Encouraging Families To Read

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - July 15, 2009
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BOOKOFF staff Riana Stellburg, Leland Crawford, Hiroshi Sekido and Paula Rodriguez

Nothing makes Hiroshi Sekido happier than seeing a family reading together. His BOOKOFF bookstore buys and sells used books, DVDs, CDs and video games.

“I want every family and everybody to come here,” Sekido says. “I feel so happy that we have books that people can buy.”

The store offers about 40,000 fiction, nonfiction, hardcover, paperbacks, comic books, manga and audiobooks at various prices, including a $1 section for both grown-ups and children.

“If it is in good condition, we buy it,” says Sekido. “Even if we already have plenty of that book, we will buy it. Our customers now have another option besides throwing away books.”

Sekido gushes that his employees are good workers.


“They help the customers, they help each other and they help me,” he says. “They even know more than me, and I like that.”

Sekido, who previously worked as a scuba instructor, opened the doors to his first BOOKOFF in 2000 in Shirokiya at Ala Moana Center, selling secondhand Japanese books, DVDs and CDs. BOOKOFF has a franchise in Japan with 1,000 stores, and there are additional Japanese language BOOKOFF shops in New York and Los Angeles.

Sekido, a Yokohama native, opened his first BOOKOFF because he loves reading in Japanese, and it was very expensive here in Hawaii when he wanted to get a Japanese foot shop with books to sell.

His wife, Atsuko, likes to bring their 8-year-old son Ryuya into the store because he shares his dad’s love of books.

Sekido hopes to open more English BOOKOFF shops in Hawaii.

BOOKOFF, located at Pearlridge Center Downtown, offers English-language books. The hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 485-0841. BOOKOFF at Ala Moana Center inside Shirokiya offers Japanese books. The hours of operation are 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. For more information, call 952-9115, or log onto: bookoffhawaii.com.

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