This post can be summarized in one sentence:
If you are ever in Japan (and is learning Japanese), visit Bookoff.
It’s like heaven for Japanese learners. If you are thinking of buying back something for a friend that learns Japanese, forget those gift shops and go straight to Bookoff. Your friend will love you forever (I know I will).
Bookoff is like what its name suggests. Secondhand books at a cheap price. Before you scoff and say it’s just another secondhand bookstore selling old, yellowish torn books, let me tell you that I’ve never seen secondhand bookstores with newer-looking books than Bookoff. Or any secondhand bookstore with a wider collection than them. Or maybe I’m just biased cos it’s JAPANESE BOOKS and they are damn expensive here in Singapore LOL.
I first heard of Bookoff from a friend who’s damn good in Japanese and to be honest I didn’t think much of it because I had that old, small secondhand bookstore image in mind and I wasn’t really keen on going out of my way just to find one (and I assume that they are located in some small street). So it was actually out of pure coincidence that I passed by one in Osaka.
And I’ll say, you won’t miss seeing it.
With such eye-catching colors, it’s hard to miss them. Some outlets are 大型店舗, which means that they are HUGE and some sell not just used books, but used clothes, games, videos etc! 😀
So how good are the deals? Books originally priced at 590 – 700 yen (before 5% tax) are selling for between 105 – 400 yen (no tax)!!!
hehe my loot! 😀
See, they all look quite new!! Even the 卒業 novel, which was like double discounted to 105 yen only. I’m very particular about books and I hate people who dogear their books, fold them or stain them. I can only conclude that Japanese are very good to their books, from the quality of all the secondhand books I see there.
hehe anyway the store has a “normal” section where most novels are around 350-400 yen each, and there’s a 105 yen only section too. The section are separate and a book that you found in the “normal section” may also be found in the 105 yen section! I didn’t see much difference in quality (just a little), so I took the 105 yen one! ^^ There are also sections where books are at 200 yen! So go through all the sections before you purchase anything!
The selection is quite new too! Before going to Bookoff, I actually bought Invisible Rain in Kinokuniya. Damnn should have waited and save a few hundred yen!! D: D:
hehehe and I was reallyyy lucky. The store I went to had some kind of promotion going on so the employee was like giving out 20% off coupons to be used on that day only. So I manage to score 3 novels at around 800 yen, which is crazyyyy 😀
Here’s my Japanese novel collection. As you can see, to me, only two authors exist LOL. I’m a huge fan of Strawberry Night, so yeah, I need to collect the novels ><
Higashino Keigo is probably the one Japanese author that everyone will know. hehe.
I officially have more Japanese novels than Korean novels and I solemnly swear that I will not buy any more for the next few years or before I finish reading all of them, whichever comes first. ^^
When it comes to language learning, I somehow always believe I can do it. It doesn’t occur to me that self studying Japanese for a year is not “enough” to be able to start reading full adult Japanese novels. I picked up my first novel last year and have no (major) problems reading it 😀 I can read crime and detective novels in Japanese now ^^
Moral of the story is: Don’t set limits on yourself and there won’t be any limits!
hehehe have I convinced you about Bookoff?
Now put that in your to-do list for the next trip to Japan!
p.s. After Bookoff, you can no longer bear to buy anything from local Japanese bookstores lol.