Holiday Reading: Erin O’Brien

Erin has been a friend of mine since we met working at Net-a-Porter’s London offices a few years back. We’ve crossed geographies ever since, from Shanghai to Sydney, sharing unbounded passions for travel, fashion, shopping and the good life.

Erin is without a doubt one of the coolest girls I know, and her opinion is everything, so to compile a holiday reading list without consulting her was unthinkable.

Currently based in Hong Kong, Erin was spending her Christmas and New Year’s in Japan when I sent word Undone needed her…

“I would love to say I’m a big novel reader, but I can never seem to keep my mind still enough to get through more than a few pages. I’m always drifting off into my own little dreamland.

I prefer magazines and books I can pick up and put down, little snippets of inspiration and imagery that open my mind to new ideas.

I do have an unhealthy obsession with buying those books and magazines though. I’m guilty of buying them and never reading them. I like the way they look all piled up, and often think of my future home with a floor-to-ceiling library where I would likely just sit and stare at the wall of books, lost in my own thoughts.

Enter Tokyo, the book-lovers dreamland. My first time in Tokyo, after years of anticipation, did not disappoint!

With my friend as tour guide, I was swiftly shown the best bookstores in the city. After the plastic-wrapped, sterile land of Hong Kong bookstores, Tokyo was pure bliss. Beautifully curated, peaceful, friendly and dangerous to my carry-on baggage limit.

Considering my short attention span, I went for the magazines. In lieu of a recommended book, here are my favourite periodical picks:

self service
The Travel Almanac

I was also all over the landscape photography books – particularly ones by Hiroshi Sugimoto.

If you happen to find yourself in Tokyo, go here to browse and buy:

Bonjour Records – Daikanyama
Smokebooks – East End Tokyo, near MOT gallery, Kiyosumigaseki
NADIFF – Ebisu

For some tunes that match the experience, the girls from CHAMP have got you covered here.”


– Josie Steenhart

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