#bookaday – Day 7: Forgot I owned it

This happens a lot. There is no one book that I “forgot I owned.” I go to bookstores to pick something up and then get home to find out I have it already.

And since I have over 500 manga in my collection, I had to create a list on my phone to keep from buying duplicates. But if I forget to update the list, then… well, I’ve bought duplicates before.

What about you?

Short entry today, sorry! Brace on my right arm for carpal tunnel. 🙁 tough to type.

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!

Sailor Moon

Ahh… just the name brings back feelings of nostalgia from my childhood. It was the anime and manga that got me into Japanese culture as a whole. It’s like a gateway drug into anime and manga – or at least it used to be. I was about 11 or 12 when it first came out over here and I watched it religiously from beginning to end. Then I got into Dragonball, but Sailor Moon was always my first love. The excitement! The magic! The romance… sigh…

I remember recording every single episode MULTIPLE times just to make sure I had backups of my backups. I had the CD with the songs from the show on it. For an entire year I listened to it every night as I went to bed, sometimes two or three times a night if I couldn’t sleep. There is one episode – the one where Darien and Serena (US version) reveal themselves to each other, and Serena is found to be Princess Serenity. I cried every single time I saw that episode and it still makes me tear up, especially because of the song!

I remember the fanfiction, roleplaying, creating my own senshi (Sailor Sun was my favorite… I still have my artwork of her somewhere around) and playing with them in groups. It may seem funny, but you know what? It actually helped develop my writing.

When I finally went to buy it on DVD when they first came out… I couldn’t afford it! They wanted $150 for half of a season. And I was broke. And then… it disappeared. The manga faded in popularity and went out of print. The companies that owned the anime lost their license for it.

BUT IT’S COMING BACK! Codename Sailor V and Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon are back as manga! Is the anime next? Season five was never shown in America, probably due to some of controversial issues (the Sailor Starlights are male idols during the day, but when they transform they become female senshi since only women can be senshi in the series). I will admit that I found the entire series on DVD for sale – including the movies – and splurged on myself and bought it. I cannot wait for them to come in! I’m going to have a field day watching all of my favorite episodes!