Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Used English books at Blue Parrot and Book-Off book stores

When it comes to used books Blue parrot book shop is probably one of the most popular in Tokyo. The store, which specializes in used English books is located near the JR train line's Takadanobaba station in Tokyo, in an area that is densely populated by students due to its proximity to Waseda University.

The store is famous among the English speaking and Expat communities because of their fairly large collection of used English books. However, on my visits, I'm always a little disappointed since their books were all somewhat expensive and their selections, from what I noticed, seemed dated. To pay almost close to the original cover price for an edition that has been through numerous publishing cycles since then isn't much of a good deal for me.

If they priced their books cheaper or at least fairly they would move a lot more products off the shelves faster and have more space for newer books.

My usual favorite for English books is the Book-Off book store chain of used books, videos and music.

Although most of their stores (which are located all over Japan) carry an impressive collection, their Shibuya store seems to stock an impressive supply with many current titles. Their selection also seems to be replenished frequently with new books, and their pricing is surprisingly low. I picked up a barely read copy of "An Inconvenient Truth" by Al Gore for 200 yen last year.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wholehearthedly agree with the price thing. That woman is stuck in the bubble period. And she dares to complain to Japanese English-language teachers that she's not doing well. What did you expect? I visited recently and three people leave emptyhanded. Scratch what you said about close to cover price - Carrie, by Stephen King, had a tattered edition going for 720 Yen when a brand new one was 680 Yen at Amazon.co.jp, and Fowler's English usage had an actual shop label pricing it at 920 Yen when the price she wrote in pencil at the back was 1080. I have others: I bought 'Beloved', By Toni Morrison from her for 3100 Yen; the exact same publication from Amazon.co.jp is the price of a paperback novel cheaper, and Faulker's The Sound and the Fury cost me 400 Yen more than a new copy (different publication, but still). It's ridiculous. Not to brag, but I would easily spend 10,000 Yen on used books there if she priced paperbacks at 250 to 500 Yen, but her prices are ludicrous, and so is her attitude. I pointed out that she was charging more for the Fowler's English Usage than the book originally costed, as explained above, and do you want to know what she said in response?
"Shoganai."

Pure classic.

June 14, 2011 at 8:05 PM  
Blogger ken212 said...

Yeah, some people just don't know how to run a good business or a business in general and think that just keeping the store open is good enough.

June 15, 2011 at 10:16 AM  

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