佐賀のがばいばあちゃん 👵🏼 (Intermediate Book Club)

Join the Intermediate Book Club here!

Welcome to 佐賀のがばいばあちゃん :older_woman:t3:


Where to buy

Amazon | Bookwalker

Discussion Threads and Reading Schedule

We started reading on April 2nd, 2022.

Week Start Date Chapter Page Count
Week 1 April 2nd Prologue, Chapter 1 15.5
Week 2 April 9th Chapter 2 19
Week 3 April 16th Chapter 3, 4 21
Week 4 April 23rd Chapter 5, 6 22
Week 5 April 30th Chapter 7, 8 19.5
Week 6 May 7th Chapter 9 17
Week 7 May 14th Chapter 10, 11 21.5
Week 8 May 21st Chapter 12, 13 23.5
Week 9 May 28th Chapter 14, 15 19
Week 10 June 4th Chapter 16, 17, あとがき x 2 23.5

Vocabulary List

Discussion Rules

  • Please use spoiler tags for major events in the current chapter(s) and any content in future chapters.
  • When asking for help, please mention the chapter and page number. Also mention what version of the book you are reading.
  • Don’t be afraid of asking questions, even if they seem embarrassing at first. All of us are here to learn.
  • To you lurkers out there: Join the conversation, it’s fun!

Member List

Are you planning to read 佐賀のがばいばあちゃん :older_woman:t3: with the book club?

  • Yes
  • Yes, but I might start late
  • Not sure
  • No

0 voters

If so, which version will you be reading?

  • eBook
  • Paperback

0 voters


Hello and welcome to the 佐賀のがばいばあちゃん Reading Club!

First of all I would like to discuss the reading schedule. In other clubs we found it to be very pleasant to read a full chapter (or several chapters) per week instead of breaking in the middle of chapters, if at all possible. So I thought we might want to see whether this is possible with this book as well :slight_smile:

Some up-front remarks:

  • The usual amount of pages per week at the Intermediate book club is around 15.
  • It seems that this book has less text on one page compared to other books? I’ve looked at the page number in the paperback book (which is 237 according to Amazon) and I looked at the page number in Bookwalker (which is a standardized page number based on the number of characters in the book) which is only 174 (i.e. one paperback page only contains about 75% of what one would usually expect in a book). I don’t know whether this is due to there actually being less text per page, whether there are illustrations in the book, or whether there is generally a lot of fluff (e.g. empty pages at chapter starts or something), so it’s a bit hard to tell. Does anybody have the paperback book and can tell us more about this?
  • The page numbers listed below may be slightly wrong as I determined them by calculating backwards from the ebook. If somebody who owns the paperback book could double-check these numbers, that would be highly appreciated!
First of all, this is the list of chapters with their lengths:
Chapter Page Count
Prologue 4
Chapter 1 11.5
Chapter 2 19
Chapter 3 13
Chapter 4 8
Chapter 5 14
Chapter 6 8
Chapter 7 11.5
Chapter 8 8
Chapter 9 17
Chapter 10 14
Chapter 11 7.5
Chapter 12 13
Chapter 13 10.5
Chapter 14 7.5
Chapter 15 11.5
Chapter 16 10.5
Chapter 17 9
あとがき x 2 4

My first instinct was to go with 13 weeks, which would give us this schedule:

13 weeks
Chapters Page Count
P, 1 15.5
2 19
3, 4 21
5 14
6, 7 19.5
8 8
9 17
10 14
11, 12 20.5
13, 14 18
15 11.5
16 10.5
17, 18 13

with a maximum of 21 pages in one week (which pretty much matches the 15-page-rule if we consider that the amount of text is about 3/4 only).
But when I looked at the schedule, I didn’t like it because I think we will get bored to death halfway through with all those 10-page-weeks…

So I figured we’d need something a bit more spicy.

What about 12 weeks?
Chapters Page Count
P, 1 15.5
2 19
3, 4 21
5, 6 22
7, 8 19.5
9 17
10 14
11, 12 20.5
13, 14 18
15 11.5
16 10.5
17, 18 13

The page number per week for 12 weeks is still between 10.5 and 22 pages, so almost the same as before.

What about 11 weeks?
Chapters Page Count
P, 1 15.5
2 19
3, 4 21
5, 6 22
7, 8 19.5
9 17
10 14
11, 12 20.5
13, 14 18
15, 16 22
17, 18 13

The page number per week for 11 weeks is still between 13 and 22 pages, so no change for the maximum page number.

What about 10 weeks?
Chapters Page Count
P, 1 15.5
2 19
3, 4 21
5, 6 22
7, 8 19.5
9 17
10, 11 21.5
12, 13 23.5
14, 15 19
16, 17, 18 23.5

In the case of 10 weeks we would get 23.5 pages per week twice.

