Get Thee to a Borders!

Sorry for the super-shitty way I’ve been NOT posting on this blog. The past couple weeks have resulted in a mess of SO BUSY which caused a major downfall of my “get-stuff-done” ethic. I plan to correct this by not having any other choice but to get stuff done before the crazy whirlwind of copy-edits is flung my way next week. Allons-y!

No doubt you’ve heard some inklings of the bad tides Borders is headed into. Publishing blogs are screaming the news on Twitter every couple of hours about publishers demanding payments from the troubled mass bookseller so hard that it’s even made it to the Yahoo! front page. This morning was met with the news that Diamond Book Distributors is freezing it’s shipments to the company until Borders brings it’s account into good standing. What does that mean? No new manga at Borders for possibly a very, very long time. Shit.

Now I know it’s kind of hard to back up a massive book chain sometimes, but Borders is kind of the stuff that keeps the manga industry alive and kicking. According to Robert’s Corner Anime Blog (and presumably he got his findings from ICv2’s article), Borders’ manga sales make up for about 20% of new manga sales. If we lose Borders as a major manga bookseller, I’m going to go ahead and predict that manga publishers are going to cut down on their output. Why? Because Borders devoted a lot of shelf space to manga and now publishers will have to rely on Barnes & Noble, who gives manga less bookshelf space and won’t buy most adult-oriented titles, to reach a wide audience.

Borders buys tons of yaoi and BL titles, allowing the average fujoshi to get their kicks easily. I don’t think I’ve seen BL on Barnes & Noble shelves since they realized just what was under all that plastic wrap was making some uptight parents mad. Borders is also pretty good about stocking mature titles. I found Sundome and Ayako at Borders recently. I almost never find Vertical Inc. titles at Barnes & Noble. But basically, without Borders, companies like DMP won’t be able to sell their product as well. Obviously, if they can’t sell mature titles to major booksellers, they’re going to stop licensing mature titles. I’ve already seen this happen when a mature title is mentioned as a possible license. Can’t sell it at certain large stores? Pass! And Barnes & Noble won’t start giving more space to manga for one painfully obvious reason: manga aisle hobos. For every manga that inconsiderate fans read in the aisles instead of just buying, Barnes & Noble loses 2-3 sales on a guestimated average. (Manga aisle hobos never stop at reading one book, I’ve noticed.) Why should Barnes & Noble devote more space to books that are just going to be used as a library instead of purchased? I wouldn’t.

But what about online retailers and comic book stores? Well, online retail might be able to pick up the slack, but when you think about younger readers who don’t have their own disposable income or a credit card of their own or mommy and daddy’s permission to buy online, it’s clear that crucial audience will be cut off and will likely turn to scanlations. Comic book shops are hit and miss. I’ve seen shops with gloriously large manga sections and everything a manga lover could ever want. But I’ve seen plenty more comic shops were manga is a throwaway section and they only buy new stock from the stuff the staff prefers to read. This is usually great for people who like old manga, niche stuff, art manga or almost anything by Vertical, but if you’re looking to get your next volume of Naruto or Bleach, you’re not going to find all 60+ volumes on the shelves. Nor are you going to find your shoujo titles or yaoi. Why? Because small retailers don’t care and because manga takes up way more space than any of the single issues or trade paperbacks out there. And 40 copies of the latest Batman is going to sell lots faster than the same number of Vampire Knight volumes. Yaoi? BL? Probably not going to touch the stuff out of hard-headed principle.

The result of a Borders collapse and a higher demand for physical manga sellers can probably be met by shops that focus more seriously on selling all kinds of manga, but here’s why that won’t happen: It takes serious cash to build up that kind of stock. It would also take a lot of people opening up physical manga-focused bookstores around the country to fill in the gaps left by Borders and that will take too much time for manga publishers to quickly ease the blow. There will probably be more layoffs and monthly output will be slashed in half. Smaller publishers will crumble or be shut down by parent companies. Again.

