Tired of clawing at books crammed tightly into your shelves? Struggle no longer: a solution by the name of “P-hook” has been proposed by Kansai-based designer Junji Itosaki of pyloneer. Each box contains a stack of twelve P-shaped hooks. At first sight, their purpose may be elusive, but insert the hooked portion from the top of the spine, and voila! It even makes a great bookmark!
According to the entry on P-hooks in the Japanese stationery weblog Bungu de tanoshii hitotoki (pen-info.jp), Itosaki made a point of creating an environmentally friendly product that’s specifically connected to the Kansai region. The packaging is literally a matchbox, matchbox production being a local business of Himeji, Hyogo, and the sturdy plastic-like hooks are actually made of paper processed in Osaka. Both the packaging and the hooks themselves use recycled paper.
Although the hooks shown here are in black, there are also boxes of multicolored sets, as seen via vivo.va bookstore (who take orders for the product online but seem to only have information in Japanese).
One caveat: P-hooks are apparently only available in the Kansai region. The pyloneer website names just four retailers in Osaka and Kobe, but I have seen them in two different stores in Kyoto as well. If you have any plans to travel there, make sure to pick some up!
(Re-Edited from 2007-9-5 - CB)