On Collections: Manga, part 1

One thing most people know about me is how I love to collect books. Even if people don’t know me well, it’s usually the first thing I tell them. What can I say? I’m proud of my collection. I collect whatever interests me or catches my eye. Some authors I must have in hardcover (Anne Rice). Other authors I must own every single work they’ve produced, even if it means their covers were reprinted with new images (Ally Blue). If I start a series in Mass Market size, it must be continued in Mass Market. If I start a series in Hardcover, it must be cotinued in Hardcover. I collect certain genres (YA LGBT fiction and adult LGBT fiction) and certain subjects (anything on Hadrian is fair game).

I also collect manga.

Manga is a Japanese style comic that often reads from right to left if printed as it was in Japan. It is translated (though I do have many volumes untranslated) and comes in a variety of genres. I have my favorites, but in general I just love the art and storyline. Sometimes even if the story isn’t great, as long as the art makes up for it I don’t mind. Likewise, if the art is poor quality I can deal with it as long as the story is fantastic.

I remember back in college when I started collecting manga. It was 2003. I was able to list off the top of my head every title I owned and they all fit on the shelf above my computer desk. (Pictures to come in future collections posts.) Now I have only some volumes above that desk, and most of it packed into my closet. Some series are in boxes sealed up, others are on shelves built into the back. I will not lie when I say I’ve amassed quite a few in the last nearly 10 years. My original collection expanded from 5 or so series and maybe 15 volumes to nearly 300 different titles and over 600 volumes. I say over 600 because I haven’t counted it recently. Most series are around 5 volumes a piece, and I try to complete every series I start.

Heaven in a box!

Recently I ordered a lovely box from Akadot Retail because they were having a sale on titles I have been unable to get since Borders closed. Unfortunately Barnes and Noble does not carry the manga I read, so I have to search online rather than browse a bookstore. I was able to get out of print titles dirt cheap, and so I splurged with 47 new volumes. I’ve completed many series now. And the great part is nearly all of them are sealed and brand new, and opening the volumes was always my favorite part.

I’m trying to take it easy with my reading of them because there are so many. I could easily polish them all off in a week, but I want them to last. After all, who knows when I’ll be able to enjoy such a large purchase again!