Places to Shop in Japan: BookOff

Book Off Japan

I like books. A lot. You might have noticed that =) And as I have mentioned over and over, I like books as mementoes and souvenirs. And I specifically like craft books or magazines. Trav had heard about a second hand book store in Japan, so we decided to check it out.

The store we went to was called Book Off. In addition to second hand books, they also sell manga, CDs, DVDs and video games. I wasn’t really expecting that much. Trav was looking for some cheap English books and I don’t know enough Japanese to be buying books yet, so it was more just of a tourist event for me.

Wikipedia describes Book Off this way:

Japan’s largest chain of used bookstores. The large scale of the stores makes it reasonably likely that shoppers seeking widely-available books will be able to find what they are looking for, and browsing through books is encouraged. A typical scene at the stores is the rows of high-school students who read through entire series of manga standing quietly in the aisles. Another innovation cited for its success is the practice of shaving the edges off the pages of books using a special machine in order to make them appear newer.

There were lovely rows of books, all lined up. So many of the Japanese books look the same, very non-descript. I’m guessing that is because they don’t want everyone to know what they are reading on the subway. Or is there another reason that I don’t know about?

Book Off Japan

Photo by: inkyrain

Anyway, I found a goldmine! Earlier I had noticed various magazines in grocery stores and the like that I was interested in. So when I saw a rack of magazines I was immediately drawn in. It ended up that Trav didn’t find anything and he sat there waiting for me.

The first Book Off we went to was a bit messier and not as organized, so I had to search through the magazines. The second one I went to was much more organized and I could find exactly the type of magazine I wanted in one area.

So I found these:

Japan crafting magazine
Full Review

Full Review

Such great deals! The magazines were each only 105 yen and the book was 800 yen. So the deals are really worthwhile if you can find what you like.

And while Travis didn’t find any books he wanted, he did score big time with CDS.

Shonen Knife Let's Knife CD

If you want to find a Book Off near you, look here.

Interestingly, there is one in Vancouver. I wonder what it would be like. We’ll have to check it out next time we are in Vancouver. There are also some Book Off stores in the U.S., France and Korea.

2 Responses to “Places to Shop in Japan: BookOff”

  1. Heinz Kuhlmann  on August 24th, 2012

    Dear Heart Japan Team,

    By coincidence I found an read interesting web site which is full of useful information.
    Actually, I want to contact Book.Off Japan but could only find their web site and not a contact e-mail address.
    Therefore, I would appreciate very much if you could forward the following message and/or give me their e-mail address.

    Thank you and best regards,
    Heinz Kuhlmann

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    Over the years I have collected many books and have also imported foreign dictionaries and other books … until Amazon and other e-businesses became an unbeatable competition.

    I am getting older and will probably close my office next year.
    Therefore, I want to sell accumulated books, among them:

    o German books (fiction, literature, non-fiction, dictionaries and reference books)
    o English ” ” ” ” ”
    o Dictionaries in many languages (several hundred)

    Are you interested in buying some of the above books?
    If so, we can discuss details by mail or phone and I can also visit your shop.

    Best regards,

    Heinz Kuhlmann

  2. Travis  on August 24th, 2012

    Heinz, this is their Customer Support contact form – Hopefully that will help :)

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