At least this one is a character and not an image file.
I don’t know about this book, but the sweet in はめふら is high-fructose corn syrup (not that I have any issue with that, mind).
I’m with @sycamore 's friend here, I bought the English version about a year ago (not sure I was even on wanikani then), and practically devoured it in a couple of days. it’s super fascinating, and… um, different? I’m not sure ‘sweet’ is quite the word for it. it is sweet all right, but a more complex sort of sweet. bitter-sweet? I totally recommend it too!
I got the JP ebook version later cos I thought it might be fun reading a book I know. then I saw this announcement, so I’ll surely be checking out what you guys are up to
as a note to those in doubt skill-wise:
as a complete grammar noob, I personally found reading a few pages of this one less challenging than the ABBC’s Takagi-san, maybe because I know the story, but I think the complete sentence structures help, and maybe there’s less tricky spoken word grammar? and I knew a lot of the kanji. so I’d conclude: if in doubt, go for it!
have fun with it guys, happy reading!
You’re really tempting me to add another book to my current book club rotation
ooooh, interesting! I’ll maybe get the sample and have a little look to see what I think. I’m probably the opposite of you though haha in that my grammar is okay (nowhere even approaching good, but I’ve covered N5-4 and a bit of N3 stuff enough for it not to feel like the main hurdle atm when reading manga at least) and i’m fairly comfortable with casual contractions etc from reading a bunch of Haikyuu, yotsuba, Naruto etc. Buuut I’m quite a bit behind on kanji and my vocab is teeny as I’m too lazy to study it other than just reading a lot. I feel like vocab would probably be the main stumbling block for something like this. (Although I might be wrong and there would also be lots of unfamiliar grammar!)
As a side note, I also stopped Takagi-san early on…but mainly just because I wasn’t enjoying the story much! I can struggle through most things if invested but have a bad attention span when not!
Thanks a lot, corrected!
In the paper version too, that’s the second variant of the two you shared. I have not noticed that until I have looked at the text really close…whoa! Corrected in the table as well, thank you!
My copy arrived today! Excited to get started as this will be my first book club read.
Edit: Just looking at the start date and knowing what I’m like - will probably make a start sooner rather than later (in case of work/social life induced lag) - but keep note of any queries to post on the relevant week.
Really? I’m so tempted to try it. It’s way above my level, but if there was an easy way to look up vocabulary (kanji especially) I would happily give it a try. I have the English version too (still unread), so that would also help. Is there a painless, straightforward way to look up lots and lots of vocabulary while reading?
I’m interested in this question as well.
For me, my method is semi-painful. I check the shared vocab sheet to see if anyone’s read ahead of me. It so, yippee!! If not, I buckle down and start filling it in. If there’s furigana, I use jisho.org. If there’s not, I have an app on my phone called midori which has a really great kanji recognition tool, so you can draw the kanji in. I slowly get through the vocab this way, but at least I don’t have to use the radical look up tool.
Would love to hear if anyone has a better way!
I’d definitely recommend looking into ebooks! I use BookWalker, and looking up words takes two taps. If there’s unknown kanji, you can look them up in your phone’s dictionary; that way, you don’t have to try to draw them by hand to find them in jisho.
The easiest way is honestly to read digitally. A Kindle but also the Kindle App for PC have built in dicitionaries that make looking up kanji a lot easier than reading physical. (There should be an explanation on how to get an ebook from Amazon Japan in the home thread)
I personally don’t think reading an english version of the book at the same time is a good idea, but like almost everything this might be different for everyone.
I don’t want to discourage anyone, but at least for me the biggest difference in terms of difficulty is pace and density. One chapter of Takagi san is probably comparable to 1 page in a novel and since this club we’ll be reading 15+ pages a week that is a lot more to get through.
(For anyone trying to look at a novel instead of a manga. I can recommend both (original and rerun) book clubs of Kiki’s delivery service, all the discussion is still online and the vocab sheets are quite densly packed. Even the finished book clubs hold tremendous value!)
sorry… my bad. totally unintended, of course
heh, funny indeed! we’d probably make a good team. I really can’t judge how difficult it is, it was just a lot less scary than I expected. there’s a couple of pages where I really only needed to look up 2 kanji or so. that was WK level 25ish I’d say. good idea about the sample!
and finally, in reply to @omk3 and @kusuri
I use the kindle app, and it has these integrated translator and lookup functions, which are easily accessible and do the trick most of the time. which also make it waaaay too easy to look up things, for my taste… on the downside, they sometimes give you translations from Chinese, as if it wasn’t possible to find out all of the book is in JP but all in all I find the kindle app really useful as the book is a real text book, unlike manga, where text is integrated in the designs. you can thus not only look up things by highlighting and clicking, but you can also change font size, or font type altogether.