Now what?

I’m curious to hear what you think! Does this sound doable? Does this sound crazy?

I would also like to hear from people who can provide information regarding page counts and the amount of text. That would be extremely helpful.

EDIT: I will of course run a poll to finally determine the schedule, but first I’d like to base the schedule suggestions on slightly more reliable data :wink:

EDIT 2: I somehow forgot to include the prologue :woman_facepalming: It’s fixed now (and doesn’t change the schedule proposals).


I have some intermediate book club picks in .txt format, so we can compare the character counts (which I imagine is a good enough proxy for ‘reading effort’).

佐賀のがばいばあちゃん 56k
地球星人 126 16 weeks 7875 per week
コーヒーが冷めないうちに 125k 17 weeks 7353 per week
コンビニ人間 80k 13 weeks 6154 per week

So 10 weeks doesn’t seem all that outrageous to me. It’d still be fewer characters a week than the other picks we’ve had recently. I wonder if we wouldn’t get bored if we went even slower?

I was honestly a bit surprised to see the character count. I triple checked, I really do have the whole text here. Furthermore, on Kindle the highest loc number of 佐賀のがばいばあちゃん is also less than half of the highest 地球星人 loc number (1539 vs. 3227), so I guess this really is only half a book :grin:


Thanks for starting this up @NicoleIsEnough! I’m excited albeit a little nervous about participating. But as soon as I saw the nomination, I knew it was a book I wanted to read and secretly hoped it would be picked so I could be pushed into reading it sooner rather than later.

In regards to the reading schedule, it really does feel like a smooth read so far. It’s really time consuming for me since it’s the first text I’m genuinely reading without all the furigana support, but content-wise, it’s very readable. I don’t see a problem trying a 10 week schedule and maybe adjusting if others feel like they’re falling behind?

I took pictures of the chapter list in the paperback version below.

Pics of Chapter List

So the main paperback version (I think the one originally listed in the nomination list) is a lot smaller than the average paperback I’ve seen. I don’t have much experience with books, so I can’t comment any further, but I included pictures of pages from the prologue to a few pages from chapter 1 to give you a feeling what it looks like.

Difference in size next to 夜カフェ

pages 6-9 (Prologue)

pages 10-13 (opening to chapter 1)

And if it helps anyone else, I started a vocab list while reading the Prologue. It was pretty kanji heavy for me, but if you feel off-putted by it, I’m pretty sure it won’t be that bad later on. There was a lot of explanation on the context of the story, so I think it’ll be a little easier to read from chapter 1.

Personal Vocab List for Prologue

急勉 きゅうへん sudden turn; sudden change
所得倍増計画 しょとくばいぞうけいかく Income Doubling Plan
高度経済成長 こうどけいざいせいちょう Japanese post-war economic miracle​
紛争 ふんそう dispute; conflict; trouble; strife
地価上昇 ちかじょうしょう Land price rise
校内ぼうりょく こうないぼうりょく School violence
円高 えんだか appreciation of the yen; strong yen; strengthening of the yen; high-valued yen; exchange in favor of the yen (favour)
ドラ案 どらあん Dollar depreciation
バブル bubble economy
崩壊 ほうかい collapse; crumbling; breaking down; caving in
価格破壊 かかくはかい sudden, wide-spread drop in prices
就職氷河期 しゅうしょく ひょうがき period of poor employment opportunities; job drought; employment ice age
不景気 ふけいき Recession
リストラ (corporate) restructuring; downsizing; laying off people
満員 まんいん crowded
揺らぐ ゆらぐ to swing; to sway; to shake; to tremble
解放 かいほう release
不足 ふそく insufficiency; deficiency; shortage; lack; scarcity; deficit
縛る しばる to restrict (freedom); to tie down (with rules, regulations, etc.); to fetter
健やか すこやか vigorous; healthy; sound
流行 りゅうこう fashion; trend; vogue; craze; fad; popularity
尊敬 そんけい respect
成績 せいせき results; record; grades; marks
将来 しょうらい future
少年犯罪 しょうねんはんざい juvenile delinquency
増える ふえる to increase
次第 しだい depending on
断言 だんげん assertion; declaration; affirmation
以来 いらい since; henceforth
厳しい きびしい harsh
付属 ふぞく affiliated
掃除婦 そうじふ cleaning woman
抜く ぬく to do to the end; to carry through
預ける あずける to place (in someone’s custody); to entrust (someone) with
既に すでに already; too late
相変わらず あいかわらず as usual; as always; as before; as ever; still
裕福 ゆうふく wealthy; rich; affluent; well-off
冒頭 ぼうとう beginning; start; outset
暮らし くらし (way of) life; living; livelihood; life circumstances
大往生 だいおうじょう peaceful death
とてつもない enormous; tremendous; extraordinary; monumental
勘違い かんちがい misunderstanding
確かに たしかに certainly
放棄 ほうき abandonment


