Sunday, April 25, 2010

My Addiction: A List

I think I've mentioned in the past that Book-Off is a pretty awesome place. It's a very popular used book store chain. They have a section of books that are all 105 yen, both paperbacks and hardcovers, and then a slightly more expensive section for either newer books, more popular books or books in better condition (I think). For these paperbacks, it's about 250 to 350 yen, hardcovers 600 to 900 yen. The paperbacks are only a slightly better deal; the original price is usually like 500 to 700 yen anyway. The hardcovers are an amazing deal though, since they're usually about the same price in the US, around 2000 yen. Still, you might as well search for the paperback since they're more likely to have it for cheaper.

I've been in Japan for a month now, and I have accumulated a lot of books. Books that I don't necessarily need. Books I might not like or ever finish reading. And yet I can't help myself. For if they're putting these books in my face and selling them for slightly more than a dollar, how can I say no?

The point is, I think I have a slight addiction to Book-Off.

Here's what I've bought so far. In the Haruki Murakami section we have:
  1. 村上春樹、カンガルー日和
  2. 村上春樹、ふわふわ
  3. 村上春樹、羊男のクリスマス
  4. 村上春樹、村上朝日堂 
  5. 村上春樹、村上朝日堂はいほー!
  6. 村上春樹、村上朝日堂ジャーナルうずまき猫のみつけかた
  7. 村上春樹、 村上朝日堂はいかにして鍛えられたか
  8. 村上春樹、蛍・ 納屋を焼く、その他の短編
  9. 村上春樹、海辺のカフカ(上)
  10. 村上春樹、海辺のカフカ (下)
  11. 村上春樹、ノルウェイの森(上)
  12. 村上春樹、ノルウェイの森(下)
  13. 村上春樹+糸井重里、夢で合いましょう
In the authors/books suggested by others category:
  1. 雫井脩介、クローズド・ノート
  2. リリー・フランキー、東京トワー
  3. 伊坂幸太郎、グラスホッパ
In the because I wanted to category:
  1. 滝本竜彦、ネガティブハッピー・チェーンソーエッヂ
  2. 高橋源一郎、君が代は千代に八千代に
  3. 高橋源一郎、惑星P-13の秘密 
  4. 高橋源一郎、優雅で感傷的な日本野球
So yes. A lot of Murakami. I didn't even realize I had bought this much. It's kind of embarrassing... I don't really need a copy of Norwegian Wood and Kafka on the Shore in Japanese, but again, when they come to a grand total of 420 yen, how do I say no...

Genichiro Takahashi is an author I'm currently fascinated with. The only novel he has in English is Sayonara Gangsters, but it was such a mind-blowingly cool read that I'm almost convinced he should be the next big Japanese author. I'm big into the post-modernism, but even by Murakami standards he's pretty f'ing out there. My next translation project for this site is one of his short stories, so be on the look out for that...

That first book in the others section with the long string of katakana is (for you non-speakers) comes out to "Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge". I picked it up because it's by the same author as the original Welcome to the NHK novel, which was quite an interesting read (and a lot darker than the anime adaptation, from what I recall). I once wrote a paper about hikikomori and other social issues in contemporary Japanese pop culture, and it was one of the books I referenced, so at one point in time I was quite familiar with it, but now I hardly remember much about it at all. Anyway, I'm pretty sure there's a movie version of this novel, and again, for a dollar, why not.

Kotaro Isaka is pretty huge right now. I've read a teeny tiny bit of 死神の制度, and I want to read more of it, but I picked this one up just because. My teacher actually recommended ゴールデン・スランバ, another book which was made into a movie recently, but I haven't found a copy at Book Off yet. The other two in the suggestions pile I don't know much about, except that they were also recommended by my Japanese teacher (who also recommended The Housekeeper of the Professor, which I am also a fan of). Would anyone out there recommend them?


  1. Oh no! You've inherited my greed for books! I definitely have turn the living room into a library!

  2. I've been looking forward to reading Sayonara Gangsters and Genichiro Takahashi for a while now,i'm surprised that Kotaro Isaka hasn't seen translation yet,as you say he's really popular.How about Shimada Masahiko?

  3. I haven't read him, but his Wikipedia article seems interesting to say the least (although the praise for him in the Wikipedia article makes it feel more like an advertisement...). Apparently only "Yumetsukai", The Dream Messenger, is available in English so I'll have to look out for that one when I return home, and look for others at Book-Off while I'm here in Japan. Thanks for the tip!