Living in Japan, since 2006, is not nearly as tough as the time I lived here in the 90s. Back then it was hard to keep in touch, both with friends and with culture.
I was happy when Amazon came along and made it easier to buy books. I used to have to go to central Tokyo when I wanted to buy an English language book. The only book store that had decent selection was Kiinokuniya. It would cost you about double the cover price. But it was worth it. There was also a used book store I went to.
Now, I’m getting a little annoyed at the cost of books again. Admittedly, now I only pay cover price, and theres a great selection, but if I was back in the states then I’m sure I’d have a local library to raid. And that would mean free, right?
What have you done for me lately?
Happily, I’ve found archive.org.
Note, I get zero kickbacks from archive or anyone; I’m just a guy with a blog, writing about what makes me happy. And this website makes me very happy. I don’t think they make money, either. I’m pretty sure they’re a nonprofit. The website is a lending library. Wish come true, right?
In the past couple of months or so, I’ve read the following: • Early Autumn• A Savage Place• Valediction• A Catskill Eagle• Taming a Sea-Horse• Pale Kings and Princes• Crimson Joy• Double Deuce• Hundred-Dollar Baby by Robert B. Parker. Ballistics (poetry) by Billy Collins, Half in Love (short stories) by Maile Meloy, Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (which I didn’t expect to like so much, but it was a really fun read). Ex-Heroes by Peter Cline, Soon I’ll be Invincible by Austin Grossman (see the pattern?). I’ve also read dozens of short stories (detective, sci-fi, horror).
And for those of you concerned about royalties to authors, I bought the sequels for the books I liked. So there’s that. You get the idea, archive.org is making me happy.