All for the love of books

Current record for book toppling is held in the U.K.

If you’re one who thinks real books will be displaced by electronic books, think again.

When’s the last time you saw 5,318 Kindles toppled domino-style? Never.

But in January in the United Kingdom, 5,318 copies of the Guinness World Records 2015 edition toppled just as planned by United Biscuits. It took two minutes and 27 seconds.

Now some in Gifu City, Japan, are excitedly planning to top that record to promote the reopening of the city’s library.

The emphasis is on “some.”

The book-toppling event has drawn intense criticism from people who contend it is disrespectful to the books and their authors.

Even the library’s plan to sell the books in its used book store after the event hasn’t assuaged those book lovers’ indignation. According to the Telegraph, one critic explained, “Japanese people hold books in high regard, almost as sacred.”

So far, plans for the July 12 event are proceeding. Planners hope it will brand Gifu as “a book city” befitting what is promised to be one of the world’s most spectacular libraries when it reopens on July 18.

And what of the aggrieved book lovers? They face a difficult decision. Do they stand by their books-are-sacred principles and boycott the fine new library? Or do they dig into their literary insights and opt for forgiveness à la Prospero who, in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” forgave those who betrayed him?

Our bet is that book lovers will relent and let the books fall where they may.