The only possible bright spot? Publishers will switch more over to digital formats because there just won’t be space for physical books nor will there be the money to pay the printers.

If you haven’t been able to tell, it’s not fun writing these apocalyptic predictions for the U.S. manga publishing biz. We should all be rejoicing in happier news like new licenses, shiny digital releases and fledgling publishers who promise to bring over manga we’ve never seen before. But this is the sad truth: people just don’t read books like they used to. Perhaps because of large chains like Borders have made books too easy to find in multitude & taken away the joy of finding a treasure in a smaller shop, perhaps because the cost of books are so high, perhaps because America has sucked at making reading enjoyable for a large number of people through its education system. The recession is obviously a factor, but a book addiction remains a relatively cheap hobby that will probably still cost less than a jacked-up cable TV package. The big screen TV just takes up less space.

But I have a solution, at least for now. The only trick is getting enough people to do it.

I propose that everyone who reads this blog goes into a Borders sometime in the very near future (because Borders is going to eventually sell out of it’s remaining stock) and buys at least one manga or graphic novel. As you are purchasing your comic book of choice, tell the person ringing up their purchase(s) that you are buying this graphic novel(s) in the hopes that Borders will be able to remain in business and restore their good standing with Diamond Book Distributors soon. If possible tell this to a store manager or ask an employee to pass the message to one. Buy more than one comic book if you can. And, if you’re receiving decent service, tell the employees that you’re doing this in the hopes that they can keep their jobs.

If you’re worried about the money you might be spending, here have some coupons and a 5 books for the price of 4. Obviously you should try to limit the use of those coupons as allowing Borders to get the maximum profit from your purchase will benefit them more in the end. But it’s an incentive to do it if you’re on the edge about this due to cash problems.

I want a full report from all my readers of whether or not you plan to do this and if you do plan on doing this soon, what you bought and the reactions you received.

As for myself, I’m getting down to my nearest Borders after I have lunch and a shower. Hope I can find Ooku vol. 5 there and some other good manga that my local comic book shops never stock.

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53 Responses to Get Thee to a Borders!

  1. My Borders has the best selection of manga around me and I will definitely do this. It’s just a matter of when, since my Borders isn’t actually in my hometown. It’s about an hour away. But losing Borders’ manga selection would be depressing.

  2. Actually, one of the Barnes & Nobles I visited have titles from Vertical, Inc. I saw copies of Ayako, Peepo Choo, Twin Spica, Chi’s Sweet Home, and other notable titles.

    You’re right about comic-book shops and their stock of manga. I don’t see too many people buy manga at comic-book shops. I also think that reading is not emphasized enough, even despite huge attempts by certain organizations to get kids to enjoy reading.

    I buy manga at Barnes & Noble and Kinokuniya, not Borders though. However, I will go and buy my next volumes there when I can.

    • For a looooong, long time I saw nothing but single copies of Black Jack at random Barnes & Nobles across the state. Then recently I managed to find Twin Spica at a truly gigantic B&N, but that long stretch of no Vertical book still sticks with me.

      I try to buy manga at comic book shops, but it’s obvious to me that my LCS and my secondary LCS don’t really give a shit unless it’s artsy manga, Tezuka or seinen. On the other hand, there’s a fair bit of super-old, out of print stock from when they DID buy into the manga craze years ago. But it’s still no replacement for someplace like Borders where the shelves have a wide variety of new titles all the time.

      Thanks for helping the cause a little, even though you don’t usually shop there. :3

  3. HH says:

    There’s nothing like a good book and it’s a bonus when it’s a good manga! I really don’t want to be forced to buy digital only. Official translations are already losing out to scanlations in terms of quality. It’ll be the end of the world if I’m forced to read digital versions. Right now, the quality of the digital page formatting and the over all presentation for manga (especially yaoi titles) are lacking, in my opinion.

