Friday, July 11, 2008

BTT: Doomsday, and other fun Friday stuff

btt button
What would you do if, all of a sudden, your favorite source of books was unavailable? Whether it’s a local book shop, your town library, or an internet shop … what would you do if, suddenly, they were out of business? Devastatingly, and with no warning? Where would you go for books instead? What would you do? If it was a local business you would try to help out the owners? Would you just calmly start buying from some other store? Visit the library in the next town instead? Would it be devastating? Or just a blip in your reading habit?

If my favourite bookstore in Tokyo suddenly went bankrupt, I'd be disappointed that I no longer had a place to browse with a good selection of English books, but it wouldn't affect me too much otherwise as I do most of my shopping online. What can I say, it's usually cheaper.

If Amazon was no longer available, that, on the other hand, would impact my book buying considerably more. I have enough unread books here already to last me probably a few years so I would simply have to read those instead with only the occasional must-have purchases. I actually already buy quite a bit less than I did when we lived in England, primarily because of the cost. There were far too many tempting sales there, and so many bookstores to choose from!

Speaking of England, if The Book Depository disappeared, that would also be very sad indeed. It's my way of buying British books, and sometimes other books, often much cheaper than from Amazon Japan. I generally prefer buying the British editions of books by British authors. (Why? See my answer to #5 below.) Even though both the British and American editions are usually available on Amazon Japan, the American ones are usually a bit cheaper, which is where The Book Depository comes in. Like with Amazon, if it wasn't available, I'd probably buy a lot less, and would have to debate over paying more for the edition I wanted.

I'm not sure what I could do to stop the demise of any of these so I suppose I would simply have to find other sources. I would probably finally join BookMooch, and need to rely on trading and other ways of acquiring books, and focus on reading the books I already own, which wouldn't be such a bad thing really.

1. Oh, I can't wait until I have a place to call home, where we want to settle down.
2. A jar of olives is the first thing I see when I open my refrigerator.
3. I never leave home without my keys, my wallet and something to read.
4. If I were a condiment, I would be ketchup (NOT catsup) because I love tomatoes.
5. Changing the spellings and translating British English into American English in books is really high up on my list of pet peeves.
6. The last thing I thought of before I went to bed was Gosh it's late! I really should stop being such a night owl.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to watching a bit of TV, tomorrow my plans include trying to stay cool and Sunday, I want to maybe get out to take some pictures!
123 meme

1. Pick up the nearest book, and open it to page 123.
2. Find the fifth sentence, and post the next three sentences.

This week I'm reading a non-fiction book, Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created its Own Lost Generation by Michael Zielenziger. I'm going to cheat on the usual 123 rules because the first 5 sentences of p. 123 are more amusing to read out of context.
A Japanese pizza can be ordered with pineapple and squid. A 1950s GI bomber jacket or Italian motorbike reproduced in Japan seems more perfect than the original. A Japanese-baked baguette is often lighter and more flavorful than one found in Paris. Only Japanese could develop green-tea ice cream, shoehorn a golf driving range into the tiniest city block, or turn Christmas Eve into a romantic holiday when the nation's hotels are booked solid by trysting young couples, even though everyone goes back to work early on Christmas morning. Schoolchildren are shocked to learn that Makudonarudo, the hamburger chain known elsewhere as McDonald's, is not actually a Japanese invention.
I still think French bread is better in France but maybe I'm shopping in the wrong bread shops. Otherwise, all true! :P

I seem to have only added one book to my wishlist this week, The Boat by Nam Le after reading this review at In the Shadow of Mt. TBR. It's described as "a stunningly inventive, deeply moving fiction debut: stories that take us from the slums of Colombia to the streets of Tehran; from New York City to Iowa City; from a tiny fishing village in Australia to a foundering vessel in the South China Sea, in a masterly display of literary virtuosity and feeling." Sounds good, doesn't it?


