Smart tips for manga collectors looking for affordable ways to feed the habit

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.

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17 thoughts on “Smart tips for manga collectors looking for affordable ways to feed the habit

  1. Mine has always been from Amazon.

    Greetings from fellow manga reader. Check out my blogsite. I have a pic of my manga collection. I think the title of that particular post is ” I’m Feeling Chatty Today.”

    1. Thanks for the comment! It’s great to connect with another manga reader. I will be checking out your blog. 😉

      I love Amazon. They almost always have what you are looking for.

      1. The problem sometimes lies with the mangas themselves. They are not published in English, esp. the shoujo/romance mangas that I like. except for Goong, no Korean manhwa has ever been published in English, and that’s a pity. What genre do you prefer?

      2. I haven’t gotten into the Korean manhwas, but they look interesting too. What’s Goong about?

        The genres I tend to go for are shojos, specifically romances too, but I love the magical girl series like CCS, Sailor Moon, Fushigi Yugi, and the like. I also love comedies too. I like any manga that can make me laugh. Interestingly enough, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle is considered shonen which I never would have guessed. Probably the only shonen series I currently own and read.

    2. Hey there, I just wanted to speak up in case this can be a help. Actually lots and lots of Korean manhwa has been translated into English, much of it from Yen Press. Here is just a quick snapshot of my collection (that towering pile on my desk is all manhwa). Most of this is easily available, and some (like 13th Boy, a favorite of mine) is still being released. We have reviewed a lot of them at Manga Bookshelf, if you want to read a bit about them before you buy.

      1. Thanks for the tip, Melinda. I’ve heard of Yen Press, but didn’t know they published a lot of manhwa since I only ever follow the ones coming from Japan. I’ve been wanting to check out the Korean ones. I think I will now.

        By the way, your snapshot of your collection is very impressive. Another intimidating collection that still makes my collection look like a mole hill.

  2. I’m in NYC too, and I love going to Book-Off and the discount manga section at Strand Books and Jim Hanley’s Universe. But because I like so many long-running series, I like to wait for sales before I buy anything. I’ve also used Half.com a lot in the past and make sure to buy from the same seller so I can combine shipping. Shopping for cheap manga is a bit easier than shopping for cheap anime, though – usually I just buy online because most stores don’t discount much (or they don’t have a very big selection).

    1. Collecting the long running series is insanely hard just because they are so long. I do think it’s worth it in the end if you are collecting a really great series. I’ve never heard of Half.com, but I should look into that too when I do my manga shopping. Thanks for mentioning it.

      I agree with you on buying anime. A lot of stores like Best Buy usually never sell it for cheap or they don’t have the anime you want. I’m happy that places like Amazon and Deepdiscount.com have sales or tend to sell them for cheaper.

      1. What’s also not fun about collecting long manga series is when some of the volumes have gone out of print and are now insanely expensive or hard to find. There are several OOP volumes of Skip Beat that I had to track down, which makes no sense because it wasn’t even released that long ago. I also had to buy a library copy of Boys Over Flowers volume 1 because I couldn’t find a new one anywhere for a decent price (“decent” for me means it’s not over retail price).

      2. Yeah, I hate when that happens. I never understand why some volumes end up becoming out of print and other volumes are still available. It seems completely random, you know? It’s a series! They should be printing ALL volumes. Not whatever they feel like.

  3. Goong is a Korean manhwa that I’ve been following for years. There’s also a Kdrama of that entitled Princess Hours, but I like the mahnwa 20x more than the drama. You’ve seen my collection, yes? I have a complete volume of Tsubasa Chronicles, CCS, xxxHolic and this other one that I can’t recall at the moment. The stories are all intertwined. I even have the animes. Right now, I’m into romance genre, and in case you haven’t noticed yet, my sig is from Skip Beat. I already have 24 volumes of the series.

    1. I’m so far from collecting nearly all of the volumes to Tsubasa or Skip Beat. And yes, you have one MONSTER collection of manga. Mine looks like a mole hill next to that pic I saw on your blog. XD I will always adore romance genre mangas. I think reading romance manga is better than reading romance novels any day!

  4. Well i realize it has been a bit since this was posted but I can say I get most of my Manga from Amazon as well. Walmart sometimes has better deals and Barnes & Noble has the biggest variety for often the highest price. I don’t have a job as I am a teenager, yet I still find time to collect series. I have started reading translated japanese only series online such as Kodomo no Jikan, Needless, etc.

    Honestly I have no real manga genre I am drawn to though I catch myself reading series such as Dance in the Vampire Bund the most. It is a very political series that delves into deep psychological thought for some parts, as well as being extremely layered in the plot. There is some nudity though that is understandable considering the author is a hentai artist, though the series knows when there should be nudity and when it shouldn’t be there. It is a very real look at the darker parts of society and still manages to be a great tale about mythological beasts such as vampires and werewolfs. The manga that I catch myself buying the most of is series that reimagine things, that take a concept and decide to flip it. Also if it has cute loli’s i might buy it (ie dragonar academy which is honestly shit for the plot and has character designs that are too short for their age, senseless nudity, and overall isn’t that good. Which is why i only have one volume but the loli dragon girl on the cover tricked me). So yeah, leading the life of an otaku/brony/gamer is one that is filled with pitfalls which one must avoid, you also need to find a way to be able to buy all the items for your hobbies. Gaming wise I play games like CS:GO a lot because they award you with items worth cash, I also play free games with large communities so as to keep myself occupied. It is all about finding inexpensive ways to enjoy your hobbies. Pirate anime kids, go by a watch before you buy policy, you will save thousands.

    1. Thanks for commenting. My manga reading and anime viewing has dropped significantly since I’ve written this post, but when I do have the chance to buy any manga/anime, I tend to be really discerning about what I buy. I don’t buy as much as I used to, but I make sure to research a series before buying or going on a friend’s recommendation for this stuff now. Being a subscriber to Netflix also helps with anime viewing because it saves you money in the long run and most animes are pretty accessible online now.

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