July 12, 2008
The value of old things
40 old shirts (T and collared) sold at Bingo's Jiyugaoka shop
. 30 old books (English and Japanese) sold at (of course) Jiyugaoka's Book Off.
Results: ~ 2000 yen.
How depressing! My "stuff" is hardly worth anything! The books were the hardest to part with. In the end, I kept my totally awesome leatherbound Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy collection and my Lord of the Rings (50th Anniversary Edition) books. Both were gifts from my dad and grandma. They know how to give! I also wish I had my Feynman Lectures on Physics books, but they are still back in America.
The hardest part was deciding which books to get rid of. I didn't want to sell John C. Wright's Golden Age Trilogy, but I don't think I'll read it again, and I don't want to pay to cart it to the new place and then not have a place to put it. I also sold the three Richard K. Morgan sci-fi hard-boiled noir detective novels in the Takeshi Kovacs series that I had. They were lots of fun, and I'm totally following his works now (I haven't checked out Market Forces yet, but plan to.)
Some of the other stuff that remains: 4 Ian M. Banks' Culture Novels
, George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire
books (do all fantasy authors need to have R. R. in their name somewhere?), and my 20th Century Boys manga collection
There are a few other things up there (notably The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time that I spoke about in a previous post) but I feel like I've played the role of book seller for too long already. Also, how come I can't get affiliate links for Japanese stuff? I bet I have to sign up for an Amazon.co.jp account for that. Dang.
I'm down to three shelves of books (I didn't talk at all about my technical book shelf) and it is getting really hard to part with any more books. I don't know what will happen when we move to the new place though. I'm afraid I'll have to part with more tree-pulp-based friends, but it will be tough! I'm really starting to like the idea of keeping e-book versions of these books around just for the space savings.
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I heard any of the "Off" stores pay you about 5% what they sell your stuff for, meaning if they sell your book for \100 they'll only pay you \5 for it. That's one hell of a fee for the middle-man to earn!
Yeah, Book Off really does a good turnaround for themselves. I shop at Book Off all the time for manga, and other literature too but their selection is always pretty spotty. When there is a specific author that I want I usually have to go to one of the pricey new bookstores.
Still, I just love browsing books. I think that is one place that online booksellers can't compete: when you don't know what you want, but have some time to waste and just want to browse through some books. I don't think you can really replicate that experience well online. I have to admit that I have bought many books based on their covers, and sometimes found some really good stuff that way. (It helps that embossed covers usually mean that the book has, at least in the eyes of the publisher, enough merit to be pushed.)
I view Book-Off and used clothes shops as essentially more ecological versions of trash dumps. Get rid of stuff you don't want, and maybe save the environment a bit by letting someone else use it.
As middlemen go though, they really take a chunk. It just isn't worth the effort it takes to sell the stuff on ebay or the like though. What is popular here in Japan? Yahoo! Auctions I guess?
I've never used online Japanese auctions, so I'm not sure - But a couple of years ago I think I recall a Japanese acquaintance mentioning the popularity of Yahoo! Auction.
I'm hooked on amazon.co.jp's used book selection, although the cheapest you can get a book for is \341 - \1 for the book at \340 for shipping. I did manage to build up the entire Harry Potter series, although I only bought online what I couldn't find for \105 at the local Book Offs. (Managed to find the sets of books 4 and 5 packaged for \105, hardcover...How great is that?! Something you'd have trouble doing in the States, and even if you found them for cheap, they'd probably have been destroyed by owners who don't care for books. I've gone off on a tangent.)
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