Now more than ever, people are reading and collecting manga. As the numbers show, manga sales have never been higher than they are today. Although we live in the digital age, reading and collecting physical manga has grown exponentially. So there are many newbies who have a lot of questions about buying manga. Luckily, this complete beginner’s guide to manga collecting will provide you with everything you need to know to begin your collecting journey. This includes how to take care of your manga, what to do and what not to do, and much more. Obviously, the usefulness of some of these tips will depend on your location.
where to buy manga
Some obvious answers are Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Millionand Law Stuf Anime. But feel free to sit around 30 minutes and look up local bookstores in your area. They may not have the stock that the big retailers have, but sometimes you can find a hidden gem or a sold out set at an extremely low price. Sending a quick email asking what manga they have in stock can go a long way. If you are in USA, Canada, Australia or UK countries, Half price books is also an amazing website where you can find older series and even cheap used copies.
Another site that is coming to the United States is Takara Cafe. They usually run a lot of great deals, so check them out for any manga you’re looking for. They also have a Discord that you can join to find out more about the manga they sell and possibly the series you’ve never heard of.
For international fans, here is a list of places where you can also find manga in your area. If you have certain places in your country where you shop, let me know in the comments and I’ll add them to the list here! (If none of these are what you’re looking for, use Amazon as a last resort. Delivery quality varies by country.)
- Australia – Minotaur, Deposit of books, Kinokuniya
- Belgium – water stones
- Bosnia and Herzegovina – Culture
- Canada- Indigo
- Croatia – Znanje Bookstore
- Czech republic – Nejlevnější knihy, EN Book
- Denmark – Snazal, Faraos
- France – junku, manga history, Hayaku shop
- Germany – Comics shop, crosses, Crusader worship
- Greece – CosmicRealms
- India – Comicclan, Flipkart
- Ireland – water stones
- Italy – Star Shop, POP store
- Japan – Melonbooks, mandarake, animate, CD Japan
- Malaysia – Kinokuniya Malaysia
- Netherlands – bowl, Keywords
- Philippines- Complete, Palabasalibro Bookstore
- Portugal – look, Deviate
- Romania – OKIAN, CARTURESTI, BOOK EXPRESS
- Serbia – dark wood
- Spain – NORMA COMICS
- Sweden – Bokus. Adlibris
- UK – forbidden planet, Snazal, Keywords, WH Smith
How to take care of manga
For some collectors, manga can be seen as an investment. It’s not the greatest way to invest, but a collection can establish itself as an asset later on, depending on what you collect or how much you collect.
1. Stay away from sunlight
So there are several ways to take care of your manga. One of them is simple: keep your manga out of direct sunlight as much as possible. Sunlight and paper are not friends. To test this, just watch a few videos on YouTube where people put a book that was in the sun against one that wasn’t. The one in the sun will yellow much faster while the one out of the sun looks about the same as when they bought it. The solution to this is simple: throw a sheet on the shelf, buy some curtains, or store your manga away from direct sunlight.
2. Beware of Wet or Dry Climates
The second is humidity. If you live in a very humid climate like me, be sure to buy a dehumidifier. While sunlight isn’t good for your manga, neither is excess humidity in the air. Keeping your manga out of direct sunlight with a nearby dehumidifier can definitely prolong the life and condition of your new manga. On the other hand, if you live in a dry place like Arizona or Antarctica, you would want buy a humidifier. It is always best to keep the humidity of the room storing your manga around 40% to 60%. You can buy small detectors for cheap on Amazon.
3. Stack manga horizontally (lying down) versus vertically (standing up)
It’s not ideal to store your manga horizontally. But if you don’t have shelves to put them on, or you’re running out of space, it’s still ok. Just make sure it’s on a flat surface that’s not the floor. However, keeping manga stacked like this can turn spines over time, especially if it’s the bottom of the stack that carries all the weight. The Library of Congress website even says that stacking books horizontally is okay, but it’s not ideal for long-term storage. So always make sure your manga is stacked vertically (upright) if possible. One last trick is to store manga of the same size next to each other so that they stand evenly. For example: Do not stack a volume of Eden Zero next to a volume of heaven from hell because they are two different sizes. Often sites will even list the size of the manga for you.
If you are looking for shelves, the Ikea Billy Bookcases. These are the ideal shelves for storing manga that many collectors also use. If you want deep shelves, be sure to check the depth of the one you’re looking at. Usually, shelves with deeper cases that can hold two rows of manga are over 11 inches. Amazon is also a good place to find great shelves like the one I have.
Difference between “OOP” and “OOS”
As a beginner, you might not come across these two terms at first. It is therefore good to inform you in advance. OOP specifically stands for “sold out”. This concerns manga that are no longer printed by the publisher. Usually, these manga cost much more on auction sites and are also sought after by collectors. For example, black lagoon Flight. 11 is currently in stock at most locations. However, Vol. 3 is considered out of print because the publisher, VIZ Media, is no longer printing copies.
On the other hand, “OOS” simply means “out of stock”. Don’t let that term freak you out if it’s new series like Chainsaw Man, black clover, Jujutsu Kaisen, etc. If a volume from a newer series is OOS, new print runs will generally come out sooner rather than later. Just be patient.
Don’t pay too much for out-of-stock manga
Often resellers buy manga in bulk and sell it for twice as much. Chainsaw Man volumes are $20, $30, and sometimes $50, on sites like eBay and Amazon. That’s crazy. Never overpay for manga that will soon be back on the shelves.
Be patient and wait for new stock to arrive. Sometimes Amazon will even have a notice saying “we should expect more soon” if they’re completely out of stock (I don’t recommend buying manga from Amazon). And again, always check the specific item on sites like Barnes and Noble and Law Stuf Anime as well. If it says “Temporarily out of stock”, more will be on the way. Don’t hesitate to ask either.
Read also :
Manga Shortage Sweeps North America Due To Supply Issues
Don’t fall for the pressure of the pier, be proud of your collection
Remember, this is your manga collection. If you don’t like a series that everyone buys, it’s simple: don’t buy it. Use your money on the shows you love and enjoy. Everyone’s collection is different. So you don’t have to own everything someone else has. You won’t buy 3,000 volumes of manga in 2022. So don’t rush your collection. It will build over time and it will be amazing to see how far you have come when you think back on it.
If you don’t know what to buy, don’t be afraid to watch YouTube video reviews of certain manga. This one by Anime Collective is a fantastic example talking about the Soul Eater Perfect Edition volumes versus the original paperback volumes. These types of videos can be a big help when you’re starting your collection or when you’re looking for something new.
How to know when a new manga comes out
Be sure to follow the editors on social media or join their email newsletters. VIZ, Yen Press, seven seasetc all have social media accounts that you can follow that will always let you know when new series or volumes are on the way.
You can also check Amazon. Just search for a specific series or volume and it will tell you when they expect that volume to hit their inventory. Another option is to follow some YouTuber manga channels. Anime Collective and The omnibus collector do a really good job of talking about manga and letting fans know when a new manga is on the way.
Be sure to follow Anime Corner on all of our social media for future updates regarding your favorite manga!