にゃんにゃん Reading Group -- Getting the most?

There seem to be a few of these, which would you recommend? Hikoichi? KLC? Or these ones? I honestly get overwhelmed by where to begin, then try something like NyanNyan because it seems like more fun but then find it is too hard

I read those one :

The content is really good. The stories are varied and engaging, and the gradation is very well done. I also really liked that there is a nice selection of folk-tale and other famous story that are part of Japan cultural backdrop. One of my biggest holy shit moment was reading the story of わらしべ長者 (from level 2 volume 2), just to having it mentioned casually by a japanese speaker in a conversation a few days later, I guess the same way an english speaker would use “Big Bad Wolf”, for example.

There is one big issue tough : the pricing is insane :confounded: I was lucky enough because my school had them in its library…

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I think you just have to bite the bullet and start with a book that interests you. You don’t have to stick with it forever, but give it a good shot. (Ideally, all the while also studying other stuff too).

The advantage of using にゃんにゃん is that as well as having a growing vocab list for the book, there is also a community of people reading the book right now waiting for your questions!

I know that for a graded reader might be good. But having an online community reading in real time does loads to keep my studying and keep me active. I don’t want to fall behind!

But good luck to you with whatever method works best for you!


Thank you. Yes I think Nyan Nyan will be better despite the hard work, at least it wont cost US$400+! The other Graded readers I’ve found are $5-15 each and a little harder than I expect the Level 0 would be but still useable.

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I totally agree. I memorized all N5 Kanjis quite easily but then I didn’t know what the words in hiragana meant so I started hating sentences written in kana. And my inexperience didn’t even notice the grammar in it. So now I try to keep everything balanced, although the grammar is the most annoying part to study.

  • Grammar on Bunpro and physical book
  • Vocabulary on Wanikani and Memrise
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I don’t want to clutter the main thread, but I hope lots of people will see this, so I’ll ask it here if I may…

Before we started にゃんにゃん we had a poll asking if people are interested and 155 people said they were. And I imagine that a great many of those people actually bought the book. But in the thread now there are just a handful of active members, and I wonder why.

Perhaps some people found the book too difficult, or too easy, or not interesting enough, and just gave up? Or perhaps there are lots of people reading along with the thread, but who just don’t have the time or energy or inclination to post?

It would be interesting to hear from people how it’s going with the book, and the thread, so far.

I’m behind in the book due to lack of time. I’ve only made it as far in the thread as I currently am in the book. Right now I have company visiting, so my reading and Japanese time is very limited. I hope to catch up before the next story.

@trout - I think we both came up with the same question (about how many people are still reading the book) at the same time! Perhaps this will help?

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Thank you so much @Talena! I’m wondering if our pace is too fast at 2 pages a day? Perhaps it should have been 1 page a day? But thank you so much for letting us know you are still reading along! That is so good to know! Thank you!

The pace feels pretty good, the problem comes that not everyone can read two pages every day. I might read 6 pages one day and not read again for a few days. Unfortunately I don’t know any other way to do it. The way you’re running the thread, from what I can see in the earlier parts, seems pretty good. I like reading through the thread and it being in the order of the book.

Now if only I could find time to catch up! It would have helped me to read the story first, then reread it with the group. That way I wouldn’t have felt like there were spoilers.

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Thank you so much Talena! It is so nice to hear your thoughts on the thread. Thank you. And I think you are right that it’s good that the bookclub goes along pretty much in order, hopefully it will be useful for you later and for lots of other readers too. Thank you again so much!

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I’ll second everything Talena said. I’m still reading, just finding it difficult to make consistent time every day, as my schedule has been so irregular lately (had a bit of a crisis last week involving an overheated car, so I’ve been behind on all things Japanese, including WK, not just reading). Pacing-wise, in hindsight something with a little slack built in might have been better for me – maybe something like 10 pages per week instead of 2 per day, so there’s a little wiggle room – but I certainly wouldn’t want to hold everyone else up!

All that said, I think you’ve done a great job organizing things, and even though I’m behind the thread has genuinely been useful! I’m finding that most of the questions I have when I read new pages have already been answered, so that’s been a big help. I’m just not really able to participate as much as I would have liked, since I don’t want to see explanations for pages that I haven’t yet tried to read on my own first.


“Japanese – the Spoken Language” has been my favourite resource for grammar so far. I’ve tried to read Tae Kim’s guide but found it too tedious. JSL is written in eloquent language which I find much more pleasant to read (of course, if you struggle with complex English, it’s not a book for you). Once you get past the language she uses, I don’t think the actual explanations in the books are overly complex at all, I found them to be much clearer than the often muddled explanations you find in other places, but YMMV (I’ve studied a few languages before so I’m quite comfortable with grammar as a general topic, so I won’t claim to be the best judge).

The use of romaji seems to have become somewhat hated but I found it quite useful to be able to immediately look at a sentence and SEE the structure and how it’s pronounced rather than having to decode kana. Yes, you can memorise the kana table in a weekend but getting to a point where you can just look at an arbitrary word and immediately see it without having to ‘decode’ in your head first takes much longer. And being able to just ‘see’ a sentence and cross-reference it with other examples and the grammar explanations is invaluable.


Thank you so much @MosbyNeko

Perhaps we ought to take a few days off between stories?
That might be a good idea. I wonder what other people think?
Thank you again so much!


I’ve been reading ahead a lot (I’m actually in the second volume now) because the book is too entertaining :slight_smile:

I’ve also been reading with a dictionary and analysing the grammar of every sentence (in my head). When I started I frequently struggled to put sentences together but at some point it ‘clicked’ and things are starting to make sense.

In reading, the most important thing is to start getting a grip on the way Japanese works.
Formal grammar study is an attempt to put it into terms that you can understand – which is important because it ENABLES you to read – but a lot of the details just can’t be put into words.
Like what all the sentence endings really mean.
But if you read (or listen) enough, after a while the meanings just become kind of obvious to you and you learn the most natural way to phrase a sentence.

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That is very inspiring to hear! Thank you so much @aiju!

When we read Kiki we did an average of 10 pages per week. So for example, if a chapter was 18 pages, everyone had two weeks to read that chapter. It worked out nicely because I (and I assume many others) don’t want to read every single day. I’d read 5 pages one day, then skip a day or two, and so. I thought it worked pretty well.


yeah, I also can mostly read on the weekends, and then have a look at the thread, when there are things I don’t get.
And I also had to catch up with you guys, because my book arrived alsmost 1 week to late.

I think something like 10 pages/per week would be good. When I motivate myself to read, 2 pages are done fast. So it is harder to motivate me to start reading, More pages are easier for me, since I can use the pace of the story to keep me reading :stuck_out_tongue:


A few days between stories would definitely help. I’m sure there are more people behind in their readings that are following along. People that have time can always read ahead if they want, and revisit the current pages at the group’s speed.


I am still reading the book and try to keep the pace. I was unable to read the last 4 days but I catched up this morning. The reason I don’t post often is because yes, I realised that the book is way over my level and sometimes I don’t even know where to start about asking. Fortunately usually I can solve most of my doubts by reading what it has already been asked and answered.
I found the last few pages a bit harder to understand but I can still follow the story.

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