Book Off

Visit sacred ‘ranobe’ spots around Japan with Book Off’s handy otaku map

Light novels (or ranobe for short, a portmanteau of raito and noberu) are popular in Japan as short, cheap reads for young adults. They often come with manga-style illustrations and feature many tropes from popular anime. This makes the transition between genres easy, and many light novels have been adapted into popular anime such as Ore no Imōto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai (There’s no way my little sister’s this cute!) and the currently airing Date-A-Live.

And now, Book Off–Japan’s brilliantly-named used bookstore chain–has added to the the recent spate of interactive maps with their new “Light Novel Pilgrimage Map”.

Read More

How Your Old Videogames, Books and CDs Could Help Educate a Child

Take a quick look around your home. See anything gathering dust? Any old books sitting on the shelf unloved? That AKB48 CD you bought last year but are too embarrassed to listen to? How about those Playstation2 games that you never got around to playing before your console died?

Well now’s your chance to have a good old clear-out. Grab a cardboard box and turn that stuff into an education for a less fortunate child.

Japanese recycling giant Book Off is working in conjunction with Shanti Volunteer Association (SVA) to provide books and learning materials for children who have found themselves homeless as a result of war or natural disasters. As well as donating the in-store buy-back value of any books, CDs, DVDs and videogames donated by regular folk like you and me, Book Off is pledging an extra 10% of that value to the charity.

In short, some less fortunate kids get an education; you make some space in your home and get to feel warm and fuzzy. Read More