    As convenient as ebooks are, they still don’t live up to the awesome feeling of holding a book in your hand, turning the pages, flexing the spine (if it’s your book) and finding the perfect bookmark to go with the story. I’ve been on a book buying spree of late and I never feel as fulfilled when I know that my title has been “Whispersynced” as when I pick up a box of books from the post office or haul 4-5 bags of books from my car to my front door. There’s just no comparison. I can’t stand back and admire my digital bookshelf the way I can the bookshelves lining the walls of my office.

    I was planning to just go straight home and dive into something already on my shelf, but I really am compelled to answer your call to action. I don’t know what’s at the store that I don’t already have but, I’ll find something!

    • I’m sorry if I don’t agree with you on the quality of official translations v. scanlations. If I ever met a scanlation group that actually made manga read as well as an official translation, I think it must have been on titles that would sadly never get published in the U.S. Perhaps I just can’t get past the grammar, but I feel like the flow of reading is often affected in scanlation level work. Now, I’m not saying every official manga is also top-notch quality there, but a majority published have grammar and ease-of-reading figured out.

      I definitely agree, although I haven’t gotten to sample the digital manga scene as much as I’d like. I love my bookshelves full of manga and I spend serious time reorganizing after I finish even a couple volumes. I’d still like an e-reader, but mostly for times when I’m traveling and bringing manga with me isn’t an option or it’d just be more convenient to have an e-reader. (I travel a lot.) I feel it holds a lot of potential to bring over less popular titles and make manga cheaper to consume, so that’s mostly why I advocate it.

      I’m glad you’re planning on going. Let me know what you buy and, if I may suggest, go out on a limb and try something new. :3

      • HH says:

        Official or unofficial, I cringe either way; bad grammar is bad grammar. While it really does hurt my feelings, I’m more accepting of errors in scans than in licensed manga simply because it is free and the groups’ purpose is not to offer a permanent substitute for the licensed title, but to encourage you to purchase it when it becomes available. However, it is completely unacceptable to find errors in a licensed title. I will admit that the non-yaoi titles get better treatment in the translation, editing and proofing stages than yaoi titles. And since the majority of my manga/comic library is yaoi, my bias could just be that I’m standing under a tree that that’s prone to getting struck by lightening. There are other issues, but enough of that for now.

        I’m here to report my gains-turned-contribution to the cause…

        Yoo Hajin’s Totally Captivated 1, 2, 4-6 [will find 3 online]
        Replacement: My ex decided his collection deserved it more than mine.

        Yamada Yugi’s Dry Heat
        With this, I have every licensed title by one of my top 10 mangaka.

        Mamahara Ellie’s Baseball Heaven
        Never read it and her stories usually fall around a 3.0 for me, but I love her art.

        Yoshinaga Fumi’s Not Love, but Delicious Foods Make Me so Happy
        Her stories never fail to become a treasure to me.

        Obata Yuki’s We Were There (Bokura ga Ita) 1-11
        Shoujo is not a genre I can usually sink my teeth into but there are a handful of titles that I think are worth a few hours of rumination

        Nomura Mizuki’s Book Girl
        It’s hard to resist a book about books. This was also my leap of faith. I only heard of the title recently, didn’t know what it was about, and in the way of non-classic novels, I generally stop at yaoi, but I just asked myself, “why not?”

        So I bought-in to the Diamond/Borders saga at a pitch of 20, I upgraded my rewards to a PLUS membership and I made sure I told the cashier/manager exactly why I spent $183 (before discounts) on nothing but manga.

        That was fun! Thanx for the push!

