大久保洋一 編集者

With the help of a local designer, I combined interview articles about thirteen independent bookstores in Vancouver into a book.

昨年の冬、カナダが誇るスキーリゾート地・ウィスラーに行った時、ふと入ったPatagoniaでレジ横に置いてあった雑誌に目が止まった。『MOUNTAIN LIFE』という名前で、店員さんに値段をたずねると「無料だよ」と。「マジ!?」内容はもちろんのこと、随分厚い良い紙も使っていたので驚いた。

Last winter, when I visited the Patagonia store in Whistler, a popular Canadian ski resort, I noticed a magazine next to the cash register. Its name was Mountain Life, and I asked the staff the price. "It's free," the staff member said. I was surprised that the magazine used a very thick and high-quality paper as well as rich contents.


それから約1年後、今回このnote内 BOOKS AND PRINTS JOUNALの場を借りて取材したバンクーバーのインディペンデント系書店13本のインタビューを、せっかくなので1冊にまとめよう(それぞれのインタビューの英語と日本語を収録)と思い立った。

さて、デザインを誰にお願いしようか、と考えた時、『MOUNTAIN LIFE』が頭のどこか片隅に残っていて、それを印刷しているMichell Pressという会社が、我が家の近所のスーパーWHOLE FOODS MARKETに定期的に置かれていて愛読していたフリーペーパー『maple』と同じということが判明した。

About a year later, I came up with the idea to combine interview articles about thirteen independent bookstores in Vancouver into a book. When I thought about who I should ask for the design, Mountain Life was somewhere in the back of my mind, so I found out which company printed it from the magazine’s cover. The company was called Mitchell Press, a local company. In addition, the printing company was incidentally the same as the free paper, Maple, which was my favourite one and regularly placed at the Whole Foods Market in my neighbourhood.


Apparently, there's a designer on site at Mitchell. I asked for a meeting right away because because I felt the curious fate.

1928年当時の『Mitchell press』

『Mitchell press』は、1928年から続く老舗の印刷所だった。デザイナーのAngelaには、13の書店の多種多様でユニークな個性が詰まった一冊、ローカル色のある一冊、そして中高年だけでなく若い女子も手に取れるような装丁、というイメージを伝えた。判型は、日本が誇る”文庫本”を持っていった。(日本人の友人は、カフェで文庫本を読んでいたら「その本可愛い」とカナディアンに声をかけられたそうな)

Mitchell Press has been a long-established printing company since 1928. I asked designer Angela to represent the image such as the diverse and unique personalities of each of the 13 bookstores, local taste, and cheerfulness, so not only middle-aged, but also young readers in both Canada and Japan will want to pick this book. As for the format, I suggested using bunkobon, a standard Japanese paperback size that is unique to Japan with typical dimensions of 10.5cm X 14.8cm. This is slightly smaller than typical Canadian paperbacks. For example, when a Japanese friend of mine was reading a bunkobon paperback book at a cafe in Canada, she was approached by a Canadian who said, “How cute this book is!”


However, because my budget was limited, and the lines in the factory, I accepted the format they recommended, 14cm wide X 21.5cm long. After that, Angela and I had some meetings on Zoom and interactions with email, and I got a call from her telling me that the book was finally finished.

The book contains 13 interviews in English and Japanese. 140pages in total.



Angela told me, “In my cover design, I represented the ocean and mountains of Vancouver. It was great fun to design Japanese characters though I couldn’t understand their meaning.” She looked happy to finish this book as if it had been her own project from the start. I really appreciated her personal care.
Angela and Marcela, who is production manager, willingly accepted my request to observe the printing process.




Marcela said that Mitchell Press deals with dozens of issues because small-scale self-publishing is gradually increasing in popularity. After checking the printing, Marcela and Angela gave me a tour of the factory. It was huge.




本や雑誌は、人と人を繋いでいく。そしてその輪はどんどん広がっていく。それは国が変わっても同じだと思った。どうかそのマジックが起こる場所 ”Hidden Shangri-La"が、これからもずっと街の片隅で生き続けますように。

A tremendous amount of paper was stored there. “It was mainly made in America, and very environmentally conscious, using recycled paper and FSC certification," Angela said.

I later received an email from Crystal, the production manager who perfectly coordinated my project from meeting to scheduling, but was too busy to see me on the printing day. in her email, she said, "I have an illustrator who brought self-publishing to our company like you, and she is trying to make a book drawing old houses in Vancouver, but she is very interested in the book that is a summary of your interview with the bookstores, and she wants to contact you.”

Books and magazines connect people. And the circle grows wider and wider. I had wanted to know if the printing process would be the same in Canada as I had previously experienced in Japan, and I learned that indeed, they are reassuringly similar. The result was, with Mitchel Press’s help, I was able to complete my book. I hope that Hidden Shangri-La, the place where the magic happens, lives on in the corner of the city forever, and connects many readers.

"I think that the best part of bookstores is the interaction with customers. Come into the store, stroll down this narrow passage, and sometimes chat with us and come across a nice book you hadn't looked for. This is some kind of magic. At that moment, our restaurant and customers are attracted to each other by the same wavelength. Such an experience is rare in everyday life. No?"

Vancouver 書店レポvol.1『The Paper Hound』オーナー Kimのインタビューより

Mitchell press
8328 Riverbend Court Burnaby BC V3N 5C9
Please email to Crystal for enquiries.