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Anne's Origami Books - Help

General Help

Buying stuff:

Print Status:


What is this?

This is a web-based listing of my origami book collection. It's not in any way exhaustive, just largish. It started when I needed a way to keep track of my origami books, and it occurred to me along the way that making it public might be useful for other people, too, particularly the Japanese titles (and translations, etc.) As I have time, I'm trying to add detail pages for the individual books, with at least cover art and a few sentences about the book, and sometimes table-of-contents and/or scanned images of the models from the book. If a book doesn't yet have a details page, and you're interested in it, let me know and I'll try to get to it sooner!

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What's with the "Buy this at..." links?

I get lots of mail asking where to find books, so I have tried to make links to places that carry any of the titles that are in print. I have relationships of various sorts with the organizations to which I've so linked - please see the specific help links for details if you want to know the details:

Amazon | Sasuga | Origamido | OUSA | BOS | Gallery Origami House

In addition to those places listed, there are plenty of other on-line sellers of books and origami supplies. In most cases, the choices I've made have been because of my relationships with the organizations in question, who either support me (Amazon) or who I wish to support (the others.) Another fine source of origami books and supplies is Kim's Crane ( whose shopping cart system makes it tricky to link in directly.

I have also tried to figure out, as best I can (it's a fuzzy world out there) what, exactly, the print status of each title is. This is subject to change without notice, unfortunately, and I can't guarantee any item's availability. Please the the links What does "Out of Print" mean, really?, What does "Print status unknown" mean, really? and What if I really, really, want the book and it's out of print? for details.

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Why did you do this, anyway?

Mostly, I was building a small database of my book titles, anyway, and I hoped that other people might find some of the information useful, particularly the translations from Japanese. If you like it, I'd love to hear from you about it. If you think it's awful, or for some reason a bad idea, or you have problems with it, then I'd like to hear from you too. (Please do be polite about it, if you would, is all I ask.)

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What's the "Try This" link for Japanese?

This is a link to a page run by Prof. Jim Breen at Monash University in Australia. It takes a page with Japanese text and converts all the Japanese characters to small GIF images. The page may be a bit slow slow to load because of all the little GIFs, but it should allow any user, regardless of whether they have configured their computer to deal with Japanese, to display the Japanese text.

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Links to ( runs an "Associates Program," and I'm a member. This means that if you follow a link from my pages to and then buy something from them, I, as a member of the program, receive a small referral fee. Over the past few years, it's earned me enough to buy a couple of new origami books. If you think that my origami book pages are a worthwhile service, and you've liked using them, then following these links is a fine way to reward me for my efforts.

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Links to Sasuga

Sasuga Japanese Bookstore ( is an importer/seller of Japanese books, magazines, videos and other goods, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They can order any in-print Japanese title, carry a wide selection of origami-related materials, and ship worldwide. Their site uses a secure shopping cart system.

In addition to being a customer of theirs, I do occasional consulting work for them on their web site.

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Links to Origamido

The Origamido Studio ( in Haverhill, Massachusetts, is a gallery, shop and paper-making studio run by Michael LaFosse and Richard Alexander. They publish video-diagrams of a number of Michael's amazing origami creations, and some beautiful books. Their site uses a secure shopping cart system - just follow the "Products" link to browse and order.

I have taken classes with Michael, made paper at the studio, and occasionally do web consulting work for them.

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Links to the British Origami Society

The BOS ( sells a large collection of BOS-published booklets through their site. Their site uses a secure server, just follow the "Supplies" link from the home page.

I am a member of the BOS.

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Links to OrigamiUSA

OrigamiUSA ( sells a large variety of origami books, papers and other supplies through their store, "The Source." I haven't linked in to their site very much, since, in the current website, there's no good way to link to an individual item, only to the top level catalog. They generally have good prices on imported books, and a great selection of paper.

I've been a member of OrigamiUSA for, oh, ages now, and as such I encourage you to shop for your origami supplies there, and support the organization.

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Links to Gallery Origami House

Gallery Origami House ( - much of the site is navigable in English, with English-language detail pages down inside the various sections) is an origami gallery and shop in Tokyo, Japan, run by Mr. Makoto Yamaguchi. They also publish private-press books, typically of complex models. GOH does business in Japanese, so it is generally simplest for Westerners to purchase their books through a reseller, such as OrigamiUSA or Sasuga Books.

