Last night I read a very useful article written on Manga Bookshelf about how to buy manga on the cheap. Writer C.J. Thomas lists his top tips and personal guide for manga collectors to continue their mountaintop collections without draining your wallet.
Some of these tips I already knew about and others were worth knowing about. My own personal go to places for manga shopping and bargains have always been Amazon or my local comic shops. I’m especially glad to be living in NYC because we have some really great comic book stores like Midtown Comics, Forbidden Planet, and Jim Hanley’s Universe. We even have Japanese bookstores like Kinokuniya and Bookoff, which sells both the Japanese and English translated mangas. You can almost always find a good deal at these places I’ve been to.
The only tip that doesn’t work for me that C.J. Thomas listed is going to the library and borrowing manga. My local libraries do carry some manga titles, but not much. The collection isn’t very big or impressive in my experience. If you do find the series you want to test out at the library, I usually find that the first volume is missing most of the time (and it isn’t because it was taken out already). Manga doesn’t seem to be very library friendly to me. At least in comic shops and bookstores, the collection is HUGE. I’m more likely to buy the manga after reading what it’s about and skimming through it at the store. I have yet to regret my selections after I paid for it.
As I said in my own previous entry, manga is an expensive hobby to have. But it is possible to fuel the hobby by being a smart shopper and bargain hunter to get more bang out of your buck.