Discussion: Moving with Your Manga

My boyfriend and I have started the search for a new (much larger) apartment this week, and while we haven’t secured a place yet, my mind is on moving soon.

It’s then that I look at my bookshelves, double stacked and packed to the brim, as well as the piles of unread manga on my floors, and think, “oh my goodness, moving is going to suuuuuuuck!”

It also reminds me of moving around during college with my manga collection. Always having to move into some tiny space with little room for anything other than your text books, or move on to the next place or move back home entirely for a few months, just to drag everything back again. Then, once you leave college and get your own place, it’s probably just as tiny & cramped. It’s no wonder half of my manga collection is still at my mom’s house.

Yet, my mind isn’t on reducing my collection in order to make the move easier on me. Probably because, since we’re moving into a bigger place, I’ll finally be able to reunite the two halves my long-separated collection. But what do other people do when they have to move?

So, if you’ve moved recently, or a past move has affected your manga, how did you deal with it?

I think the most I’m going to do is try and sell some volumes that I bought multiples of. There’s not a lot of unwanted stuff in my collection!

About Daniella Orihuela-Gruber

Daniella is a freelance manga editor and blogger. She likes collecting out of print manga and playing with her puppy. Yes, someone got her a puppy already.
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19 Responses to Discussion: Moving with Your Manga

  1. I’m actually moving out soon with my family. We’re moving from a house to a condo. The soon-to-be smaller space has got me selling off all kinds of goodies I may not need anymore. I just sold some manga recently at Book-Off and I feel a need to probably get a tablet for digital manga.

    JManga’s (and all the other manga apps from VIZ, etc.) timing couldn’t be so perfect, now is it? 😀

  2. lys says:

    Hmm… when I was in college, I think I left part of my collection at my parents’ and just brought my favourite series with me (of course, I saw my family every weekend so it wasn’t that difficult to take something back with me if I wanted to reread it). My collection was way, way smaller then too, though. I probably could have fit it in just a couple smallish boxes!

    I moved into my current residence about a year ago and I think that’s when I discovered how huuuge my collection had grown in the not-quite three years since moving back to my parents’ after college. Actually, I’m not sure which was worse, between my manga collection and children’s picture book collection. I have way more manga, but it’s smaller and easier to pack because of the uniform size, and not heavy like hardcovers… Anyway, it wasn’t a very big move (from suburb to downtown), and I had others to help with carrying my boxes and boxes and boxes of books. Moving such a collection isn’t something I’d want to do frequently, but it’s not so terrible! Especially when moving into a bigger space. I also feel like it’s not worth trying to sell off stuff (outside of desperate necessity), because I really love my whole collection, and the few volumes I might be able to part with wouldn’t make a difference in the overall quantity.

    Good luck with your upcoming move!! My tip for packing the books is to use small boxes, so that they’re not too heavy. Unless you or your boyfriend have super-strength!

    • Wow, that’s pretty lucky. I was far enough away from home (on purpose) to make moving back and forth a bit of a hassle. My collection back then was pretty small too, although a sizable chunk was just left behind.
      It’s really only grown since I left college and became gainfully employed.

      Thanks for the tip!

  3. Kathryn says:

    I have gone through this process so many times that it’s not even funny, and I think I’ve progressed through different stages in terms of sloughing off excess manga.

    The first stage involved trying to get real money for the manga by selling them on Amazon or eBay (while advertising on a forum like Livejournal). I quit doing this because it was too much trouble and not worth the effort.

    The second stage involved trying to get some sort of token remuneration for the manga by either selling them en masse to a used bookstore or cramming them in a cardboard box to be hauled off to an anime convention swap meet. I quit doing this because it was too much trouble and not worth the effort.

    My third (and current) stage involves settling for a tax-deductable donation to either the local library or the Salvation Army (where a title goes depends on how “adult” it is). This is no trouble at all, and it even makes me feel like I’m doing some good in the world.

    But good luck to you on your upcoming move! And may you never regret giving up old series to make room for new ones!

    • Hmmm, I’ve actually never gone through stage one. Stage two happens about once a year at Fanime, but I couldn’t do their swap meet last year. I had better luck at the swap meet year after year than at the used bookstores. And I usually managed to hold on until then, space-wise.

