Sunday, January 20, 2008

Magazine/Comic Browsing (except nudes) Blocked at Convenience Store

A small army of people can normally be found huddled in front of the magazine racks leafing through their favorite comic books and magazines.

One thing that you'll often notice when walking into a convenience store in Japan is that there is a line of people (usually guys) reading manga (comic books) or perusing some other form of paperbacked entertainment. In most places you're not required to actually purchase the magazine--one can basically read the mag in its entirety and then leave without buying anything.

I never really understood why this is allowed.

One convenience store near Kamishakujii station on the Seibu-Shinjuku line in western Tokyo has decided to take a stand against this practice. Some poor worker was made to go through their entire rack of print material and bind all of it shut with plastic packaging twine. That must have taken a while.

I was so surprised to see that a shop manager had done the necessary profit-geared mental acrobatics (in other words, they figured out that customers tend not to buy magazines they can read for free) that I failed to notice an even odder managerial decision.

The only magazines that weren't restricted from perusal were the ones with adult content. Maybe the workers want easy access to them during the duller hours of the afternoon?

Sorry, kids, we've padlocked your comic books. But there's some other enjoyable material just over to the right. You're welcome!

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