Some friends who are trying to stay relatively healthy in this hectic world are exchanging health related-materials. Some titles being circulated are Prevention, Natural Health (magazines) and Good Heath and Common Sense (hard cover). I noticed that the cover price of a recent Muscle & Fitness was $3.95 but was 1,580 yen at a Tokyo bookstore. This 4X markup (and sometimes more!) will probably never change because: 1) of the demand for foreign language materials, 2) the Japanese distribution system is an artificial make-work scheme which is a good substitute for welfare, 3) greed, and 4) there is no outcry against the ridiculous markups. The only thing people can really do is to make their interests known and share. If there are other interest groups that would like to enlarge their circle of friends/sharers, contact the Alien Times.
P.S. Another good place to pick up/drop off foreign language materials is the Tsukuba Christian Center next to the Tsukuba Gakuen Kyokai (near Daiei). You probably won't get your book/magazine back but it's a great place to drop off all your old reading material if you are leaving Tsukuba.
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