Recognizable Spines

I read a lot of manga. Well, it’s a lot by my standards, at least. My best friend reads a ton more than I do, but it’s also her fault I read them to begin with. She introduced me to my favorite series Fruits Basket. Granted, I’d already read quite a bit of Ranma 1/2 in my college years, but I didn’t actually start reading them until Kristen started throwing things at me. Then I started reading one for a favorite cartoon (because I refuse to call Yu-Gi-Oh an anime, even though I own a good third of the series in the original Japanese).

Kristen even got me to start reading a magazine that serializes six manga a chapter at a time. (I’m embarrassed to realize I don’t know what these are called.) It’s introduced me to a few new faves. My favorite of the six, Godchild, was replaced a few months back by what ended up being another favorite, but I was upset at the loss of the first one.

When they started releasing the volumes for Godchild, I started collecting them so I could read the entire story. I also have a manga based on an a very heart-wrenching novel that lives on the bookshelf right next to my Godchild volumes. I just recently started collecting another favorite title, Absolute Boyfriend, but it hasn’t made its way to the manga shelf yet.

From what I can tell, Viz and its subsidiary company Shounen Jump both create covers where the spine is visually distinctive. Shojo Beat, another subsidiary of Viz, doesn’t. When I look over at the bookshelf closest to my bed, I can see where all of my Fruits Basket (Tokyo Pop) volumes are, I can see where my Descendants of Darkness volumes start and end. I am aware of where my Shojo Beat collection starts and stops, but couldn’t tell you from here whether Socrates in Love is before or after Godchild. The spines look identical to each other.

I’m so used to walking up to a book shelf and picking up a book without any serious thought because I know what the spine looks like, and I’m almost mad that Shojo Beat has robbed me of that opportunity. Distinctive spines are a part of what make owning books so much fun.

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