I still like / prefer using jisho.org, but there’s always copy-paste from an ebook
oops, sorry for the repetitions @Shadowlauch - you were just faster!
Oh, that’s great! I have only used BookWalker for manga, and you can’t look up anything, because text is part of the image. I wasn’t sure if books behaved differently. So, do you copy and paste words or is there an in-built dictionary? (Nah, that’s too much to ask. Copy-pasting is definitely enough, and super convenient. )
I hesitate to set up an Amazon Japan account as I already read on Kindle in English, and I worry there will be some conflict. I’d also like to avoid the fake address thing. But if there’s a good enough in-built dictionary, it would definitely make me think twice before rejecting it.
I totally agree, but it’s nice to have as a backup when things get too tough and I don’t want to overburden you more knowledgeable people with silly questions. I also know that literature translations tend to not be especially literal, so it may not be necessarily helpful even in those cases.
For iOS, it uses the built-in dictionary. I have no idea how it works on Android, though…
Well, unfortunately that’s the one thing you can’t do in a convenient way If you select a word, you get a little pop-up menu, and there you can either look up the word in the dictionary, or you can “Search” which then puts the text in another box from which you can finally copy. So it’s possible but it’s a tad more long-winding than one would have thought.
AFAIK you can only have one account on your device at the same time, so you’d need to switch back and forth (which seems to eradicate everything from the other account, or that’s what I’ve heard). There are a bunch of threads here where you can get more information if the search feature is in a good mood…
Well, that’s what the book clubs are for! I know there are a bunch of people who like answering questions, so don’t worry
You learn something new every day! Since I usually read at my PC I did not even know the iOS verison has a dictionary, because for some reason the PC (Browser version) does not allow any selection/copy/dictionary/marking. It is basically like a manga. I just checked the Android version and you can select things and translate it with Google Translate, but sadly no native copy function or dictionary.
Might be good as a backup if you have more selfcontrol than me :D. Adding to what Nicole said, the question is as important as the answer, because if no one asks any questions these clubs hold a lot less value!
Bookwalker: I only used it shortly before buying a Kindle, but for me, it used Google Translate on Android. I don’t know if you can set it up for different dictionary app. But it was also possible to somehow copy-paste with the above-mentioned search function if I remember correctly.
Yes, one account/one device unfortunately for Kindle.
For what it’s worth, while you have to use fake address/VPN (in my case, only for the first purchase), can still use your true address as your billing address. At least that’s my setup. But it’s still bending the rules, of course, unfortunately.
And if you don’t like built-in dictionaries, you can also purchase additional ones, although it’s a solution rather for a physical Kindle, because apps are moody with these custom dictionaries. PC app doesn’t see them at all, and with Android at first it seemed okay, but when I checked more recently I was having some problems, so… Anyway, my favorite dictionary for a physical Kindle is JMdict Japanese-English Dictionary (99 yen).
Actually, while I would love manga text to be copy-able, it’s useful for me to read digitally anyway, because I can have a manga page and a dictionary open simultaneously on one screen and it’s more convenient than trying to keep manga open while checking a word.
Anyway. There are free books both on Bookwalker and on Amazon, you can always use them for checking if you like how looking up words works (I don’t remember how dictionary functions for samples, that’s why I’m saying free books, not samples).
Well, the sample I tried behaves just like a manga. I’m going to hope that the actual book is different, although I’d really like to be able to properly try the sample the way I’d read the book before deciding to proceed.
Thank you both for being so encouraging about newbie questions by the way. I don’t know yet whether I’ll take the plunge or not - even if I do, while I know I won’t easily give up, I really can’t promise I’ll be able to keep up with you all.
That’s a good idea. I’ll try that.
As many people have mentioned, this is easiest digitally, although the times I’ve tried it, it sometimes had parsing errors that I find annoying.
I’d still like to put in a plug for the inverse relationship between pain and practice: I used to find the radical lookup tool on Jisho.org painful, but it’s pretty seamless now. I waaaay prefer reading on paper, for so many reasons, so I’ve mostly memorized the locations of the most commonly used radicals on Jisho.org. Just saying: it gets easier.
Of course, I could probably say the same thing about reading digitally!
[Insert hopeful saying about how looking up kanjis will help them stick in your brain more yadda yadda]
Well I hope it is true for those of us that like physical books!
True, both the radical lookup and the drawing lookup are quite convenient for occasional use, and good practice too. But I’m expecting to need to look up too many words (in the beginning at least) for it to be practical.
So, I checked with a free book, and it’s really a two-click affair. You get Google translate on Android, and two in-built dictionaries on iOS (monolingual and Japanese-English). I also loved how you can change font size (another thing you can’t do with manga, although you can of course zoom in up to a point), to read complicated kanji comfortably.