        • I don’t know *much* about editing yaoi. The TOKYOPOP titles that are handed to me usually aren’t yaoi, but I can tell you that when there are mistakes left in the final print version of a manga, the editor definitely kicks themselves for missing it or being unable to fix it. (There have been a few times where I’ve been denied the chance to fix a mistake late in the editing process by my higher ups. It hurts my very soul each time, let me tell you.)
          Also, I *wish* scanlators actually meant it when they encouraged people to go out and by the official stuff. SO MANY DON’T. (They used to though, back when they had hearts…)

          Also: WOAH DAMN, GIRL. I didn’t expect you to go out and buy 20 volumes of manga, but good on you for doing that and signing up for their plus rewards. Glad you found tons of stuff that you didn’t have before too. :3

  4. Justin says:

    Huh. That’s the first I’ve heard of this. That’s definitely bad news for me, as I’m a borders member, and I get lots of good deals from them. I hope they can fix this problem…

  5. Alex says:

    As sad as this sounds, I don’t believe that manga readers can prop up this failing bookstore. Although no one in the publishing industry wants Borders to fail, I seriously doubt that anything other than debt consolidation or Chapter 11 bankruptcy can truly fix their problems.

    Borders has been dying for a long time; it’s time to either let the phoenix rise from the ashes of a faltering corporation, or let the dead dog lay.

    • Sorry Alex, but I just can’t do that without trying to help save the chain. I realize that manga readers aren’t going to save Borders alone, but surely I’m not the only one thinking of doing this.

      Every little bit helps.

  6. Roxie says:

    My Borders also has the best selection of manga. B & N doesn’t even come close. I did my part and bought 5 for 4 before I had even heard the news, so yay!! I really hope they don’t close, or I’m buying my stuff on Amazon. I hate our B & N, it’s filled with pretentious people because of the city it’s in. It will also be the only major bookseller for at least a two-county area, maybe bigger…and this include a big city. :/

  7. Cait says:

    I bought the new Chi’s Sweet Home and Claymore at Borders this week (made myself wait and get them in-store rather than buying from Amazon when they came in stock). I used a coupon for Chi’s because that series is way too expensive for the pagecount (even if it’s full-color), but I paid full price for Claymore 17. This was Tuesday, I think. I haven’t been into Borders lately, though, because I’ve been buying a lot of my yaoi direct from Digital Manga lately (they had a slew of backlogged releases come out all at once this past fall). I don’t want Borders to go out of business because they really are the most convenient source for instant manga purchasing. With a coupon they aren’t even any more expensive than any online retailer and unlike an online retailer there is no shipping wait time. I hope they can hold on, even if they have to keep closing underperforming stores. I don’t want to see another Musicland fiasco like what broke my heart a few years back with anime.

  8. Brigid says:

    I went to Borders last month to do a bit of Christmas shopping for just this reason. Borders is a bit more of a drive than my closest B&N, but they have always had a great manga selection and I like to support them (although the selection is smaller now than it used to be).

    But when I went to the children’s department, it was a mess. The books were totally disorganized, stuff was all over the place, and there was no staff in sight. I had brought a list of things I was looking for, but none of them were in stock. Reluctantly, I went to the Barnes & Noble across the street, which was well organized, well stocked, and well staffed. I’ll try to make it back to Borders this weekend, but I’m afraid the place already has the smell of death upon it.

    • Well, I can’t explain why B&N was so much better in comparison, but during Christmas gift-shopping times I usually ignore a little mess. I’ve heard stories about how shitty everything is post-Thanksgiving.

      I imagine that a lot of Borders are understaffed and understocked nowadays. I mean, they had to have seen this financial crisis coming and probably didn’t hire too many extras for the holiday rushes and stopped ordering what they thought as unnecessary stock. Still, the Borders I’ve been around have always been quite excellent on a regular basis, so I’m still going to do what I can. (Because I really don’t want to have to rely on JUST my local comic book stores for perusing manga & I don’t get free parking at our local B&N.)

  9. DeepFriedWheelchair says:

    Residing in the UK, we had a Borders store open up in a new mall a good few years ago and it was quite enjoyable. Specifically the phenominal range of specialist interest magazines and, more importabtly, comics. I bought several over time.
    And then, in 2009 it closed. No warning. Just, wham, clearance sale and gone. And in recent news, another 5 large stores across the UK are closing. I wonder if this is a knock on effect from problems at head office across the pond?

