Addicted to Manga

January 5, 2008

Hi. My name is Lori, and I’m addicted to manga. It started innocently. It was 2002. My husband and I were in a comic book store, and I was looking for some new series to pick up. There, I discovered Dragon Knights, a series Tokyopop was publishing in comic form. It was fun and I love dragons anyway. It lasted 6 issues before Tokyopop abandoned the comic form and went to publishing in graphic novel form, unflipped. I of course, followed the change in format since I wanted to follow the story. And thus was my addiction born.

Why do I think I’m addicted to manga? Let me explain. I was looking at the numbers for My Manga Collection 1Tokyopop’s releases for a small blog I keep there, and on a whim decided to look at how much manga I purchased over the year. My husband is always complaining I had too much manga, and I just brushed it off. Until I looked at the numbers myself.

For the year 2007, I ordered 156 volumes of manga through Previews. I purchased another 47 from amazon.com, Deepdiscount.com and other sources. So that’s 203 volumes I purchased throughout the year. 25 of those volumes were the first volumes of new series, or 1/8 of my total purchases. I have a total of 58 series’ ongoing or My Manga Collection 2incomplete.

My total manga count is at about 636 volumes. 224 volumes are from completed series’. 45 are from series’ either I dropped or were dropped by the publisher (thanks ADV). The rest, 367 volumes are from ongoing titles. And I keep finding more to add. Not just the new titles that are coming out, but older ones that I missed as well.

Spill over shelvesJust looking at them stacked on the shelves, it doesn’t seem to be that many. But the numbers don’t lie. Not this time. After looking at all this, I came to the conclusion. I’m addicted to manga. I don’t even what to think about the amount of money this all comes to, though I am very conscientious about how much I pay for books. I’m always on the look out for good deals. Apparently I found a lot this year.

So, now that I’ve identified the problem, what am I going to do about it? Obviously I have to cut down on what I buy. But that isn’t easy. I’m already picky about what I get as it is. But, there are some places I can cut. I tried to prioritize my series to the 10 I just *had* to keep reading, and I couldn’t even do that! I had to do them in tiers, justifying that they don’t all come out every month, or even every other month. I’m really a sad case. I’ve been able to pick out a few that I can cull, but it’s only going to get harder from here.

Let this be a lesson to you; manga is bad for obsessive/compulsive-packrat-collecting bibliophiles.

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16 Comments for this entry

  • LostPhrack says:

    “So, now that I’ve identified the problem, what am I going to do about it? ”

    Add another wing to your house? ;)

    That’s a seriously impressive amount of manga. I find myself having the same problem too, well.. kind of. I keep seeing more and more series that I like or want to get into. I generally try to focus on one or two series at a time, but it can get tricky with so much good stuff coming out lately. Ah well…

  • Oh, I so wish!

    Admittedly, that 5 years worth of collecting, but I think most of it has come in the last 2-3 years. I’d have EVEN MORE if it wasn’t for Shonen Jump and Shojo Beat. I don’t buy those volumes. And it’s really killing me. With every issue of Previews that comes out, I see more stuff I want to get, when I should be cutting down! Del Rey hates me. They’re coming out with 2 volumes of Fairy Tail in March! That means I have to cut something else… wah!

  • My shelves couldn’t keep up with the amount of manga I’ve been reading, so I decided that I’d sell titles after I’d read them, keeping only the titles I was likely to re-read (i.e. Phoenix, Japan As Viewed by 17 Creators). Though the policy has allowed me to sample more series (thanks to those eBay auctions), it’s always hard to part with a series that I enjoyed.

  • Random Moogle says:

    Found this site through comipress. That’s a lot of manga ;_; I guess, in several years, I’ll probably end up being closer to that impressive number… (I only have a hundred-something at the moment).

    I consider myself a pretty slow collector though… I only collect manga I really like/and or have really good art… but given time, it really does add up D: (which is good and bad, I guess)

    I’m curious though about what kinds/genre of manga you collect. With that number… it seems like you collect a bit of everything!

  • Safety says:

    When I bought my condo three years ago, I decided to be -classy- and have shelves built – I had an entire wall covered, with space for 1300-1400 manga. Since I knew a guy who builds stuff, it wasn’t -that- much more than making an IKEA run.

    I moved in with about 700 volumes of manga, and in about a year and a half, I was wondering where all of the space had gone… I’ve had to do some weeding since then. Some series just aren’t keepers. :-/ I’ve cut down some but since they’ve been licensing good stuff again, my self-control is slipping!

