we meet again in my search
for more JP lit!
Well, just checking in after a bit of a hibernation from my blog.
I had a chance to stock up on a few books lately, with novels by such authors as Natsume Soseki, Kanoko Okamoto, Akira Yoshimura and Murasaki Shikubu now added to my list of works to be relished. I did see the full unabridged version of The Tale of Genji in the shop but decided I didn’t want to spend the money on it and that the abridged version I had already picked up was good enough. I was on a cheap book buzz! As much as I love books, I have a limit as to how much I’ll spend in one go, or on any one book. I felt like it was a real bonanza in any case.
Well, I started on the Natsume Souseki novel (after finishing another novel I had out from the library) but I wasn’t really feeling it so I might go back to it again as I’ve moved on to Okamoto. There are in fact two novellas in the book I bought by her and so far it’s going well. It’s nice to read female writers from that time (late 19th/early 20th) century. I have to admit I had not heard of her before I bought the book so it’s also exciting in that way. Okamoto and Yoshimura were new to me but the other two I knew (well I knew of Souseki of course, having other books of his, but not that particular work while I did know of course of The Tale of Genji and its author)
I was delighted anyway on finding these books as I found them in a bookstore which has both new and second hand books over two very big floors for very decent prices. For decent, read cheap! Only one was over 10 euros and not that much over it.
Books are one of the few things I like to have as material objects. I don’t buy much in life really – as travel is my biggest and most worthy expense – but I still buy books (and dvds if I can’t find the film online and I really love the film enough to get the dvd). I rarely give away or try to reduce my book collection. Any time I have I ‘ve mostly regretted it. I’m not even fond of lending books (or dvds) to others. I always say I’ll try not to buy new books or dvds as I like to keep my overall personal possessions to a minimum but then I come across second hand ones or new ones I’m really interested in (like Pachinko which I bought lately and wrote about here) and that half-hearted vow is quickly forgotten!! It’s easier to stick to the vow not to buy dvds as there are so few places left to buy them now if you prefer to buy them in person.
As I said, I use the library a lot and the libraries in my county do have a good selection, not just of books but also dvds, and you can also order from libraries around the country but while I believe in keeping libraries going (staffed by real people, not the self service libraries I’ve heard talk of in the last two years) for community purposes, if you choose to buy a book, buying it in a real bookshop rather than on-line means you’re putting money into the local or national economy. The exception might be for rare books, or textbooks for study purposes which are hard to find cheap (one way that being a student is unnecessarily expensive for many) or hard to find at all in actual bookshops and need to be bought online. There is one online bookshop I prefer if buying online, but I’d still prefer to go into a bookshop, buy the book and read it when I decide to read it, which is usually straight away unless there’s a book I’m in the middle of, rather than waiting for it to arrive, however quickly, in the post from some other country.
Well, that’s all for today. I have another post in mind about Japanese-Korean relations again after seeing an interesting documentary lately on-line which reminded me of Pachinko in terms of people belonging neither in one place nor another. That’s for another day.