi at 3pm

Sunday, December 18, 10am-5pm 
Friday, December 23, 10am-5pm 
Christmas Cheer 
Our annual all-day holiday celebration 

Closed for Winter Break until Saturday, January 7, 2017 

Wednesday Crafting Circle 
December 7, December 14 and December 21, 10am-12pm
Closed for Winter Break until Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Note: Change to schedule of openings & Events of interest

Book Ideas will not be open on Saturday, November 26 as announced!
Instead, we will be open on Sunday, November 27 from 10am-5pm

We'd also like to share two events that might be of interest to our users:

The German church in Gotanda will hold its annual "Adventsbasar" on Saturday, November 26 from 1pm (

The American School in Japan will hold its annual "Winterfest" on Saturday, December 3 from 10am-3pm

Monday, November 7, 2016

Upcoming Events & Openings: November 2016

Sunday, November 6 

Saturday, November 12

Sunday, November 20 

Holiday wreath-making 
with Hiroko Maekawa at 3pm 

Saturday, November 26 

Wednesday, November 16, 
November 23 and November 30 

Crafting Circle

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

"Crafting Circle": introducing a new service at Book Ideas

Crafting Circle
Sewing, knitting, stitching, 
crafting and chatting in English

From November 16, 2016
Every Wednesday morning from 10am-12pm

Bring along your craft project
Work in our comfortable space
Enjoy the company of others
Join in on the conversation--in English!

You do not need to join the group or attend regularly. There is no fee, but participants are asked to buy a drink.

At the 8th Annual General Meeting in February 2016 many of you used the questionnaire to give me feedback about Book Ideas: how you feel about the changes that have taken place since we started; your suggestions for what services we could provide in the future; and who we could “become” as an organization. 

For many years Book Ideas has been a neighborhood institution offering a place to check out books and chat in English. At our location in the Momijigaoka Bunka Center people felt comfortable coming in for a look, a chat, even sitting down and reading or letting the kids play, all on their way to the “regular” Japanese library next door. That feeling of a low-commitment, easily accessible public space has changed since we moved into our rented premises, which are tucked away in a side street off Hitomi Kaido. Now, a visit to Book Ideas requires more of an effort and is no longer a little side trip on the way to somewhere else.

Our clientele at the Bunka Center was very diverse. Sometimes unaccompanied kids attracted by our toys and games would peek in; young parents with young children stopped by; some college-aged students and many middle-aged women were curious about us; while us more “mature” women, with a sprinkling of men of all ages, constituted most of our customers. There were casual visitors who just came for the books and maybe a chat with me, but over time a group of regulars developed and many of us got to know each other personally. Since we moved to the new premises we seem to have kept many of those regulars, while the others are mostly staying away. And the occasional newcomer does still find their way to Book Ideas but the numbers are going down. 

Reflecting on these facts and your feedback from the questionnaire has inspired us to expand our services at Book Ideas. Every weekend will still be “open house” where anyone can come to talk, read, and check out books. We will still have monthly presentations on a variety of topics. However, in addition to these services, we are introducing new offerings for various age and interest groups!