  1. Thanks for that link to The Book Depository! I've always wanted all the UK versions of Harry Potter, exactly for your reason in #5. Heck, even the TITLE of the first HP book was changed in the US!

    I see you had to open your refrigerator, too, to see what the first thing was you'd see ;-)

    That book you're reading sounds quite interesting...I might have to take a look!

    Enjoy your weekend!

  2. Is "ketchup" your preferred spelling, or is it really different from "catsup"? I don't like either one, personally :-).

    I agree with your #5, and I'm American.

    Have a great weekend!

  3. love olives! Anyone for a dirty martini? Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Thanks for your "FF" post, Nat! :)

  5. i really liked the 123 meme !
    i will do it right now !

  6. I've been looking at The Boat every time I go to the bookstore lately! It does sound good.

  7. Janet- You're welcome. Their free worldwide shipping is great!
    It still annoys me that they changed the title of the first Harry Potter book in the US.
    Shutting Out the Sun is an interesting read so far but does make me feel a bit down about Japanese society.

    Florinda- Just my preferred spelling and pronunciation. :)

    Megan- Yup, olives are great!

    MizB- You're welcome. Only one book this week. :)

    mariana- Go right ahead! Florinda started doing it weekly on Fridays so I copied her. :P

    Terri B.- I think it's still in hardback though, right? If so I'll probably wait a while until the paperback comes out.

  8. You have a very interesting blog page -- pics -- book info -- I killed myself on HANGMAN . . .

  9. cmw- Thanks for stopping by. The hangman gets me sometimes too! :P

  10. It's been a couple of years (and several books acquired) since I last counted how many unread books are in this house, but I suspect if my favorite bookstore went out of business, I'd have plenty to read for many, many years! Having said that though, I'd probably hit the library since I'd want to read all the new releases.

  11. Yes, online shopping does tend to be cheaper. I buy quite a few books that way.

    I, too, really want to read The Boat. It sounds like a great collection of stories.

    I hope you have a great weekend, Nat.

  12. Les- I know what you mean. It would be hard to resist those new releases!

    Wendy- In England I shopped at Bricks and Mortar stores and online probably about equally, but here I mainly shop online. Money talks, as they say.
    I hope you've been having a lovely anniversary weekend!

  13. Nat, It happened to me a few months ago when the British Library here closed down abruptly. It was the best library in town, I was down for a long time. I have since then turned to buying books on the weekends from the local bookstores.

    I too, never leave home without something to read.

    Lovely photographs of the supported flowering tree and the wedding. Your photographs are so full of life.

  14. A Reader from India- Thanks for your kind comments.
    That's too bad that the library closed down. I don't use the one here very often because the selection of English books is quite small, but I can imagine I'd feel differently somewhere else. Sounds like you're now buying more instead of borrowing.

  15. I think I'd be OK for about a decade with just my TBR tower. There is always online purchasing, and if that failed we'd all have to just continue sharing books :o)

  16. Terri B.- I think I have a decade's worth of reading in Mt. TBR too! :)

  17. yes it is me :) I am back for good, installed a router, should have no more problems :)))

    I am on my 3d story in THE BOAT, I must say it is an "excellent" book. I cried at the first story, was shoked and learned some facts concernig the drug world in Colombia and laughed at the third story. It is a must read book!

    This is my first post since I installed the router, boy I missed you and every one else :)))))

  18. Madeleine- Yay! Glad to see you back! :)
    Oh you're making me want to read 'The Boat' even more!

  19. Ok, you have a choice, THE BOAT or MADAPPLE, part of BAFAB like I wrote to Nymeth beigns I was not able to participate.
    I have to finish it and it's in the mail...plane :P if this is the one you want.
    Let me know, it is a great book, made me cry and laugh, I really cried reading the first story.
    Go on my site, Oliver out-did himself smiling, I took the photo near the laptop, he is so content laying there watching me. He grew from a puppy near a computer :)

  20. Madeleine- It sounds like a really great book. I'll email you about your very kind offer!
    And that's such a great photo of Oliver! :)


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