We sat down with The Kolophon’s owner Shane Suvikapakornkul to talk about how he sourced and brought together a comprehensive collection of books and publications that best represent Central: The Original Store.
“The parallel storylines are the core of the collection. We’re telling the history of Central from 1950, post-war Bangkok and the world, the local cultural and creative shift and lifestyle changes with consumer products,” said Shane.
Starting with the “back numbers”, a term for magazine back issues that Central was known for in the 1950s, we present these rare original back numbers, along with recent books, in a new context as research pieces for the eras and how they affect contemporary culture. All vintage items are for sale, except some very hard-to-find volumes, among such are the 1950s Montgomery Ward & Sears catalogs, aka the Wish Book, which contain all types of American clothing and household merchandise, giving an idea of what Central once imported and setting the trend back then. Moreover, there are many beautiful issues of LIFE, LOOK, POST and TIME magazines spanning from 1948 through 1970s, with contents related to American and European influence in Asia leading to the Cold War and its aftermath. Among such features are economic and the growth of international commerce that bind great nations, which Central has been part of these business stories for the last seventy years.
The building’s L2 presents The Kolophon Retail Library that serves to unlock the know-how of retail business in all aspects — business, law, marketing, public relations, visual merchandising, store design and architecture. Moreover, The Kolophon offers a research service for your project needs.
Shane suggested checking out Store Design and Visual Merchandising: Creating Store Space That Encourages Buying by Claus Ebster and Marion Garaus, the special edition of Lunch with the FT and Proverbs from Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which Central’s founders followed for its business principles.
The Kolophon is a pay-per-use and membership-based library. Books and magazines at the first-floor shop are for sale.