Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Salon: Weird Economics

I haven't had a whole lot of time to read this past week so I'm still reading Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow by Peter Høeg. It's a little slow going but only because the prose is a little dense in places, in a well-written, thoughtful, good kind of way. It's very readable though and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. However I did make some progress on it today as we went into Tokyo this afternoon and I had some time to read it on the train. I don't have to commute too much for work anymore, which is great, but I admit that when I did, the extra reading time was nice.

Anyway, one of our stops today was checking out a used bookstore that we'd heard had a fair selection of English books. They did indeed have a reasonable selection but they were quite expensive. Most of the trade paperbacks were 1000 yen (with the current exchange rate it works out to approx. US$11.25 or GBP 8.25!!). They did have a clearance area of books for 200 yen which is of course where I mostly browsed. I only found one book though, and it's actually one I've already read and have my own copy of, but it was a nice clean copy and I plan to give it away. So a little disappointing. Not that I need any more books but you know what I mean. It seems quite bizarre and wrong somehow that especially given the current exchange rate (strong yen, weak pound) and the fact that The Book Depository has free worldwide shipping, that I can order completely new books, shipped to me from halfway around the world for cheaper than I can buy the same here used! Ah well, thank goodness for the internet!

On that note, I think it's time to curl up with a kitty and get back to my book. I keep thinking about it when I'm not reading it and can't wait to find out how it all turns out. Always a good sign.
Have a great week and happy reading!

Week in Review:
Sunday Salon: Reading Retrospective
Weekend Snapshot: The cat who lost his meow
It's Tuesday... and I've been lazy (memes)
Review: Rashomon and other stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa
Japanese Literature Challenge 2 completed


  1. It must be frustrating to have such difficulties finding inexpensively priced books. If mailing rates hadn't gone up so much last summer, I'd be happy to mail you some books. I bought sixty yesterday for 25 cents and 10 cents.

  2. Hi Nat :)
    Sorry about your search for english language books, we never have enough books, right? and yes the internet is great for shopping :P

    Glad you enjoy SMILLA'S.......i liked it a lot.

    Have a nice week

  3. It's the same for's much cheaper to order a book through The Book Depository than to buy it at a local bookstore. I don't know what I'd do without them :P

  4. I knew the pound was down but not that much! I'll have to hit up the book depository.

  5. I didn't have much time to spend reading this past week either, Nat. I am glad you were able to fit in some reading time today though.

    The Book Depository does come in handy, doesn't it?

    Have a great week!

  6. Ola! Wow...used books in Japan are expensive, aren't they? I watched the movie version of the book some years ago and like the book, it was very slow but beautifully filmed. There are days when I do feel like slowing down with a book that unwinds slowly. Your winter pixs, by the way, are gorgeous!

  7. debnance - I like to complain about it but in a way it's probably a good thing. I know I wouldn't be able to resist such cheap books and I already have no more space to put the ones I do have! :P
    Thanks for thinking of me though. I don't know why the US mailing rates are so high!

    Sylvie - It's ok, I buy most of my books online so I wasn't really expecting to find many at the used book store. I was a little surprised at just how expensive they were though.

    Nymeth - Yes, I hope they can withstand any economic downturn. I'd certainly buy less books if they weren't around!

    Chris - Yup, it's a good time to shop in British pounds from another currency! Have fun deciding what to get. :P

    Wendy - It was so nice to sit and read for awhile, mostly uninterrupted. I hope you have a good week too, and manage to fit in some more reading time this week.

    indigo - That's why I rarely end up buying used here. I'd much rather have a new book for a couple dollars more than a dirty, beat up one. Or in this case when the new ones are sometimes even cheaper. LOL.
    I'm definitely going to have to see if I can watch the film after I'm done the book. And thanks. :)

  8. Ooh I hate it when a trip to the bookstore is disappointing. Even if I already have tons of books.

    So did you end up doing a bit of Book Depository shopping? :)

  9. Iliana - LOL. I had ordered a couple of books before we went but I think I'm going to order a couple more this weekend. I'm hopeless! :P


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