How much space does a physical collection of manga and comics take up? Well, to put it in perspective, I only got through buying physical copies of three different series of manga and half-way through one of those, I looked at the amount of shelf space it was taking up and audibly said, “Nope.” It’s bananas, really. I can only imagine how much space is taken up by these collections in public libraries.
These series are popular content to be sure. Comics and manga have a devoted readership, as many librarians will point out. I repeatedly hear, “I just can’t keep it on the shelf!” Well, there is a very good reason for this. For one person to collect and enjoy, manga alone is expensive. Absorbing the cost of an entire set is an investment, one that many individuals cannot justify today. Couple that fact with the tremendous strain the collection places on shelf space (and the shelves themselves in general), and many patrons, myself included, vastly prefer to get their content out from the local library. We comic and manga readers are pretty patient when it comes to getting our fix. (You have to be when most of the content you read is first released in Japan and won’t be coming to you for several months. #hobbyhazzard) Furthermore, typically, we don’t mind file restrictions like PDF-only. If we can get the content, we’re going to read it – I for one am VERY used to reading on a computer screen.
Furthermore, buying manga and comics digitally is much more economical and cost effective. Getting it digitally is a huge bonus – both for the readers of comics, as well as for the libraries who make the content available to their patrons. No more massive amounts of shelf space! For anyone! Ever! Everyone wins. Your patrons get the content they want in a convenient format and your library makes a great investment. Finding comics and manga in Marketplace is easy, too. Simply log in and click on “Advanced Search.” Then for subject, enter Comics and Graphic Books, or just “Comics,” and the search engine will finish it for you. Happy Reading!
Kate Seivertson is a Collection Development Specialist at OverDrive.