Home > Personal > Reading Manga for Cheap – and legally!

Reading Manga for Cheap – and legally!

Have I mentioned how much I love reading graphic novels? Well it is something I love to do – on a daily basics… that in spite of there being a Public Day of Reading Comics.. that I will be participating in on Saturday.

I am writing this entry to give a thought on what I believe is the right thing to do for consistently reading and supporting manga! Also give a shout out for other great reads online- from what I know is out there on this similar issue..

I am not going to lie, and say that I have never read scanalations. But there are some reasons on why I do such a thing, of which I am consistently trying to correct myself of. One reason I do so – is because the niche marke is so small for a type of manga, that I have enjoyed, that I have purchased the paperback copies in the end or in the end found alternatives for. I probably won’t talk about this as much on this site, but bara is a topic of bl-eroge that I do like read, and it doesn’t fit the standard of fujoshi, so I just follow other alternatives. Learning Japanese is an important thing. Otherwise it will not be fair for the author, and in the end prove worse for readers who want to read it in a language that can be understood.

Also I do know that in bookstores – the graphic novel section is usually being over run with teenagers, and that is such a pet peeve with me. Graphic novel in America are not cheap – with the translation costs, packing etc… but it is pretty rude to ruin a graphic novel that is for sale. So please take care on not reading in bookstores like you’re at home. It is pretty rude to a potential buyer.. and to block the aisle like that.

These points I am pointing out though, are my personal solutions for getting manga to read.

  1. Go to the public library and borrow, pillage, ravage, devour their shelves – if they have a graphic novel collection. I do.. and I usually am very very VERY grateful that New York City has three public library systems. Each library system has their own collection of graphic novels! If not – then inter-library loan for books. Go on World Cat (http://www.worldcat.org/) and see if a specific title is within your area. Consult with librarian on obtaining graphic novels. If the library is there- go and support it. I know libraries need money, but if you forget that they are there, then that is a waste of tax payer’s money. It is for free to the public! I see other libraries having issues with getting graphic novels, but there are some education worth in collecting graphic novels. Comics like Maus or American Born Chinese has won awards, and on September 25−October 2 (this year), there is such a thing known as Banned Book Weeks. So challenge your library – petition if you have the time for it..if your library is so conservative. I recently had an interesting conversation with Ryu Sheng on Twitter about where he lives…
  2. Manga NEXT or other relevant conventions – having the hobby or life of an otaku or manga reader not cheap at all.. but take advantage of conventions – because vendors in the dealers room has graphic novel for dirt cheap price. Normally I would haggle for prices, but with no tax.. and the practice of bundling – especially on Sunday – do you realize how much manga bargains is there! Plus Manga NEXT, a local sister convention to Anime NEXT in New Jersey, has been fantastic so far, since I have been to three or so conventions they have provide a manga library free for convention attendees!
  3. Take notice of manga for free as contest prizes on Twitter or publisher’s pages- that means know who the manga publishers are! There are lists on Twitter that users made, so there is a manga list on Twitter out there!
  4. Get together with friends to purchase or share graphic novels… did I ever mention how much I adore my friend’s bookshelves… she has the best bl-collection that is among my friend’s. Did I ever share a tidbit – on how an vendor once told me that bl-fan girls are loyal – since they will purchase armfuls and armfuls of graphic novels, well that’s how my friend is… ^_^
  5. Join a book reviewing group, with an emphasis on graphic novels.. I know for a fact that some blogs are on the move for consistently looking for reviewers. I have joined and worked on blogs that have graphic novel available. If not – then just research online – for manga reviewing groups there are currently – and see if you can or cannot get book for free. Also one thing – media mail is cheap – so I have been trying to do some exchanges with manga reviewers I have met online.
  6. Remember to read book reviews- so that even without seeing the preview, at least you know a future presentation perspective or so. There are countless book review sites or entries out there. Google it.
  7. Know that online there are manga previews or legal scanlations like what I have seen Viz has done with their ikki line, have I mention how much I love Kinyo’s Used Books or Saturn Apartments or Children of the Sea etc.. and they’re all free chapters! There are right now currently manga publishers also looking to get into the i-pod or e-book market….
  8. Know that bookstores, online or physical sites would have sales.. and a lot of it. Borders has buy 4 or 3 for 1 free books. Book Depository online has free shipping, along with some discount pricing to many places in the world. Amazon or other online retailers, has used books or books on sale. There has been a current trend of omnibus-ing which is collecting several volumes into one. While that is more expensive.. definitely know that you are getting money’s worth in it having three volumes or so volume for the price of one, rather than several volumes worth.

Last but not least – this blog entry was in part inspired by several other blog entries that I have read. So these are other further readings.

All About Manga -Ten REALLY GOOD Ways to Buy and Not Steal Manga.

Libraries Are Not The Same as Manga Scanlation Sites: 4 Reasons Why Reading Manga From a Library Isn’t Piracy by Robin Brenner (Librarian of No Flying Tights)

Deb Aoki’s About.com – 13 Ways to Read Manga Without Going Broke

Categories: Personal
  1. August 27, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    I just go to the bookstore, pick out a volume, read it, and leave. Is that allowed? They have chairs, so it must be. I’ll polish off a volume in about 45 minutes.

  2. miz
    August 27, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    @glothelegend Thanks for your comment. What you do is what you would do, if there are chairs, then they’re not taken – by all means then the bookstore is encouraging the fact that customers read and such, before making purchase.

    At bookstores, I usually preview the book for a few minutes, but I personally find it rude – if people use it as a library to sit there to read an entire volume, and then not purchase.

    My gripe with reading books in bookstores – is that often I notice that one the binding is messed up. What is seen as an adult rated book – is taken out of shrink wrap – if there was a shrink wrap.

    There are still alternatives – for getting to read manga for cheap/free means – so if that’s a legal way that you’re going without these other suggestions I have made – no one would know – unless you tell people that?

  3. September 7, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    I’ve been reading less these days and watching more dramas. I’ve been thinking if I should join a book reviewing group with an emphasis on graphic novels to get myself to spend more time reading.

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