    But I did take the next step that an obsessive-compulsive packrat-collecting bibliophile must take – I went and bought cataloging software, and spent a lovely week entering ISBN numbers.

    Just had to drop in, after seeing this linked from mangablog. I love to babble on about my shelves and see the ways others use.

  • Kate: My shelves haven’t been keeping up either, but I’ve just been taking any other space I could. I think I’m gonna start trying to sell off some of the series’ I’ve finished and don’t really care to read again. But it’s so hard to let go….

    Random Moogle: I thought I was picky too. Just last year I was at 23 series’. I don’t know how It doubled…Well, yes I do. Too much I want to read! And sites like the manga outlet at $2 a book. I just can’t resist a good deal. I dabble in a little bit of everything actually, shonen, shojo senien, and a little josei. I love mysteries, and stories about the supernatural. And Dragons. I’ve even got some mech and old school. I’m about split even between Tokyopop and Viz, with Del Rey sneaking up behind.

    Saftey: My husband built the big mang shelf for me, spaced just for manga. It was for my birthday. He told me it would take me forever to fill it up. Forever sure comes fast. :) I would so love to have built in bookshelves. I actually keep track of all my manga in my palm, so I’ll be sure not to buy any duplicataes.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting everyone!

  • 11 says:

    I have a lot of manga too. I actually took over my b/f’s IKEA shelf. I don’t know if I could sell most of them. I’ve briefly thought about it and then changed my mind. It’s really hard now because there’s so much more manga getting on the shelves nowadays. Just when you think you’ve caught up a new series comes out. More series are coming out than series are ending.

  • When I built you that shelf, it should have taken you forever to fill it, I figured it held about 500 manga and you only had maybe 150 at the time. Now it’s spilled all over the house!

    Looks like time to build another shelf! :)

  • dkong says:

    Well, I know a few things that you could do to cut down: lay off the garbage and the 40+ volume series…
    So no Bleach, no Inuyasha, etc….

  • 11: I have a hard time letting go too…but I do look at some of the series’ and think “you know, that one wasn’t as great as I thought…” It makes letting go a little easier.

    Brian: Yes. Build another. It will balance out the room with one on each side of the wall. :)

    dkong: Well, I have dropped Bleach, sort of. Since it’s in Shonen Jump now, I’m not going to buy the story twice. I’d have twice as much manga if I actually bought all the series’ I read in Shonen Jump and Shojo Beat. But…I gotta keep Inuyasha. I know it’s at volume 54 in Japan, but since it comes out at a slower rate, every 4 months I think, it doesn’t grow as fast.

  • mark says:

    Erm…jealous!

  • Nilbog says:

    Wow, over 600, that’s alot. I’m also addicted to manga and Dragon Knights was my first series too! I’m very careful about what series to get. If I see a series I’d like, I do a search on it on Wikipedia first and look at how many volumes it lasts. That way I don’t end up getting a 40+ volume series. It also tells me if a series has stopped being translated. I did that after finding out that descendants of darkness had gone on haitus. When I finally buy a house, I’m going to have one room turned into a privrate library with nothing but shelves full of manga in it. *sigh* It will be awesome.

  • grey says:

    wow, i used to have a simaler problem as well, but i relized that i only red them a couple of times, its not like i red them once a month. but the internet is a really gret place to read manga, try onemanga.com or the-evil-empire.net thats an amazing site. but i still have my babys that i have to buy, that i refuse to read online, (like godchild, and pet shops of horrors!) or that i cant find online(battel angel alita). all i can say is if you dont mind reading them online then do so if you can. if you cant bere to not have them in your hands then get them. if you go to anime cons they will have amazing deals like 2 books for $7 or something. if you have a larger series this is a great way to get books cheep. you may not find the volume your curently on but you will get to the purchased volume eventually.

  • megan says:

    hi i get my mangas from bookdepository.com they are really cheap there ive only been collecting them since november of last year but i already have around 45. anyway the mana are around 4.50 pounds there

  • Latika says:

    Why not go on online manga databases where the manga is already uploaded. Like http://www.onemanga.com or http://www.mangafox.com, it could help you save money. Though this may not help your addiction and contradicts my original reason for coming to this blog (which was to find out how to stop this addiction myself).

    • Well, it’s mostly because I don’t have the time to sit at my computer and read. Most of the time I have is away from a computer, hence my support for e-readers that would make reading such titles easier. But it’s really the number of books that I’m trying to cut down. I have no problem with loads of digital files, as long as I can read them anywhere. :)

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