Saturday & the Return

Do you know what I like? I like books. I really like books. Do I like reading? Yeah, I guess I do.

But I really like books!

It occurred to us that, since this is the largest city in Japan, there might be some bookstores that deal in English books here. And we found this. We decided that we had to visit.

This was a mistake, sort of.

Picture a book addict in a bookstore. Now picture a used bookstore where Haruki Murakami’s latest is proudly displayed at the front of the store and where the lit-crit section is larger than your average used store’s drama, poetry, and lit-crit sections combined, and with only one book by Bloom. Now picture a book addict in that store.

I got a little carried away and ended up putting several books back. In truth, I also looked wistfully at several other books before deciding what to actually buy.

I limited myself to the following ten books (Which, now that I type it, sounds really anti-climactic.).

  • Umberto Eco, Baudolino
  • Umberto Eco, The Island of the Day Before
  • Umberto Eco, Misreadings
  • Umberto Eco, How to Travel With a Salmon
  • Umberto Eco, Five Moral Pieces
  • Umberto Eco, Travels in Hyperreality
  • Chuck Palahniuk, Choke
  • Chuck Palahniuk, Haunted (Hardcover)
  • Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49
  • Tom Robbins, Villa Incognito

Amanda only picked up three books.

  • L. Eckenstein, Durer (reprint, 1920)
  • Yoji Yamaguchi, Face of a Stranger
  • Banana Yoshimoto, Goodbye Tsugumi

We also picked up a first edition copy of The Sandman #75, and The Doctor Who Technical Manual (circa 1983).

For the curious, they had copies of both Fearful Symmetry and Anatomy of Criticism, though that was the extent of the Frye, except for a collaborative book of essays on Blake in the 20th Century Perspectives series that he edited (I almost bought that one, but refrained, as I haven’t read the more important book on Blake yet). If the visit hadn’t been at the end of our Tokyo trip, I likely would have picked up several of the books in that series, as I’ve found them to be readable and interesting cross-sections of critical views.

I was going to pick up Martin’s Song of Ice & Fire series, but they had only the second and fourth books, so I figured there was no point.

Sadly, they were also out of Vonnegut, but they had a first edition hardcover of Hard-boiled Wonderland & the End of the World, which, sadly, was not yet priced when we visited.

I liked that store and will likely make use of their online services.

After the bookstore, we re-visited Akihabara, as I had researched the location of that Otaku’s mecca I mentioned previously.

In Akihabara, we saw this and this. The whole thing is really cool, so I also took this picture and this close-up of the head.

We also bought a bunch of gashapon. Remind me to post about gashapon one of these days…

After that, we headed back to Asagaya where we re-visited a couple of the stores in that covered market. Amanda picked up a Japanese style teapot and a couple of very cool masks, then we returned to our hotel for a leisurely evening.

Sunday we caught our Shinkansen at 11:30am. On the train we watched The Man With the Golden Gun on my laptop. My battery died literally five minutes before the movie ended.

We relaxed at home Sunday afternoon, and we were back to work on Monday morning. I’ve been working on this post off and on all week, finally posting it Thursday night, my time.

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~ by truth9 on May 10, 2007.

3 Responses to “Saturday & the Return”

  1. Glad to read of your safe return and your restraint in the bookstore! I’m glad you had the experience of being there and finding books you are interested in. I pray that you’ll be well served by all of the knowledge you gain. I’m sure that all of your adventures will stand you in good stead. Look forward to talking with you in a day or two. Love ya.

  2. I’d say the Eco is a climax since that’s a lot of Eco!

    I was wondering if you could tell me whether or not Eco’s Misreadings have anything to do with Bloom’s Map of Misreading, in which he sets out examples of theories present in his Anxiety of Influence. Misreading Shakespeare to be “original” and all that. I suppose there’s a little of that in Jacopo Belbo.

    And Samurai Darth Vader is yet another climax. I suppose that’s what Lucas was originally going for.

    That first edition of Murakami would have been neat.

  3. Eco’s Misreadings was first published in Italian in 1963. I think that answers your question. It seems to be (I haven’t started yet) a collection of parody essays from an Italisn magazine in the early sixties. Eco’s preface from the (1993) English version that I have suggests that he was actually parodying the more zealous of the neo-avant garde and academic essays that were in the same magazine.

    There are parodies on Lolita, political language, the television media, and others.

    And, what I meant by anticlimactic is that I built (or intended to build) a whole ‘crazy book-buyer in a crazy-cool bookstore’ situation but then said buyer only made ten purchases. The coolness and relative rarity (?) of those purchases didn’t (in my mind) offset the anticlimactic effect of how few books I purchased. But whatever.

    And no, Samurai Vader isn’t anticlimactic. So the post was more climactic than I anticipated.

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