    • Someone on Twitter mentioned that the UK Borders have shut down. That’s really a shame. My guess is it has everything to do with the U.S. offices being in really dire straits, but maybe the UK branches of the store weren’t performing well and that’s why they were axed so early in the game.

  10. miz says:

    Actually like Mangatherapy I am a New Yorker as well.. but I am a Borders fan more than a B&N fan… There are a couple my friends trek to on a weekly basics.. and my friend who loves Borders gets a lot of BL there, she’s even got the paid upgrade. I would follow them on a bookstore hop when I meet up with them as well.

    But one bad thing… many of the books look like crap.. since lots of people just treat the Bookstore like a library..

    Still I am really crossing my fingers on Borders making it past this slump.

  11. Spring says:

    Man, that is bad news. I’m pretty fortunate to have a Borders close to my work (guess where lots of my paycheck goes?) and was actually somewhat shocked to learn that in the past year I had spent $200+ on books there, with about 60-70% of it being manga. I’ve shopped at Barnes and Noble also, and I’ve never really liked the service I got there, the employees here tend to be snots. -_-

    I don’t know if this counts, because it wasn’t intentional, but last week I went in to buy one volume, and walked out with five…I’ll probably be definitely making my regular visit sometime this weekend, and guaranteed I will at least buy about 3 volumes.

    If Borders closes its doors, I will definitely be buying less manga unfortunately.

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  13. Safetygirl says:

    I try with Borders, and in past years, I gave them a lot of business at one point. I buy a lot of manga and I’m very aggressive about what I am willing to pay, and a majority of my purchasing in the past two years has been on RightStuf.

    What drew me into Borders, and paying full price, was the magic of instant gratification. I’d check the website from work on release day, reserve my copy and wait all day until I could scurry up to Borders. After paying, I would sit in my car in the parking lot, reading it right away, even if I had skipped lunch and was very hungry! But they slowly weeded out their midlist manga as the boom slowed and the titles I like weren’t in the store. And if I have to order and *wait*… well, I’ll order from Iowa and get my discount, at least. About that time they also closed the nearest Waldenbooks where they knew me by name, which had carried a wonderfully diverse selection as well.

    In the past year, when did I buy the most manga from Borders? At Anime Weekend Atlanta in September, when one of the Waldenbooks/Borders Express in my area sets up a booth, and orders in special stock just for the show. I probably dropped $150 there because they had what I wanted and I love the staff of that store and wanted to show my support. I went to one yesterday, and only came out with Chi’s Sweet Home 4 – the rest I owned or didn’t want, and the newer January releases I need – well, those weren’t there. :-/

    I wish Borders would stay, and go back to doing what Waldenbooks once did so well: catering to certain niche/genre fans who tend to be super-shoppers because there’s always going to be new titles every month.

    I miss those days of anticipation. They really made the afternoon at work fly sometimes. 🙂

    • That would certainly be great. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind Borders becoming a smaller, more niche-focused place, as long as they kept the manga sections pretty well-stocked.
      The big box idea doesn’t work so well anymore, since online sales can just get anyone the book they’re looking for, usually cheaper, that isn’t in stock. (Or even if it is…)

      I just wish they’d work on their Diamond contract so I have good reason to keep going to Borders & buying manga I want.

  14. Apple says:

    I would be up for this, but my local Borders closed a few weeks ago. You know, I’ve always bought my manga from local bookstores and comic shops, because in was in the best interest of my community. I never thought about the impact that stores like Borders and B&N had with their purchasing power, and why they were so important. But then again, had these stores not put local bookstores out of business around the country, we wouldn’t need them in the first place. After all, the only difference between twelve stores buying 1 copy each of a book and one store buying twelve copies is that the store that buys twelve copies likely gets a discount because of the volume, and thus makes more profit. And that profit money doesn’t get invested back in the community, it goes straight to home office.

