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Where to get Books


Is it okay to do more than one book series? When we covered all the different types of books out there, you may find you like a few, and there isn’t anything wrong with doing more than one! I currently go through about 5 haha, well cd courses included. To me, studying is about fun and enjoyment, and if one book is bogging me down, I just switch. Wham, Bam, Thank You Man! You might find this messes with you (ie, confusing chapters together, or forgetting where you left off) and that’s fine, stick to one, but nothing is wrong with doing multiple learning books, to get whatever you want out of it.

Once you’ve decided whether or not you want to follow a text book series, you gotta go out and find them. Sadly, gems like Genki, the kana version of Japanese for Business People and their workbooks might be a little harder to find in physical retail bookstores, especially here on the East Coast. Luckily however, such a great vast expanse known as the internet is here to help!

There are several places you can find and buy your text books. Don’t be fooled either by one site over the other. Sometimes I find digging around can save me a lot of money, and sometimes someone puts stuff on things like Craiglists making it really cheap. In the beginning you really don’t need to focus on getting stuff from Japan when there are lots of yummy text books here for easy getting.

CD Courses fall under the same page here, as they can be found in a lot of the sites we’ll go over. Here are some major players in terms of buying new and used books. (also, sites for physical bookstores work too, like Books a Million)

  • Amazon.com – This popular site sells used and new, has reviews on all their products, and even has a Japanese version.
  • The Japan Shop – This one is very similar to Sasuga in terms of not just selling books.
  • All Bookstores – I haven’t had any experience with this one, but its got Japanese learning books too.
  • World Language – Though the navigation is a little weird, there are tons of things here including books like Harry Potter in Japanese.
  • White Rabbit Press – I find some of their stuff cheap, and some of it a little too much. You can get several Japanese goods as well as Books.
  • Kinokuniya USA BookWeb – This book store is very nice for those who can read native material, but it also has a section for english books, which has a variety of Japanese learning books as well.
  • J-List – While this site has some learning tools, its got a lot of other goodies too.
  • Craiglist – This one is touch and go, sometimes you can find Japanese text books, or goods, but sometimes you can’t, sometimes people are scamming, and sometimes they’re just plain giving stuff away! Be careful, and paypal is recommended.
  • Powell’s Books – While this one allows for book selling, I don’t consider it a trading site because you must buy the books. Very cheap used prices.
  • Its also a good idea when trying to immerse yourself to get rid of your English books/media in loo of Japanese stuff, so why not kill two birds with  one stone. The following is a list of Book swapping/trading sites but be warned, they don’t always have what you want today but may tomorrow:
  • Paperback Swap – Basically you list all your books, when someone requests it, you send it to the club member, you then have the option to choose a book, and it is sent to you. I think in reality all you end up paying for is the shipping of your book to them. A quick looking through showed some popular Japanese language books, but I’m sure the list is ever changing.
  • Book Mooch – Similar concept to Paperback Swap.
  • Title Trader – This is also like the others except it also does other media like dvd/cd/video games
  • Swap Tree – This system doesn’t work on credits, and can be a little unrewarding, however you can trade media too
  • What’s On My Bookshelf – While this does have a credit system, you can also purchase credits and get books cheap.
  • Bookins – credit based with media too.
  • 2Swap – up and coming site based on credits
  • AJATT Plus - a new community/project/whatever lol by Khatz has a forum for the trading and such of used goods. It is something you must pay to belong with, and maybe that’ll give you more warm fuzzies about handing things over to people. Because this is a Japanese learning site, the trades will lovingly be mostly Japanese related things.
  • TextSwap – Know a university’s book isbn/title for a text book for Japanese? Here is the place.
  • UK swap sites : Read it Swap it and We Swap Books.

Cheater Site:

BookHQ – This site automatically compares a bunch of online book sellers for you. May not be the best, but its a great place to start.

Ultimately its up to you how you wanna get your books. These sites are just a few of the hundreds out there too. Big names can offer some reassurance that you wont be jipped, but I’m sure there are problems everywhere in these sites that you’ll have to deal with one way or another. I’ve been lucky so far as to not have had any problems, so good luck to you as well.

Mikoto Neko

The Ring leader of multiple projects who is studying japanese and raising a family! Who needs time for sleep?
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