ハピネス・Happiness - (Absolute Beginner Book Club Offshoot)

I understand that reading a chapter every two weeks is slow for quite a few people who have already had some experience reading, including myself. I understand that would loose some people who want to go faster.

However, I want the pace to be friendly to people who just finished their first ever book in Japanese with the first volume of ハピネス. We’re not stuck with the pace we choose now for all 10 volumes either. My hope is that enough experienced readers who answer questions will bare with us around until then.

I split “Too slow” into different poll choices on purpose. I didn’t want to add them all together as voting for a “one chapter per week” pace. I wanted a separate count for:

  • “Too slow but I’ve read a handful of manga before” - People who are already experienced. I respect their opinion but I think the pace should be set by those who are just starting out reading since this is the “Absolute beginner” book club.
  • “Too slow, but a chapter a week might be too fast” - People who found volume 1’s pace slow, but didn’t want to jump to twice the pace yet. I’m counting these people as wanting the same pace for now.

My count of those who want to keep the pace the same (for now):

“Just right” (41%) + “Too slow, but a chapter a week might be too fast” (7%) = 48%

My count of inexperienced readers who want to increase the pace:

“Too slow” = 38%

Those are the numbers I’m comparing to make a decision. I’m not saying my logic is perfect, and maybe I could have designed the poll choices better, but that was my reasoning on why we should keep the same pace for the moment.

I don’t want to shut down any discussion on this. If anybody has a different opinion after reading through my reasoning, feel free to speak up. If there’s more discussion and disagreement, I’ll do another poll with simpler choices, and we’ll just go with the most popular answer.

Or if anybody has other ideas, I’m up for that too. Is it worth trying to organize a schedule of one chapter every 1.5 weeks? (seems difficult to either follow along with half weeks or to finish a week in the middle of a chapter, but we could try something)

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I don’t know how the chapters break down in length - but I guess there’s always the option of speeding up partway through the book by agreement if people are all finding it too slow.

But I agree, it’s the absolute beginner’s club, so that should set the pace. People can always read faster (I probably will for this volume, as I have two weeks off, but am then going to be quite busy).

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I abstained from voting because I’m one of the people who has already read quite a few manga but since its being discussed I’ll share my thoughts.

I think its important that the pace works for the people who read this as their first book and want to continue reading. As somebody who had to drop out of a few bookclubs in the past because I couldn’t keep up with the pace, I know how dispiriting that can feel and how much it can knock your confidence as a new reader.

Half a chapter a week is a little slow for me, and I find it difficult to read half a chapter and then wait a week - but I’m 100% on board with going at that pace to allow more people to join in. I’d just read the full chapter in one week and fill in the vocab list if needed, and then take a rest week on the second week.

Perhaps it’s worth starting at 1/2 chapter a week, and then reevaluating the pace at the half way point of this volume to see if more people want to speed up at that point.

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I just want to say I was one of the people who said “Too slow, but a chapter a week might be too fast” because this is only my second manga I’ve read (after Mitsuboshi Colors) and while even I found the half chapter pace slow sometimes I have the following concerns:

  1. I’ll be doing the Prefectures book at the same time as this book club. This is the first time I’ll be doing two readings at once and don’t want to burn out.
  2. Is the grammar going to get harder? Will later chapters have more content? I admit that I’ve found Happiness MUCH easier than Mitsuboshi Colors, but are we going to start getting chapters that have multiple pages like that news broadcast that can easily take me 30 minutes per page?

All of that said, I really do like the idea of a full chapter every 2 weeks and I might even consider reading it this way myself.

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I’m down for it.

Volume 2 vocab sheet is up! (also linked in the top post)

Sorry, I probably should have gotten this up sooner.

I’m trying something new with coloring the rows by page number. Let me know if the colors help, or if they’re distracting or ugly.

I’ll make a thread for volume 2 tomorrow.

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My two cents, take it or leave it: Love having row colors by page number but I find it a bit difficult with the alternating colors for page 6 by row.

Thank you for organizing this and for helping us continue this book club!

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IMHO, it’s distracting, therefore I usually just randomize the colors in Page Column.

Thanks! The colors are helpful when you are scanning back and forth to the text.

Thanks for organizing this! Right now I like the alternating colors, but if it becomes too much effort to stay on top of that, I think it’s fine without it as well.

Volume 2 thread is up! :tada:

Happy reading everyone! :slightly_smiling_face:


I tweaked the vocab colors a bit so there are still alternating colors, but only the one column is colored by page.

It’s not a matter of the amount of effort, just what makes it easiest to read. Once I’ve set up the conditional formatting, it colors things automatically. Ahh, the magic of spreadsheets!

Now if only I could get it to automatically bold the lines between pages, I think that’d make everybody happy.

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Having decided to “read ahead a bit into Chapter 7”, and shortly after switching this to “finishing the entire volume”, I think it will be ok to increase the speed later in this volume.

Chapter 7 is by far the densest in terms of dialogue. From there not only is there less dialogue, but it was also much easier to decipher. So I would say the last 2 chapters can be done in a week each.

Also I feel most people will not be able to keep from finishing the chapter once they start!

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Thanks! That’s good to know. It’s hard to judge beforehand how hard a chapter is going to be. I almost thought chapter 6 would be bad when they had the TV on with the news, but I was happily relieved it wasn’t like the news from volume 1.

I’ll send out a poll when we’re mid-chapter 7 to see when people want to speed up.

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Yeah, when I read back over it (having read the last 80 pages barely stopping) I noticed there is a fairly text-heavy “news like” bit at the start of chapter 9, but the rest is quite easy reading.

Volume 3 thread is up!

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Volume 4 thread is up!

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Volume 5 thread is up!

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combo breaker :smiley:

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Volume 6 thread is up!

Thanks for the combo breaker. :smile:

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Time for volume 7!

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