Education | Avg price: ¥1100 | English Available: None (Unknown)
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English books for kids and adults
Books 1st in Lumine Kawagoe was one of the first stores to supply English books in Western Saitama. Nowadays, there are quite a few stores around where you will find English books for kids, but for quite sometime Books 1st was the only place you could get them. And while English books for kids are more commonplace now, it is still quite hard to find English novels and other books for adults.Books 1st bridges that gap, and saves me a trip to Tokyo to stock up on reading material.
The store is located on the 4th floor of the Lumine in Kawagoe station, just as you come in the West entrance of the shared Tobu and JR station. It is right opposite the JR station entrance and ticket machines. There are escalators leading up to the bookstore. In the same building there is a Village Vanguard and Loft, but Books 1st is by far the busiest shop in the building. In all my years of using it, about eleven in total, I have never seen the place quiet. There is always a steady flow of customers and it is very hard to find an empty chair to sit down and peruse a book. The aisle with the English books is no exception.
The English book aisle is toward the back of the store, aisles sixty-nine and seventy. They have a relatively good selection of the most famous of English language novels. They always have quite a few of the classics, and they change and update the supply of trending books quite frequently. They are just a little behind what is available in the West; you wouldn't for example, find a lot of the current tops books on the New York Times Best Seller's list. They have a lot of the original versions for native readers as well as some that are abridged for students of English. They also have self help books, history books, political books and other topics in the English language.
It is also in this the foreign language section that they have "readers". Although a lot of the readers are what us native speakers would identify as children's books, they are in the foreign book section, not the children's books section. They are aimed at students of English and classified by their TOEIC level. TOEIC is one of the most popular English language proficiency tests in Japan. It stands for "Test of English for International Communication".
The English children's books are housed in the children's book section, aisles 34 and 35. They have a lot of Eric Carle, Curious George, Little Golden Books, Richard Scarry, Puffin books and classic children's tales. They are a little more expensive than what you would buy online, but at least you can flick through the books before you buy them.
It is one of the best English language book suppliers outside of Tokyo that I have found to date. And that is in a train station makes it very convenient. They are open from 10 am to 10 pm, seven days a week. There is parking in the Lumine car park, but it is a bit away from the store. It is on the West side of the station near the Gusto. It is open 24 hours. If you spend over 1000 yen in Lumine you get one hour free parking.