apologies to BOOKOFF

Because I just didn’t understand BOOKOFF when I first came to Tokyo. And I got annoyed at its small, weird collection of Japanese craft and sewing books … that’s before I realised BOOKOFF is a secondhand bookshop, with gems like this:

Go-Akiue: kimono remake


And odd ones like this:

The Works of Sayoko Mori

ISBN 4-946496-47-5

It must be the special edge-sanding technique, because when I first came here, I thought the books were new.  And it’s true what the article says, the stores aren’t dingy and unwelcoming at all … so totally unlike secondhand bookshops I’m used too.

Oh, and BOOKOFFs carry plenty of fashion magazines, often very current ones … my local has a couple of February 2009 issues already!  And sewing books, knitting books, craft books …

Apparently, there’s a legal reason why you never see books on sale here, so if you’re after half-price Japanese craft books … you know where to shop.  I’ve seen BOOKOFFs everywhere in Tokyo, at one stage I tried to find the biggest (Akihabara?) and best for fashion / design /craft (Shibuya or Jiyugaoka?) but actual my local’s been good to me, perhaps because I visit frequently.

P.S. If you’re after English language books while you’re in Tokyo, I recommend Maruzen at Nihombashi or Marunouchi, or the bookshop in the basement of Parco, Shibuya.