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Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san, Vol. 1

(ガイコツ書店員 本田さん [Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san] #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  808 ratings  ·  155 reviews
Ever wonder what it's like to sell comics at a Japanese bookstore? Honda provides a hilarious firsthand account from the front lines! Whether it's handling the store, out-of-print books, or enthusiastic manga fans, Honda takes on every challenge! ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published July 30th 2019 by Yen Press (first published March 26th 2016)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  808 ratings  ·  155 reviews

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The Artisan Geek
I really enjoyed this manga, I thought it was really cool to see what goes on behind the scenes at a book store and there were some really funny moments -- the smiling exercise lmao. I love how the main side characters are so quirky with their disguises and the expressions of all the other side character :) Very much looking forward to the rest of the series.

The idea of a skeleton working at a book store really appealed to me, which is why I had to get myself a copy.

You can find m
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: manga
This manga series gives an insider's view of what it is like to work in the manga section of a Japanese bookstore. Having worked at a bookstore in my younger days, I could relate to the stories of dealing with strange customer requests, restocking shelves, and dealing with unusual management. It's all true. I imagine those who have bookstore work experience will enjoy this more than others as it gets pretty deep into the inner workings of bookstores. ...more
Stewart Tame
Jan 25, 2021 rated it liked it
Anyone who's worked retail should identify with this book. Honda-san works in a bookstore in Japan. All coworkers have had their names and appearances changed to prevent identification, but presumably these stories are taken more or less from life. Many of them involve manga, and I assume it's because that's the department in which Honda-san works. I gather that this bookstore either specializes in manga, or is large enough that the manga section requires its own dedicated staff. Since manga’s a ...more
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I feel seen... If you've ever wondered what it was like to sell comics, then this is the closest I've seen it! ...more
Paul Spence
Sep 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: comedy, manga
For many of us, bookstores are a place of magic and wonder: places we go to find a new story to lose ourselves in – but have you ever wondered what goes into running one? Here with the answers is Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san, which takes a look at what it means to work in a bookshop in Japan!

The story follows Honda-san, a skeletal bookseller who’s in charge of foreign comics and art books in the bookstore he works at. Alongside his co-workers Honda-san does his best to meet the varied and som
Mar 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
it was fun enough but a bit too chaotic. i guess that was the style but still
Rod Brown
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was super excited by the title and cover of this book. I was expecting something weird and twisted. Instead I just got some pretty generic stories about being a clerk in a bookstore: stocking shelves, dealing with odd customer questions, getting customer service training. Giving the bookstore employees crazy heads is just a gimmick to hide identities in what is presented as the confessions of a real-life bookseller. So disappointing...
Thomas Maluck
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: manga, best-of-2019
Fifth star unlocked by the customer service training chapter, too real.
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, rated-4
For booksellers everywhere

Honda-san works in a Japanese bookstore. This story is a little drier than I expected, but the art is great and, having spent time working in retail, I relate to many of her experiences. Looking forward to the next volume.
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Honda is a very sincere and hard working bookseller! You could say he works himself to the bone!
I really love this - Bookselling culture vs. library culture here but the common ground is that he cares for the people he serves, the sincerity is true, and we both have adventures with them. Sometimes a patron can make or break your spirit! The chapter with him getting berated over the phone and the next one of the kindest patrons he's had is so relatable I felt like I was in his exact shoes

It's als
Sep 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga
I had a lot of fun reading this! It was intriguing to see how bookstores in Japan operate, especially in the manga department. Honda was a super relatable character and I definitely saw a lot of myself in them (especially with the chapter regarding recommendations). The "Lost in Manga" chapter was a little too realistic and hit me hard on a personal level, so sad...

I'm definitely interested in reading the rest of the series and would highly recommend this for manga fans or those looking to learn
Feb 16, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: manga, library, 2021
This didn’t hit the mark I hoped for. Probably my bad. The art is very distracting and I didn’t care for it. Which then led the whole book off tracks for me. I like the idea of having all of Honda’s coworkers have these masks to protect their identities and such but then you get all these... almost over stylized version of humans and stereotypes as customers. I found the situations almost overdramatized but I’ve worked retail before so I can see that these could have definitely happened.

