Reading habits in Japan

Hello everyone,

Books can be your greatest companions whether you have already settled in Japan or are now planning your move. Are you an avid or occasional reader? We would like to know more about your reading habits.

What type of reading do you enjoy? Do you read novels, comics, magazines, newspapers, etc.?

Where do you purchase or borrow books in Japan (bookstores, online, library subscription, etc.)? Do you prefer digital reading?

Do you have an average budget devoted to reading in Japan? Do you buy books or pay a library membership fee?  Do you spend more or less than in your country of origin?

In what languages can you find the books that you usually read?

What books or magazines would generally be found on your bedside table?

Thanks for participating,


With so much being available on the internet these days I read a lot less than I used to. Previously I would read novels such as thrillers, legal thrillers, adventure etc but these days the only books I tend to buy are books for my children in English, often buying them from book fairs.

I also keep a collection of travel books, but the books I really enjoy searching for are old and special books, not just in English but in any language. Books on art, history, crafts, oriental art, paintings, religion and politics are all interesting.

There are secondhand book shops in Japan, but the most exciting for me is to visit flea markets as you never what you might find. If it isn't books it might be antique Seiko watches or old Japanese plates or old model train sets. One of my favourite markets is Oi flea market in Tokyo.

But generally I only read from the internet, the news, anything I am researching and lots and lots about travel.

I do however keep a collection of Viz in the downstairs toilet as reading material.