I discovered BookOff in Nagoya, when my friend brought me there earlier this year for thrift shopping. The store in Nagoya had a selection of various used items like books (since, well, it’s called BookOff after all), clothes, bags, and accessories. I had to return the next day to ‘complete’ my shopping as 2 hours of looking around was not enough.
During my trip to Tokyo this week, I had the afternoon off during my first day and initially planned to go to Shinjuku. As the train passed through Akihabara, though, I made a spur of the moment decision to check it out. Lo and behold I stumbled upon BookOff at Akihabara which was close to the train station. I thought it also had a selection of other vintage items, but soon found that this branch had mostly multimedia.
BookOff in Akihabara has 6 floors: the first and second floors were for games and electronics and have a wide selection of CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray. The books can be found from the third to the sixth floor: the third floor housed novels; the fourth floor held photographs, anime and illustration books both in hardcover and paperback; and the fifth and sixth floor have pocket sized comics, videos, and magazines.
I was amazed with the shelves of books. In the Philippines, whenever I have the time I’d browse around stores selling used books where I usually end up buying some good finds. In BookOff, customers laze around also reading through the books – I wish I could read Japanese because I probably would have spent hours here. I looked in vain for manga and anime books written in English, but as my Japanese colleagues say: “Why write them in English when they’re sold in Japan?” Oh well, I guess I’ll just look for the English versions online – or wait for them to be translated to English and shown on TV or film: like my favorites Samurai X (Rurouni Kenshin) and Waiting for Spring (Harumatsu Bokura).