James DeSantis
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was ok
Got bored half way. Cool idea but the various stories from a book seller could be done far more interesting than this. None of the stories stuck out. Art was solid tho.
Llyr Heller-Humphreys
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Glad I watched the excellent anime first, but a very fun first volume.
Jul 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga, queer, nonfiction, adult
This was cute but the best part was him having to explain to multiple foreigners why he can't get them hardcore/selfpub/boys love/hentai porn lol ...more
Shay Vande
Hilarious, relatable, inspires me to improve my customer interactions. (I'm a librarian) ...more
This one is super funny. It is all stories about working in a bookstore and the types of people that come in. I have this in the teen section, but it probably would be better in adult as these are adult workers dealing with some adult type situations and characters.
It isn't bad, but I don't think I'm too grabbed into continuing it.
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loved
This book is hilarious. If you love book stores, customer service stories, and funny coworkers, you will enjoy this. I read the whole series in a day, and watched the anime in 2 days. It's lighthearted and funny for everyone to enjoy. ...more
Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★
Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san is a slice-of-life, semi-autobiographical comedy manga about a bookseller's day-to-day filled with chaotic stories about customers, retail, and lots more! Perfect for those interested in bookselling, publishing, or just looking for a funny behind the scenes look at what happens in a bookstore!

An eccentric comedy manga about a bookseller with a skull for a face?! How could one not want to read this?

As I'm trying to tackle my physical tbr this
Nov 20, 2019 rated it liked it
This book gets points for originality and for being educational -- I don't think I ever quite realized that bookstores shrink wrap their own books, or that they're the ones who insert the extra content into the book. What a lot of work! I had always assumed the publishers and/or printers handled those elements.

I'm a little wary of stories that pigeonhole "otaku" stereotypes... so the first fourth or so of the book focusing on the yaoi fans was a little tiresome. I'm glad the story is branching
Apollo Mul
Aug 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
After watching the anime, I was excited to read the manga, and I was so thankful it received enough traction to get it officially translated and printed in English!!

Honda-san is so important to me. A bit anxious, tired, and trying his best, he reminds me a lot of my fellow bookstore cohorts and myself, especially with that first bonus comic of this volume. Working retail is exhausting and sometimes thankless, but when you have great customers and coworkers, it helps with the burden of retail qui
Kyat Meow Dragon rawr
It's very much a diary of a bookseller in a manga format. There were some bits that I could really relate to just by having worked in a bookstore. I found some of the segments funny aswell as informative about how manga selling works and the different genres/the publishing industry of it all. But it was slightly dull because like apart from moaning about anoying customers and stupid customer and publisher and top manager requests, bookselling really isn't that interesting. I'm glad I didn'
Nov 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga
Honda works at a bookstore, where he deals with foreign art books.

I've worked at a bookstore before, but I've never thought about what it would be like to work at one that has a huge manga section as they do in Japan. There are employees who deal with shoujo, and novels, and BL, and 4-panels and things I haven't ever heard of. Everyone scurries around trying to help customers (who range from bizarre to (rarely) appreciative) while simultaneously trying to stock shelves.

And Honda has a skull for
3.5 stars

I liked the manga, it's fun and cute, also relatable to anyone who has ever worked in a retail.
I admit I prefer the anime adaptation, I like the way the anime tells the story a bit more than I like the manga it's based upon.
Still it's an entertaining read, if you want something quick, funny and imaginative to read, it's a good manga to get to.
Christine (Padfoot's Library)
as a book seller and a BL reader, I definitely saw myself in a few of these passages. This was hilarious and definitely cracked me up. I def think I'm going to prefer the the anime over this though so I can hear all the different voices. ...more
Amy Holland
Ahhh lots of similarities to working in a public library! I loved the chapter about recommending books and how hard it is even if you're well-read.

And the emphasis on spine health. I loved that, too.
Joe Crawford
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: manga-2020
As a former bookseller, this one really spoke to me.
Dec 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-books
If you are a bookworm, especially if your are into mangas, if you've worked retail—man, this manga will crack you up. ...more
Collin Henderson
Jan 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
A funny and often painfully relatable slice of life comedy whether you sell books or not. Honda san is light hearted and goofy but sometimes that's just what the doctor ordered. ...more
Jul 19, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Uh so I ended this at around half bc I just couldn't get through it.
The art is very nice and I'm so sorry for not enjoying the book overall , but I was extremely confused by the way the anecdotes were given and the comments on the sides and god, I just couldn't keep going through it.
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