2010.11.03: Book Off GT 2010
I've fallen a little behind because of my birthday (this past Friday) and the Okazaki Jazz Street Festival this weekend, where I am working as a volunteer. I'll have some pictures from that later. But first, I need to catch you up on this year's Book Off GT.
The Book Off GT is an annual -- or as close to annual as I can make it over to Japan -- tradition I have with Dodzi, my friend and fellow Iowa alum. Book Off is a used book store in Japan, but there are a few things that make it special. One, they are dirt cheap. I'm talking entire sections of $1 books. Two, they are everywhere. Three, they are (sometimes) huge. And four, selection and pricing varies wildly from store to store. There are, at my last count, eighteen Book Offs in Nagoya. The city of Nagoya, coincidentally, has a weekend/holiday deal for the subway and bus system -- an all you can ride one day pass for 600 yen ($7.38). Naturally, the best use -- or the only real use -- for the pass is to see how many Book Off stores we can get to within a single day.
Thirteen stores. If we had made our last connection on time, it would have been fourteen. Still, that's not bad.
Tachiyomi: the ancient Japanese art of reading books without paying for them.
Dodzi is secure enough in his manhood to enter the girl's aisles. Sometimes he even buys manga from them. Scandalous!
When you travel all around a city on public transit, you can really get a sense of the various areas in the city. Although it doesn't really take a whole lot of insight to notice that this part of the city has a huge freaking torii gate astride one of its major streets.
Me taking advantage of some subway downtime to try to make all my books fit in Dodzi's full-size camping backpack.
Sadly, I couldn't make Arnold fit in my suitcase, or I'd take it home. Look at this picture and tell me that Book Off isn't the coolest place ever!
Book Off GT is an endurance test. It spans over 14 hours, and by the end, I was hauling 34 books, four games, one movie, one CD, and a figure based on an anime (a gift -- wouldn't want you to think I'm a dork or anything!)
I'd call it a grand success.