Seiwado Book Store in Osaka began producing playful covers as freebies for their customers

If you’ve ever purchased a book in Japan you’re undoubtedly familiar with the phrase kaba otsuke shimashouka? “Would you like a cover?” The book cover is a free service that booksellers in Japan offer, giving your newly purchased book a thin, dust cover that protects the binding and pages. With a little bit of creativity, one bookseller in Osaka has turned the book cover into a method of attracting new customers into their bookstore.

According to a recent article, The 50-year old family-owned Seiwado Book Store had been struggling to attract new, in-store customers when the 34 grandson of the owner hit on an idea. Utilizing his art-school design experience and his day-job working at a printing shop, he began making playful, whimsical book covers and accompanying bookmarks that would transform newly purchased books into edible delights like baguettes in a paper bag, or a bubbly cream soda.

Sure enough, the brilliant designs were a hit, both on the company’s Instagram account but also in real life, creating a surge in new customers. “We have more female customers, and we draw in customers from across the country, from Hokkaido to Okinawa Prefecture,” he said.

Seiwado Book Store is located near Imafuku-Tsurumi Station in Osaka. Here is their exact location.