      The third stage sounds like a good option. At the moment, I don’t have too many series I want to let go of, just single volumes that accidentally were purchased twice. I’m not sure if I’m ready to start donating manga, but it’s an great option to give back to the community.

  4. Justin says:

    Last year when I dormed, I took my favorite manga series. This year, I think I might not. Mainly because during the semester I brought new manga, and neglected to take some of them home! So bringing it all back was a painnnn!

    I don’t even want to think about moving out for good (out of my mom’s home) until after graduation! But I know I will…

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  6. Rij says:

    I have never been able to part with books easily. Every time I’ve moved I’ve donated bags of clothes to the Salvation army, thrown away old furniture, given up decorative clutter and so on. But never books. I can’t part with them. For my last few moves, I’ve used a professional moving company. It’s expensive, but saves so much time and friendships that it’s worth the cost. Books are nothing to them, they’re just happy I don’t have antique furniture or a piano.

  7. cathy says:

    I had to choose my last 3 apartments based on how well they would fit my bookshelves, which is kind of embarrassing. I’ve made the switch to digital for physical books, but my manga still takes up 6 bookshelves and many storage boxes. I get boxes from the bookstore for packing (boxes designed for moving actual books are the perfect size) and yes, I hire movers.

    The best tip I have for moving with manga is to think of unpacking when you pack them. I’ve done alphabetical and by subject but what worked best for me is to assign each of my bookshelves a number and keep the volumes from each shelf together. It’s easier to sort the boxes when you know where they are going to go (when the bookshelves are placed I can just keep the boxes for each shelf actually on it) and then when you’re ready to unpack them it’s so much faster to shelve them. I’m usually pretty sick of the whole packing/unpacking process by the time I’m ready to put away my books and graphic novels that anything that speeds it up is incredibly welcome.

    Choosing moving time to finally take the chance to overhaul your organization system isn’t recommended. 🙂

  8. ZepysGirl says:

    Moving is always a pain for me, but it’s worth it in the end! I lived in the dorms for three years and there was definitely no way I could take everything with me. =_= More than half of my collection had to stay at my parents’ house, which meant I only had room for my favorite-favorite series. Now that I’m renting a house with some friends, I finally have space for everything! It’s kind of amazing.

    My theory of moving is: it’s going to suck, so just get it over with. The time that my collection will spend nicely displayed on my shelves far outweighs the time I spend getting it that way. It’s the same reason why I don’t mind basically wallpapering my walls with anime posters; it may take a bit of time, but I’ll have them up all year. That’s worth it to me.

    The main reason I don’t like moving is that things get lost. x_x I recently took inventory again after moving and realized I was missing 20 books. Some of those were still at my parents’ house or in random boxes, but I ended up having to shell out ~$40 to replace books I’d already bought— $40 that could have gone towards NEW manga. So yeah, one tip when moving manga: keep series together. That way if you lose books, at least they’re all from the same series and you don’t get 10-odd series that are now incomplete. @_@

  9. azuremoon4 says:

    Wow, that really sucks that your collection had to be split. I haven’t gotten to that point yet, but when I was in college, I just had that series that I bought when I was there. You can also look into getting wall mounts so you can get creative with storing your manga. It’s an alternative than having the space-consuming book cases. Good luck with your move!

    • When you’re renting a place, sometimes wall mounts are NOT a possibility. Space-consuming book cases are usually not banned in your lease. ^_^;;;

      Although, living in California, something about wall mounts makes me a little nervous. They could easily come down on me during an earthquake. Not that bookcases wouldn’t, but I have a lot of bookcases that only come up to my waist & I’m positioned far enough away from the one full-height book case that could fall on me. I would probably be less cautious about placing a wall mount.

      • azuremoon4 says:

        Ahh okay. I completely understand how the whole wall mounts and living in California won’t work out. I’m from nyc and we rarely (except for last week lol) get them. Interesting, I never thought of book cases as being dangerous, but now I see how they can.

        • Yeah, I thought about it and then I realized that I totally rather just deal with bookshelves. You can secure bookshelves and other large pieces of furniture to not fall on you in earthquakes, but wall mounts (and the stuff that’s on them) might still fall on you.

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  11. lovelyduckie says:

    The majority of my manga was the very first thing I packed. Manga is the item I needed the least in day to day life (besides some of my newer/unread series). I also collected lots of wine boxes to pack them into. Manga can get heavy FAST if use a box that’s medium-large sized.

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