Tachiyomi 立ち読み

When I first came to Japan, reading in public was more prevalent. People would read while they commuted from school and work. On buses and trains, eyes were buried deep in the pages of books and manga (Japanese comics). But I noticed, and this is by no means any great discovery, that more and more people are busily involved with their Smartphones and iPhones, and this is regardless of age. Still retail book stores continue to attract their fair share of customers. And tachiyomi 立ち読み (reading while standing) is a common practice. Tachiyomi is also employed in convenience stores to deter crime.  Magazines are lined along the store’s front window so as to have the customer/reader facing out toward the street as they tachiyomi. From outside it becomes readily apparent that the store clerk is not alone and that everyone’s eyes are turned toward the street. In Japan, it seems people are geared toward standing. Perhaps this is simply a way to deal with a shortage of space, but one senses that there is a degree of creativity in the things you may do while standing. Tachikui 立ち喰い (eating while standing) is seen particularly at noodle shops (udon and ramen). And there are also tachinomi 立ち飲み(drinking while standing) shops and bars popular among businessmen, where customers stand along counters or around tables to drink and eat.tachiyomi

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