    So on second thought, f**k ’em. They made this mess, and now we have to pick up the pieces? Maybe they will self-destruct and localized retailers will spring up in their place…one can hope. Too bad it might cause some damage in the process.

    • Yeah, I’d love to think about this in a “HAH! These big box stores deserve it! They kill local businesses!” way, but the damage that would be done is too great. There’s also something to consider when they have such a wide selection in store… Stores like these probably help keep manga popular.
      So sure, I’d love to support local businesses! Just point me to one with as great a selection on hand as Borders…

      • Apple says:

        (pointing –>)

        Their manga selection is so large, it is split among four separate sections within the store (manga [main], young adult, children’s manga, and yaoi–yes, yaoi has its own section, now you see why I am such a devotee). It is the largest selection I have ever personally seen in one permanent retail location; prices are SRP or lower (oftentimes, lower, as they carry quite a few used books as well, or are able to buy discounted books). Independently owned and operated since 1971. 😀

        It would be nice if every city had its own version of Powells, tailored to fit the needs within their community.

        Here’s a 50-second video that gives you an idea of how absolutely HUMONGOUS this book store is (topical: it even pauses on the YA manga section for a half second!):

        And on their website, over 9000 (NO REALLY! lol) items tagged with “manga;” their inventory is kept in their stores, on the shelves:

        Moving right along in the conversation–I’m not happy about the situation for Borders and the potential problems this will create. And no amount of retro-speculative thinking is going to save Borders or lessen its impact on the manga industry. But I am going to continue to hope for the best possible outcome (outcroppings of local bookstores popping up all over the country), even if it is pointless and highly unlikely to materialize.

        • ;_; But I don’t live in Portland!

          I should have been more specific & said one in my area. There are plenty of bookstores in L.A., but I’m struggling to think of one that holds a comparable manga section to Borders…

  15. Apple says:

    also, lol, manga aisle hobos. They are one of the reasons why Powell’s (huge local bookstore) puts the manga section right in front of one of their info booths–so that they can yell at people sitting in the aisles XD …I’m glad, too, ’cause nothing is more annoying than trying to get a book or look/shop where someone is sitting. :\

  16. StarMasayume says:

    I’ve worked at a local Waldenbooks three times seasonally (most of my paychecks always seemed to go back into books…) and friends and I will hands-down go to hang out at a borders. It’s our first choice for finding manga or any book really. Aside from amazon or convention binges, I feel a lot of loyalty to borders. The best manga section around and coupons make for numerous visits. Happy joy, I finally found a good job and now all the Borders doom and gloom?

    I missed my last borders coupon but plan to jump over as soon as possible to grab the latest Skip Beat. I’ve also been needing the last one or two volumes of Wild Ones to complete the series. How will this effect big publishers such as Viz, I wonder?

    I’m still praying the waldenbooks of my local mall will stay in business. I’m attached to all the employees there who’ve I’ve worked with and who’ve known me even before that. So many waldenbooks have closed from the other malls I visit… and it’s one of the few stores that interests me in a mall.

  17. MonokromeClover says:

    I’m one of those children who’s parents don’t let them buy anything online so if my Borders stops stocking manga I’m screwed…

    I used to be a manga hobo and back then I rarely any manga, because the only bookstore near me was a Barnes and Nobles and my parents really hated going there. I still sorta am a manga hobo 4 days a week but I be sure to stay out of the way of any of the store’s actual patrons by sitting in a small niche between the art shelves and the DIY shelf.

    Luckily my high school has a Borders about 3 blocks away so I started buying a volume of manga from there every Friday with my left over lunch money… But almost half of what I buy are published by DMP and Tokyopop. I guess this lack of new stock will be an excuse to finally rebuy some volumes of Yotsuba& (manga theives stole all 4 of my copies back in middle school D:<)

    Since I go there almost every day, I've noticed a larger and larger clearance table appearing, and less and less of my favorite manga being stocked on time…if at all. I pray that my Borders will at least stay open.

