Checking Out the New Kinokuniya

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By Neal Comment

kinokuniya-manga-section.jpgAfter reading Motoko Rich‘s NYT story on the opening of Kinokuniya‘s newest midtown branch, I decided to visit the Japanese bookstore over the weekend, especially eager to check out their manga section (seen at left). It was a little quieter than I thought it would be, but maybe that’s just what the Bryant Park area is like on a Sunday afternoon. Anyway, I didn’t get down to the Japanese-language section in the basement, but I was easily seduced by the cookbooks on the first floor, and admired the English-language fiction section, which includes not just a wide variety of Asian authors in translation but books by English-language writers about Asia. And then there was the top floor, dedicated primarily to manga in both Japanese and English, and a strong selection of anime DVDs. I hadn’t even realized that a new volume of my favorite manga, Kiyohiko Azuma‘s Yotsuba&!, had come out this month, so I scooped that right up:

yotsuba-sampler1.jpg

And then I saw a bunch of other series that I’m looking forward to exploring in the months ahead. (My only complaint? Everything in the section is shrink-wrapped, making browsing past the cover impossible.) The section isn’t, according to the Times, as big as the manga space at Barnes & Noble, but it has more than enough to keep me occupied… and I’m lucky that Midtown Comics and Forbidden Planet both seem to have decent selection as well.