Books and Japan

When I first started with this blog, I told myself that I would try my very best to post something at least once a day but unfortunately I have not been able to post in the past few days because a lot is going on what with us having to settle about moving to a new place and everything. I hope that once we are completely settled down, I’d be able to write more and even take some amateur videos to share my experience in Japan – but as I have yet to find a part-time job, no promises for now.

So today I figured I’ll talk about books because man, do I miss them! Just two days back, I finally finished reading my second romance book for the year. And believe me, this is a huge achievement because romance is not my genre and because of that very fact, I began this year challenging myself to focus my reading towards romance and horror, the latter yet another genre I am not familiar with.

Before coming to Japan, I was reading a lot more than I did when I was working with PwC, much of it was thanks to the book club I joined in Malaysia. It was so much fun discussing books, encouraging each other to read more and sharing less known details of where to find some gems in Malaysia (and sometimes even elsewhere). I was rather involved to the point of taking time to re-arrange our library, making book covers for some of my favourite books, cataloging the books in the library and making a notebook to record my reading journey.

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When it was confirmed that I was to move to Japan, part of me was sad to leave my physical books behind, even though I know I could still read ebooks because I belong to that group of readers who simply love actual books that one could flip with one’s fingers and smell the pages. I did manage to bring some books along but I had to compromise and so brought mostly Japanese-related books. I am here to study Japanese, after all, when else would it be more appropriate to read those books, right?

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Being in Japan means that us Malaysian readers ought to visit Kinokuniya. We went to the big one located in Shinjuku where they have about eight floors, if I am not mistaken. Most books are in Japanese, but one of the upper floors displays English books. Since they are expensive (about RM40 each) and I am a student who is still looking for a part-time job, I could only caress the books’ covers. We also found language books taught in Japanese when we were looking for textbooks for learning Malay.

However, all was not lost because near our current place, and at some places where there are a lot of shops, there is a book chain selling used or overprinted books called ‘Book-Off’. Books are sold as cheap as ¥108 (about RM5). Nevertheless, their English books selection is too little to be considered. For English books translated in Japanese, though, one can find them at really good bargain. We have found Harry Potter, Agatha Christie, Roald Dahl and Dan Brown – each book sold at ¥108. Which is why I am doing my very best to learn as many kanji (Chinese characters used in Japanese language) so that I would be able to read Japanese and buy all those books!

By the way, the kanji character for book 本 looks similar to the character for rest 休む which I find to be very apt since I do read as a form of resting! ^.^

I’d love to continue talking about the books I have read here and the ones I am reading and Japanese-related books and such, but I am running late to get ready to go to the mosque (which will be covered in yet another post!) so I will end this post here for now.

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