Taking the Next Step

January 26, 2008

Now that I’ve admitted that I have a problem, it’s time to take the next step. Cut down the number of titles I buy. To do this, I first made a list of my manga in order of priority. What titles I would get no matter what. What titles I would get when the first list didn’t have any coming out, the titles I could take or leave and then the titles that I could drop. Do everything in moderation, even reduction, right?

Once I had my list, I then had to come up with a criteria by which to apply it. I decided I would get between $50-$60 worth of books. If felt this was the best way to go, since releases tend to fluctuate from month to month. I also wasn’t going to count the manga other people in the house bought (ie, the 2 titles my oldest daughter reads, and the 3 my husband gets).

So, now I have my list and my limit. I then turned to the Previews catalog, the harbinger of happiness and dread. I actually started this with last month’s order, but it wasn’t so hard. There were only 12 titles total, one that was my daughter’s (doesn’t count), and the two I had to cut were on my “drop” list anyway. This month was a completely different story.

To start, if I were to order every I wanted to read or was following, I would be ordering 20 volumes. Adding them all up, after the 30% discount I would get, it still came up to $139.09. That was just way overboard. Even for me. So, it was time to start cutting. First, I had to take 3 off the table, as they were husband/daughter books. So that cut it down to 17 I had to widdle down. Next I checked my “Drop” list. There were three in all, Grenadier, Moon Phase, and Mobile Suit Gundam: Ecole du Ciel from Tokyopop and Nancy Drew from Papercutz. Two of the books on my list were new titles. Fairy Tail from Kiichi and the Magic Books from CMXDel Rey and Kiichi and the Magic Books from CMX. I knew I want to check out Fairy Tail way back in the Summer when it was announced. But Del Rey threw a double whammy at me by releasing volume 1 & 2 this issue! Kiichi was a surprise. I love mysteries, and there are just way too few that have come out here. So I had to make room for these as well as reduce my overall order. But since Fairy Tail was a new series, and I didn’t know if I would like it, I decided to just get volume 1. That takes me down 5 volumes. 17-5=12. Time to move to the next tier.

Here, things got harder. I really had to think about what titles I really wanted to keep following. So I started picking the “Must Read” titles. Genju no Seiza is a definite keeper, as is Pick of the Litter, La Corda d’Oro, O-Parts Hunter and Spiral. This puts me up to 7, and still under my allotted price. Here though is where I ran into another problem. I read a lot of Viz titles. But I also do reviews and get review copies of Viz books. I have been getting a lot of duplicates as I order them, and then they arrive in the mail a month before they come out. So I eliminated Muhyo & Roji’s BSI, Dragon Drive, and a new title Nightmare Inspector based on the fact that I would be getting them as review copies. I know this sounds like cheating, but I was getting the books whether I bought them or not. Take advantage of every opportunity. 12-3=9.

One title I originally had in the “Must Read” list I moved. In the comments of the previous message, I said I was going to keep getting Inuyasha. I do enjoy reading the title, but it does have some problems, namely, it’s still flipped and there are no extras to speak of. Viz charges $8.99 for less than I get in a $7.99 title. Why am I paying more for less? I thought about this and decided, if I can drop Case Closed (I love Detective Conan) because Viz changed the main character names, then I shouldn’t support their Inuyasha releases either. This is a series that needs a Big edition unflipped. Those I’ll buy. So, this left me with room for one more. It ended up being a Del Rey title, Princess Resurrection. 9-1=8.

So, my total ended up being 8 titles for $58.92. 17 titles widdled down to 8. So what have we learned for the Second Step?

  • Reduce in Moderation
  • Take advantage of every opportunity
  • Almost nothing is set in stone

Will I go into withdrawals? Keep reading to find out.

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7 Comments for this entry

  • I hope Viz considers giving InuYasha the VIZBIG treatment–if any of their perennial bestsellers deserves a makeover, it’s this title. (Now that Death Note and Naruto are their big name-brand properties, a lot folks seem to forget that Takehashi’s series is still posting solid numbers.) I doubt they’ll do it anytime soon, though–all of the VIZBIG titles announced so far are for completed series. *Sigh.*

    BTW, I highly recommend using eBay to buy series that you’d started, enjoyed, and then let lapse. I’ve gotten some great deals on complete or near-complete runs of series like Lone Wolf and Cub and Her Majesty’s Dog. I haven’t tried book swap services yet, but I’m thinking of giving one a shot–it might be a painless way to keep abreast of long-running titles like InuYasha.

  • Is Vagabond finished? It’s got a VIZBIG edition coming out in Sept. Maybe there can be hope if not…

    I do check ebay once in a while, when I am looking for longer runs. I also like to browse half.com. Even with shipping, you can get some really smoking deals. That’s were I got my Petshop of Horrors and Dragon Voice back volumes. All I got for *at least* 1/2 off retail.

    I’ve been on the manga-swap list on Yahoo Groups for a while now, and only just did my first swap. I got vol 1 of Muyho & Roji. :) The only problem is finding a match. I see books I’d like but don’t have anything they want or visa versa. I like the idea of Manga Takeout, but the price is just a little to steep for me.

  • jun says:

    I don’t think Vagabond is finished, but I could be mistaken.

    Also, at least /my/ local library has started to carry manga. Currently, it’s the more popular series, and they /do/ have Inuyasha. You may be able to continue reading it for free. :)

    I reckoned I’d enjoy Bleach, but didn’t want to spend money on it, and they turned out to have its entire run. And now they’ve got the anime, too.

  • Michelle says:

    Have you checked to see if your local public library buys any of the titles you follow? I’ve saved a ton of money by using the four systems near my house.

  • My local library is minuscule, with a children/teens section as big as my living room. And no manga at all. We were lucky to find any Beverly Cleary books. Not much hope there unfortunately.

    I liked Bleach from the first Preview in Shonen Jump. It had a great balance of action and comedy, and through the first story arc I haven’t been disappointed. The anime was good through that arc too. The filler and resumption of this new arc isn’t wowing me yet (execpt for Ichigo’s Dad….)

  • So does this mean I don’t have to build a new manga shelf for you yet? :)

  • No. I want a room as big as the living and family rooms combined with the walls as bookshelves. That isn’t asking too much, is it? ;)

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