Book retailer Yohan goes bust


Major Japanese book retailer Yohan Inc on Thursday filed for bankruptcy with Tokyo District Court with debts of some 6.5 billion yen, Teikoku Databank Ltd said.

Yohan Book Service Inc, which is receiving business turnaround support from Yohan Inc, also went bust, filing for protection from creditors with the same court under the Civil Rehabilitation Law, according to the credit research agency.

Yohan Book Service, which operates Aoyama Book Center, left debts of about 5.4 billion yen.

Established in 1953, Tokyo-based Yohan Inc imports such books as U.S. magazine Newsweek and runs bookstores.

The company has run into financial difficulties since its interest-bearing debts mounted following its aggressive investments.

In the year that ended in November 2007, the firm incurred a net loss of 1,065 million yen.


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Look for newspapers to follow. Try Amazon.....

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Who reads books anymore? The internet is going to make books a thing of the past. No one has the attention span for them anymore. The internet has everything you need to know.

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I read books. If all you need is a snippet of information, then Yes, the Internet is quick and easy. But if you want a really good read, it has to be a book.

You can't curl up in the bath with a glass of red wine and a paperback computer.

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Sad to hear this. About 150 people have lost their jobs.

"Who reads books anymore?"

Plenty of people, it would seem. Penguin's profits are at record highs, and book sales are up between 5-10% on last year.

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"You can't curl up in the bath with a glass of red wine and a paperback computer." If you did, one splash, you're ash!

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I read books from Yohan...I need to search my favorites on the internet..

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cleo: the time is coming. They have working electronic "paper" now. Once they get the tech improved enough, you might be able to do just that.

Plus, it may even be waterproof.

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You can't curl up in the bath with a glass of red wine and a paperback computer.


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waterproof computers are here, have been for more than 5 years (panasonic toughbook is one)

I haven't read a printed paper book for more than 15 years, and believe my 20-20 vision in my 30's is due to this, give me a computer screen anyday... die paper books, die!

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Yohan had a near monopoly over the import of foreign publications, magazines especially, which they often marked up as much as 200-300% over the foreign retail price. I went to get the latest issue of "Monocle" and was shocked to find it stickered at almost 3,000 yen. Maybe their departure from the market will finally bring some of those prices down.

People who don't understand the lure of books probably grew up without any. Recent articles in the Atlantic and other publications point to a wholesale change in the way people today approach, acquire, and use information from all sources--a change not necessarily for the worse, they say--that is largely attributable to the way we use the internet. I don't mind getting new and commentary this way, but I can't imagine enjoying fiction or lengthy non-fiction works on anything but the printed page.

That said, if Amazon improved the look and feel of its Kindle electronic book reader, I might be willing to give it a whirl, if and when it ever comes to Japan.

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This not a 'free' advertisement -- but I find Amazon unbeatable. It's prices are the best, that is the cheapest, delivery is quick and payment arrangements efficient. And the variety of goods, not just books, available is considerable. When I am not in Japan I also use Amazon UK and Amazon US and I find their books well priced beating, for example, Australian prices even after freight and currency changes (excepting the time delay in delivery ). From Amazon US new books come available much earlier than the rest of the world. Notwithstanding Amazon, I have often found that Yohan and other Japanese sellers often provide cheap, and cheaply printed, English language novels which is OK for me particularly if I am eventually going to lose the book down the drainhole in the bath.

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