Tetsu had a business trip to Tokyo last Friday and before he left he asked me what I wanted him to bring back as a present. Although you might think that since I'm American and live in Japan, that I'm very international and cosmopolitan but actually I sometimes lament that I've just become a country girl. All my English students (the ladies) are traveling around the world to far off and interesting places and using the English they've learned, but I stay in the back woods of Tochigi-prefecture. I've been to Tokyo maybe twice in the past 10 years. Tetsu too, rarely goes so both of us are country bumpkins! Anyway, I teased him and said bring me back something gorgeous from the Ginza but he said he bring back a box of dumplings! Dumplings!
He came back late Friday night and yes he is a country bumpkin. He talked about all the foreigners walking along the streets (like he'd never seen one in his life! Yoo hoo! Hello? You're looking at one!) the speed of the Bullet Train etc. He even brought back dumplings which we enjoyed with hot tea. But... best of all he brought back books!
Now, I can buy English books if I go to the neighboring city, but they are quite expensive. Still, compared to thirty years ago when I had to have my mother send me books from the States, I feel like I have access at my fingertips. For years and years I'd just keep re-reading the old English books that I had in my bookcase. (Practically memorized some of them!) Of course the internet has made everything possible and my fingers sometimes push buttons on that Amazon.com website before I have a chance to think!
Anyway, Tetsu's gift to me from Tokyo was a stack of books he bought at a used English bookstore! Amazing! There are many used book stores in Japan but English! Oh, I would have been in heaven! My poor husband has no idea what he bought me. If it had a #1 on the cover page he bought it. That's why there are a couple Danielle Steele and John Grisham books, not that I'm particularly a big fan of either. I'm not complaining! Yeah! This will keep me occupied at least until summer when I'll stock up again during my trip to the States! Oh, and one more pat on the back for Tetsu. All the books he picked out were in English. In the past he's thought of me at a bookstore and bought me a book and I'd have to tell him the thought was sweet but the book is in French!
Isn't that interesting that even a used bookstore will "cover" all the books you buy? This is true of most book stores in Japan. Maybe the reader doesn't want people to know what he is reading. I've never seen this done in the States.