Thursday, June 29, 2006
Late night at the bookstore
After dinner, my okasan said she had to stop at the local book store to pick up an order. I went with her and got to see a lot. The word for bookstore in Japanese is hon-ya, literally book shop. The store was impressive. There were many books and tons of magazines. I should also note that this place would be a manga lover's paradise. Manga are Japanese comic books. I don't read them myself, but I do know that in America they are expensive at 10 - 15 dollars per graphic novel. In Japan though, I learned they are rather cheap at about 3-6 dollars per issue. Interesting. The first picture shows the packed isle of Manga graphic novels. There were many books in the store, but the main thing covering the shelves were magazines, zashi in Japanese. They were on all sorts of topics. I think this small store had as many magazines as a large Barnes and Noble! One thing I found interesting, (and I have read about this somewhere before) is that pornography and adult magazines are not hidden from plain view in Japan. Actually, they are openly displayed in a central location. Wild.... sorry... no pictures of that, hahah. Also magazines such as sports, outdoors, cars, and motorcycles have covers and inserts of "exciting" pages to attract readers, haha. Culture shock. OK...back to books...the books in Japan are tiny. Many books are slimmed down and come in separate volumes. The DaVinci code is sold in 3 different sections for 5 dollars apiece. I don't know why. The pics are of the Manga aisle, and a novel that was never released in English (just kidding).