GOH also acts as the publisher for the magazine of the Japan Origami Academic Society (JOAS; called Origami Tanteidan. You must be a JOAS member to get the magazine. June Sakamoto, an American living in New Jersey, acts as an agent for overseas subjscriptions. Contact me for details.

I have been a member of JOAS for a number of years.

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What does "Out of Print" mean, really?

If I have listed a title as "Out of Print" it means that I got something other than the typical "this title can ship in (some reasonable amount of time)" when I checked for it in various on-line retailer's sites. However, this does not always mean that it's impossible to find a copy of the book, particularly if it's a recent one. Here's the deal:

The publishing industry is large and complicated. In addition to large-scale publishing houses, there are small, private press companies, and lots of things in between. Not everything printed gets an ISBN, particularly private press books. And keep in mind, that at some level, eventually, you're dealing with boxes of books sitting, physically, on shelves somewhere. Information about the whereabouts of every single copy of a given title is scattered across database systems at publishers, distributors and booksellers, and is rarely 100% accurate.

So. Publishers print books in finite-sized print runs. Origami books are not, usually, on any international best seller lists, so the print runs for them are typically pretty small, and publishers don't often do reprints. They distribute the books through distributing companies, who then sell to bookstores. Sometimes there is no distributor, in which case the author or publisher may have boxes of books warehoused somewhere themselves. Once a publisher has distributed all their copies, they may consider the book "out of print" - but copies may exist in the distributors' warehouses, or in bookstores. So for recent titles that are at or near the end of their print run, it is often useful to look in local bookstores, and/or, if they're a chain, have them look for any copies in their system. One or two copies are often floating around various smaller retailers, you just have to hunt.

That said, anything more than a couple of years out of print is probably only obtainable used. There are lots of used book services, so it's worth hunting through them. See: What if I really, really, want the book and it's out of print? for things to try. Also, please see If a book is out of print, will you copy it for me? for my answer to that all-too-common question (The short version: "sorry, no.").

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What does "Print status unknown" mean, really?

This means that, for one reason or another, I was unable to determine what the actual print status of the book was. The most likely reason is that it's a private printing, and I have no way to contact the author/publisher or otherwise check on it. If you happen to know the print status/availability of something I have listed as unknown, please contact me.

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What if I really, really, want the book and it's out of print?

Some things to try:

Something not to try:

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If a book is out of print, will you copy it for me?

Sorry, no. First of all, simply being out of print does not change the status of an item's copyright (see below). Second, if I volunteered to do this, I guarantee that I'd spend the rest of my life doing nothing but standing in front of a copy machine and making trips to the post office to mail piles of copied diagrams to the zillions of folks who just can't live without the entire text of, say, Tanteidan Convention 2, or Origami Fantasy. Life's too short for that, I'm afraid. See What if I really, really, want the book and it's out of print? for some suggestions.

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Copyright issues

There are, by now, probably millions of pages written about copyright and intellectual property rights. The topic comes up every several months, as well, on the Origami Mailing List, so I'm not going to go into a long description of the issues here.

Essentially, my understanding of things is: copyright laws exist to protect an author's rights to publish (or not to publish, if they choose) material. Armed with the protection of the law, they can then publish it - and be monetarily rewarded for doing so if they want to try to sell the material - and be assured that no one else will take it, give it away to others (thus depriving the author of any reward for it) and/or republish it and reap the rewards of its sale themselves.

Therefore, copying whole (or substantial parts of) books and redistributing them is a kind of theft, and I won't do it.

The copying of an individual diagram falls somewhere under the doctrine of "fair use" (which is not a law itself, but a set of guidelines for determining whether an action is a violation of a copyright) as it is usually only a small part of a work; should be for personal use; and does not generally impinge upon the sale of the work as a whole. So I'm guilty, along with the rest of you, of sometimes copying a diagram or two from a book which I don't own, and I have let others copy things from my books. BUT: I do not have the time or resources necessary to volunteer to do this for the Internet community at large. I have no desire to spend my life in front of a copier, I'm afraid, and there's just too many of you out there. Sorry!

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Last modified: Wednesday, 08-Oct-2003 09:14:05 EDT
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