I will join this book club since the story seemed interesting for me. I already bought the book in paper version but it might arrive a bit late (between 3rd April and 19th April) since I can’t stand digital books (I work all day on computer, my head is about to explode hahaha).
In my case, I don’t know how much time I will be able to allocate and I would feel confortable with a slower pace. That is why a 12 or 11 weeks schedule would be better for me. In any case I definitely won’t overwork myself and read at my own pace :slight_smile:


Vocab lists are always :heart: I made a template we could use, just like the one in the 夜カフェ club:

@NicoleIsEnough How about a book club emoji? I went with :older_woman:t3: for now. I think it makes it a wee bit easier to recognise the threads :grin:


For intermediate book club regulars 10 weeks may be easy enough. :sweat_smile: There is a lot of white space when you flip through the physical book.

I’m going to try to read along, but (just guessing based on the percentage of kanji I recognize when scanning the pages) even the 13 week schedule would be a big challenge for me. @Hantsuki your vocab list will be invaluable to me!! Thank you!


Thanks so much for this! I’m assuming you’re the one currently transferring over the vocab on to the spreadsheet too. Thank you! I’ll try to use this to record vocab while reading from now on.


Ah, good to get a confirmation through a different approach! I was also starting to wonder whether this can be correct…

Thank you for the chapter list and for your opinion! I double-checked my calculated page numbers and yours, and there was no big deviation that I noticed. And yes, I also figured that we can always change the schedule if people find it too unmanageable.

Thanks so much! I added the link to the OP, as well as the emoji!


A few things I noticed; there might be more, but overall it should not be a problem. I hope it helps :durtle_hello:

prologue vocab


校内暴力 (it’s just that the kanji are missing)

ドル安 (careful, ル not ラ, you also put it in the reading)

附属 (same reading and meaning; the text uses this one)

Also, there’s one page missing (you go from 5 to 7). I don’t know if it’s on purpose.


I looked at the bookwalker version with my settings on the tablet and compared the page numbers with 地球星人.

佐賀のがばいばあちゃん has 422 bw-pages (with one or two blank pages for each new chapter),
地球星人 has 938 bw-pages, read in 16 weeks.

So 10 weeks for 佐賀のがばいばあちゃん looks like a very comfortable pace.


Thanks all for your opinions regarding and help with the reading schedule!

I’ve thought this over for a bit, and I think that the 13-week schedule will simply be too slow for this club. Which doesn’t mean that I want to discourage those who might not be able to keep up with a faster schedule! You are more than welcome to read at your own speed, and you will get support and answers no matter how late you post your questions.

Having said that, I looked at the schedules for 10-12 weeks, and I noticed that they are identical for the first 6 weeks:

Chapters Page Count
P, 1 15.5
2 19
3, 4 21
5, 6 22
7, 8 19.5
9 17

So, my suggestion for the club would be to start out with this schedule and to decide later (i.e. around the start of week 6) how we should proceed from there. At that point in time we will know much more about how we get along with reading this book, and so we can make a better decision. What do y’all think?

  • Let’s start with this schedule and decide in week 6
  • I have a different idea (please explain)

0 voters

And, by the way, even the 13-week schedule is identical with the one proposed above for the first 3 weeks, so if a large number of participants gets the impression that this schedule was too fast after all, we can even scale back down halfway through.


Thank you for this! :blush:


Not necessarily by me personally though :sweat_smile:

That’s the general spirit of the book clubs crowd, so everybody contributes to this. And those who ask questions this time around are the contributors next time :wink:


Oh, no, I didn’t think you meant by you personally. Just appreciating the encouragement. And the book club community! I have asked a few questions in book clubs that finished about ten books ago and had very helpful people answer me. :blush: I’m hoping I can pass the favor on someday (and the sooner the better!)


The poll result was pretty clear :wink: so let’s roll with the suggested schedule.

I’ve updated the schedule in the OP and tentatively set the 10-week-schedule there, but as we agreed, we will evaluate this as we go and adapt if necessary.

Looking forward to reading this with all of you!


Amazon cancelled my order today… I guess I will start later ^^’ I placed a new order, but paper books are hard to get hahaha.


I have a bad habit of getting too distracted by my numerous other self-led Japanese projects and falling behind/vanishing from book clubs at some point, but the timing works out perfectly with me having just finished a book, so I’ll allow myself to be tempted by @NicoleIsEnough this time :stuck_out_tongue: . Looking forward to it! And if I can get my hands on it, I definitely want to check out the movie based on this after we’re done.


Yay :tada: I feel honored :slight_smile: Looking forward to reading with you!


Annnnd we’re live! :tada: Happy reading everybody!