June 29th, 2007

was sleeping


My first box of books from Japan arrived yesterday.

When I was in Japan, I bought books like a crazy person. After all, over there, if you go to Book-Off (a chain used bookstore), you can buy as many books as you want for 100 yen (about 85 cents as of when I was there) each, and most used bookstores offer a pretty good selection for not much more than that. Furthermore, these bookshops are everywhere. I knew that I wouldn't be able to get so many Japanese books nearly so easily or so cheaply when I got back here, so I made it my quest to buy as many books by as many authors as I could. I'd buy large amounts of books by authors I'd never heard of, I bought everything by some famous authors, and later when I joined the school literature club, I got long lists of recommendations from the students and then bought as many as I could of them, and if an author caught my attention (that is, if I really liked one of her books) I'd immediately buy another six or seven books by her. My time in Japan may be limited, I thought, but my time in America isn't-- so I bought far more books than I could ever begin to read over there.

So I accumulated masses of books. Knowing that masses of books take a very long time to come halfway around the world, I sent my first box about a month before I came back. I enlisted my dormmate's help to stuff 22.8 kilograms of books into a box, which later no one could budge. I'd alphabetized by collection shortly before (the chronological system of ordering books was just not working for me) and managed to get midway through the Mi (about a third of my Miyabe Miyuki collection) before there was simply no more space. Of course, this box exploded at some point in transit-- it arrived in the form of a smaller box and a large tray filled with books, and many of the dust jackets are damaged-- but the point is, that first shipment is here.

Here is a very partial listing of some of the stuff that was in it:

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Books that will come later in the summer: the rest of Yamada Kuniko's books, all of "Hana-Kimi", the first sixteen volumes of "Fruits Basket", about ten manga by Yamato Nase, a good handful of Murakami Haruki's books (he's another one of the guys that everyone told me to read while I was there), all of Yoshimoto Banana's books, a good handful of Mure Yoko's books, a little of Gin'iro Natsuo's poetry, a few Nagano Mayumi novels (she always reminded me of Janet Taylor Lisle), and hundreds and hundreds of books I don't even remember.