Well, some of you bibliophiles may be wondering, where on earth do you find (relatively) cheap books in Japan? Well, the answer is in this magic word:
BookOff is a used-book chain that sells books very cheaply.
So what's the big deal? Used books tend to sell at low prices, right?
Yep, BUT BookOff's competitors who sell new books are restricted by law from giving discounts which could be helpful in their fight with BookOff.
The irony is that traditional book sellers had long fought tooth and nail to prevent anyone from being able to sell new books at a discount. They succeeded and now, they can't discount their new books to bring their prices nearer to what BookOff's refurbished used books retail for.
I guess sometimes, one needs to be careful about one wishes for. :) Anyway, if you’re interested in reading more, you can check out this interesting article: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,421071,00.html
So If you’re in Japan and you need an English book fix, head over to the biggest BookOff you can find because the smaller stores don’t normally stock English books. At the larger stores, you probably be able to find a shelf or two of goodies. My favourite store has to be the Kichijoji branch – four levels of books, games and music means that there are about three or four shelves of English books!
And yes, BookOff encourages browsing, so feel free to spend as much time as you want reading there.
Now to put my money where my mouth is. :)
And on my last trip, I discovered the Children’s section. I never realized that so many books have been translated into Japanese. So, this is my reading list for the time being:
a Singaporean Gal saying 'Hi' from Japan!