    • I understand how hard it is to buy manga when your parents disapprove. My mother used to be like that too. But you do realize by sitting in the corner, reading 2-3 manga and then only buying one occasionally is only contributing to the problem, right?

      Not that I want to scold you, but aside from being inconsiderate to other customers, manga aisle hobos treat the bookstore like a public library instead of a place of business. You wouldn’t read a full-length novel in a bookstore, would you? You wouldn’t steal a piece of food from a restaurant because it’s lying out in the open and no one is looking, would you? The only difference is that with the books, you can put them back and assume no one will notice you’ve read it through. You go to a bookstore to buy books, not to borrow them. That’s what the library is for.

      If you truly want your Borders to stay open, you should put your money where your mouth is and purchase what you’ve already read or want to read. Otherwise, it’s just kind of hypocritical to say you want Borders to survive when you’re essentially stealing from them on a near daily basis.

      • MonokromeClover says:

        I understand what you’re saying but I only get about 15 dollars a week to spend, I really do try to buy as much as possible, but with my lack of an income, all I can really afford is one or two manga a week. And I only buy manga I already read, since I can’t easily return books, I want to make sure I’m buying a manga I really like.

        My parents are saying that I can get a summer job for pocket money though, when that time comes, I’ll definitely try to collect all the series I’ve been meaning to buy all these years. Until then I’ll have to settle with not eating lunch and eating cup ramen once or twice a week.

        • All I’m saying is that you would be benefiting Borders if you didn’t go in there, read the manga they have in stock and potentially damage it four days a week. If you just went in only to buy the one or two manga you can afford each week, you’d be doing the store a lot better. You may think you’re not damaging the books, but wear and tear from manga aisle hobos is a big problem for the booksellers because some jerk can easily render a book unsellable.

          Just consider it. I know you want your manga fix, but it still makes you part of the problem unless you buy about 50-75% of the manga you sample.

        • Oh, and I have no doubt that your heart is in the right place and you’re buying what you can afford. It’s just that most manga aisle hobos don’t realize the harm they cause and it’s just about the same as reading a scanlation for free when you go beyond reading a few pages of the book or just a chapter.

          Good luck getting a summer job and getting to read lots of enjoyable manga.

      • To be perfectly fair, book stores do have comfy chairs set up for the purpose of reading the books. Most people aren’t sitting around in a Borders or Barnes and Noble long enough to read an entire novel, but some people do if they can’t afford a particular book at a given time. Generally people that do that with “real” books are gentle with them, though, which is why it’s less of an issue.

        I have a problem with manga aisle hobos, too, but honestly this person seems to be doing their best. They are still buying manga when they have the chance after all. So long as they aren’t banging up the books they read I don’t think people like this are really the problem. It’s the ones that seldom to never buy anything and that damage the books that really, really hurt.

        • I don’t think they had easy-to-read manga in mind when they put those chairs there, however. They probably meant to encourage readers to sample more, then buy more. But sometimes you get the same problems with “real” books where someone who previewed it has somehow damaged the book…

          I just wanted to make him aware of the potential harm he and other manga aisle hobos cause. I’m sure he’s a good exception to the norm, but it doesn’t hurt to drive the point home and let him know all the details. I didn’t mean to be harsh with him, but reading manga in bookstores without buying is just a step away from reading scanlations.

  18. MonokromeClover says:

    Hm… I didn’t really consider the wear and tear that much, since my Borders is right by a high school, there are so many manga hobos there that almost all the manga have been read at least twice, and some of the Barron’s AP books look as though they’re used, (mostly because the teachers actually tell you to go there and study if you can)

    I’ll keep that in mind and maybe read only one or two manga from now on, because that’s how many I buy a week anyway.

    • Glad you’re seeing the logic. You should probably pass this news on to all your friends too. (That their Borders is going to close unless they actually start buying some manga or books.)

      Thanks for being thoughtful of how your behavior impacts Borders and the manga industry.

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