Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Mall rat: There are two bookstores in my little town: One sells primarily used books out of a beautiful old Carnegie library, where the temperature reaches 115 degrees on the most pleasant of days. The other is a tiny Waldenbooks in the area's sole shopping mall.

This afternoon's errands took me by said mall, so I popped into "America's Bookstore" to root through the graphic novel and manga section. Wait. Let's call it The Manga Section (featuring Western graphic novels). The store had been rearranged since my last visit several months back, with the manga and graphic novels pushed closer to the front, and away from the humor and sci-fi ghetto.

Just as noticeable was the reappropriation of shelf space. Where once manga was wedged into a single disorganized bookcase, now it fills three and spills over into a fourth. In contrast, the graphic novels have been downsized and relegated to three-quarters of one case.

Needless to say, I took advantage of the expanded manga selection and picked up the first volumes of Chobits, xxxHolic, Get Backers and Sgt. Frog (I also snatched up Criminal Macabre).