Project Skip the Books

Finally, time for this blog to be used for something that isn’t just the monthly reading log! Last year I gave myself a new project because I realised I was spending a lot of money on manga and figured there had to be a more cost-effective way of reading as much as I do without breaking the bank. Particularly with English releases continuing to go up in price. So it occurred to me that I should just go straight to the source and cut out buying volumes (especially in English) and instead look at reading series during their magazine runs. This isn’t to stop me buying volumes full stop, but to prevent blind buys and assure I’m only purchasing series I really want to own.

  • I already knew this helped cut back unnecessary spending because of my years of being subscribed to the Shounen Jump app and the fact I very rarely buy full volumes of the Jump series afterwards.
  • Another reason I started down this path is that I wanted to read Bungo Stray Dogs: Dazai, Chuuya, Age Fifteen – a spin-off that I knew would be licensed in English eventually but wanted to read asap rather than wait months for that to happen.

So when I started this project I was already buying Shounen Gangan and Isekai Tensei Lala monthly for myself, but to kickstart this properly I got myself a Comic Days subscription and a BookWalker All You Can Read Manga subscription, which gave me access to a lot more magazines for about £15~ a month. At the time of writing, I’m currently reading these under Comic Days:


  • Afternoon
  • Kiss
  • Monthly Shounen Sirus
  • Monthly Shounen Magazine
  • Monthly Shounen Magazine Edge
  • Dessert
  • Nakayoshi
  • Be Love
  • Shounen Magazine R (this has ended but I did spend a few months on it)
  • Good Afternoon
  • Comic Tint
  • Betsufure Friend
  • Ane Friend
  • Bessatsu Shounen Magazine


  • Morning
  • Weekly Shounen Magazine
  • Evening (this ended last month, so I’m listing it since I spent a significant amount of time on it)

Then on BookWalker I’m reading these monthly:

  • Comic Grast (twice a month)
  • Noicomi (twice a month)
  • Comic Flapper
  • Young Ace
  • Dengeki Daiou G
  • Dengeki Maou
  • Monthly Comic Alive
  • Dengeki Daiou
  • Comp Ace
  • Monthly Ace
  • Monthly Action
  • Hanaoto
  • B’s-Log Comic
  • Comic Ride
  • B’s Lovey Recottia
  • Kachi Comi
  • Ciel
  • iHertZ
  • Feel Young
  • Young Animal Zero
  • Craft
  • ihr HertZ

Then on top of that, I started buying some more magazines on my own time which I felt complimented those I was subscribed to and filled in some gaps and again were costing me less than two volumes of an English release. Those are:

  • Shounen Gangan
  • Isekai Tensei Lala
  • Mellow Kiss
  • G-Lish
  • Gush
  • Comic Zero-Sum
  • Gateau
  • Hana to Yume
  • Monthly G Fantasy
  • xxLaLa BLaLa

What I realised during the time I’ve been doing this is that it has cut down my random purchases, which is good. What has happened instead is that it ballooned my reading list since there are so many series running or that have started during the experiment that I wanted to follow! But I suppose in that case you can at least argue it’s saving me money in the long run since not all of these will transition into a series I want to own, in fact very few of them will likely end up like that. It also means I can read more works by authors I like (such as the Sweat and Soap authors new series!) and not be stuck waiting for a compiled volume in Japanese or an English license, which is not a quick process for anything that runs monthly!

This has also allowed me to read more one-shot works, which is something that you just don’t have access to outside of magazines 99% of the time unless there’s a collection released down the road or they get included in something else. And even then the chances of either of those things coming to the English market are slim.

While this was originally just an experiment, things in the manga market have begun to shift quite dramatically since I started and now more than ever I’m thinking I’ll continue on down this road. The biggest shift in the market in that Kodansha revealed K Manga, a service that is US only and that they suspended simulpubs for. In fact, by the time K Manga comes out the simulpubs will have been suspended for 5 months, so I’m really happy that I was already reading the magazines those series ran in and could transition to reading them in Japanese. It’s not a painless shift given I’ve had to relearn so many Eden Zero attack names compared to their translations, but it meant I could retain access to the series I’ve been enjoying.

In the end, I think it’s still too early to say if it’s really saving me money. I think it is, but the only real proof will be when more of these series end up getting volume releases in Japanese or English licenses. But a big benefit is that my Japanese has been improving tenfold given the sheer amount of time I’m spending reading in that language. Honestly, at the start, I thought I would be cutting down the amount I followed magazine-wise, but it has only increased as I saw the value in it. Especially when I worked out that some of my favourite series all originate from particular magazines and then I realised I would always be attracted to new series in that magazine. I guess in some ways this is just an evolution of my hobby and how I consume stuff.

I might revisit this next year and see if any of my feelings have changed by then. Until then, that’s where things stand right now!

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