A couple years ago someone gave me a book called Talking About Japan. It’s a bilingual book, which means that it has Japanese on one side and the corresponding English text on the other. I really like this book and have gotten a lot of mileage out of it.
First of all, this is a great way to improve your Japanese (or English, I guess) reading skills. You can obviously check your comprehension of the passages very quickly, and you’ll even learn some new kanji along the way. And second, the book covers a lot of interesting topics, so you’ll benefit from it even if you’re not studying the language. You’ll learn everything from the country’s geography to its crime statistics and fortune-telling beliefs.
This is one of my favorite books on Japan, so check it out!