夜カフェ ☕ Home Thread (Beginner Book Club)

Welcome to the 夜カフェ Book Club Home Thread!

We are reading the first volume of 夜カフェ as the Beginner Book Club!. We will be starting from the 26th of March 2022 but feel free to join in anytime. If you want to participate, just grab a copy and join the discussions! The discussion threads will be kept open much longer, so even if the club is finished you can share your thoughts and questions :coffee:

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Summary

(My very rough translation from Amazon JP, bear with me!)
Kurosawa Hanabi wants to restart a new life in middle school. However, she failed all her middle school entrance exams and so she’s once again stuck at another local public school. And so her life continues the same way as before: With the same relationships, not attending any clubs and fighting with her parents. Argh, this every day life sucks! So she runs away from home and helps her aunt run a small café. There she gets to know a strange boy… And thus a story begins about friendship and love and a girl who tries to find a place where she belongs.

Where to buy

Physical: Amazon JPCDJapan
Digital: Kindle*KoboBookWalker

* requires an Amazon JP account and entering a Japanese address

Reading Schedule / Discussion Threads

Week Start Date Chapter Pages (phys) Note
#1 Mar 26 (1) 新しい自分になる! p5-15
#2+3 Apr 2 (2) 居場所が欲しい! p16-p35 Goal week 2: p25
#4 Apr 16 (3) 自分で切り開く! p36-44
#5 Apr 23 (4) ほんとに言いたいこと p45-54
#6 Apr 30 (5) 同居人 p55-66
#7 May 7 (6) 似た者同士 p67-80
#8 May 14 (7) 二人でクッキング p81-95
#9 ~break~ one week for catching up
#10 May 28 (8) 借りはナシ p96-112
#11 Jun 04 (9) 小さなお客さま p113-128
#12 Jun 11 (10) みんなが集まる場所 p129-141
#13 Jun 18 (11) 夜カフェ p142-156
#14 Jun 25 (12) 準備オッケー p157-168
#15 Jul 2 (13) 行かないで! p169-185
#16 Jul 9 Hanabi’s Recipe / あとがき p186-189

The discussion threads will be linked here once we start reading.

Vocabulary List

If you would like to prelearn some of the vocabulary, the book is available over at koohi.cafe (formerly known as floflo).
We’ll also be filling our own vocab sheet once the reading starts:

(Thanks a bunch to @Hantsuki for providing his vocab list for up to chapter 6 and @MrGeneric for putting them into excel format! Also thanks a lot to all the future contributors as well :heart: )

Member List

Are you planning to read 夜カフェ 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

19 Likes

Reading Schedule

Heyho, lovely fellow readers. We decided on a reading schedule!
These were the results:

  • For chapter 1 the one week schedule actually won by one vote in favor of the two week start!
  • People wanted chapter based threads even if we take multiple weeks on a chapter (which is currently only planned for chapter two)
  • For the longer chapters in the middle of the book the one week schedule won as well, but the second most voted option was “let’s see when we get there”. I put them in as one week for now, but might check back how people feel about it once we actually read a few chapters :slight_smile:
  • Most people voted for a one week break after chapter 7 (roughly middle of the book)
Archived broken polls (oops

Let’s decide on a reading schedule!
The chapters of 夜カフェ vary a bit in length (from 9 to 20 pages) with quite a few of them being in the 15 page range. Now, in the previous beginner book clubs that read novels, a common schedule seemed to be 9-13 pages per week.
Which puts the ~15 page chapters in a weird position: If we cut them in half, we’d be going pretty slow which also means we’d be reading for a looong time (20 weeks+), if we do them in one go, we’d be going pretty fast (still slower than what the intermediates do though). We could also aim for roughly 1 1/2 weeks for those chapters, but that could make for some awkward weekly breakpoints.

So let’s look at it in more detail and get to the polls! The lovely @Hantsuki provided the Page Numbers of the physical copy for us and I went ahead and counted pictures.

Chapter Pages (phys) Illustrations Text page count
①新しい自分になる! p5-15 1 10
②居場所が欲しい! p16-35 2 18
③自分で切り開く! p36-44 - 9
④ほんとに言いたいこと p45-54 1 9
⑤同居人 p55-66 - 12
⑥似た者同士 p67-80 2 12
⑦二人でクッキング p81-95 1 14
⑧借りはナシ p96-112 2 15
⑨小さなお客さま p113-128 1 15
⑩みんなが集まる場所 p129-141 1 12
⑪夜カフェ p142-156 1 14
⑫準備オッケー p157-168 1 11
⑬行かないで! p169-185 2 15
Hanabi’s Recipe p186 - 1
あとがき p187-189 - 3

Schedule proposals

Schedule proposal A (1 1/2 weeks for longer chapters)

I made a chapter based schedule proposal based on the following:

  • new chapters are started on either saturdays or wednesdays
  • chapter 1+2 ease in over two weeks each (chpt 2 is also the longest otherwise)
  • chapters with 14+ text pages are read over 1 1/2 weeks
Chp Textp Started on Weeks on chapter
1 10 Sat Mar 26 2
2 18 Sat Apr 9 2
3 9 Sat Apr 23 1
4 9 Sat Apr 30 1
5 12 Sat May 7 1
6 12 Sat May 14 1
7 14 Sat May 21 1 1/2
8 15 Wed Jun 01 1 1/2
9 15 Sat Jun 11 1 1/2
10 12 Wed Jun 22 1
11 14 Wed Jun 29 1 1/2
12 11 Sat Jul 9 1
13 15 Sat Jul 16 1 1/2
end 4 Wed Jul 27 1/2

This would mean we’d be reading the story over 18 weeks.

Schedule proposal B (ease into 1 week/chapter)

I made this schedule proposal based on the following:

  • chapter 1+2 ease in over two weeks each (chpt 2 is also the longest otherwise)
  • all other chapters are completed in one week
Chp Textp Started on Weeks on chapter
1 10 Sat Mar 26 2
2 18 Sat Apr 9 2
3 9 Sat Apr 23 1
4 9 Sat Apr 30 1
5 12 Sat May 7 1
6 12 Sat May 14 1
7 14 Sat May 21 1
8 15 Sat May 28 1
9 15 Sat Jun 4 1
10 12 Sat Jun 11 1
11 14 Sat Jun 18 1
12 11 Sat Jun 25 1
13 15 Sat Jul 2 1
end 4 Sat Jul 9 1

This would mean we’d be reading the story over 16 weeks.

Polls

Let’s get to some contention points!!

The ease in period!
I want to read chapter 1 (11 pages, 10 text pages) over:

[poll name=chapter1 type=regular results=always chartType=bar public=true close=2022-03-12T22:45:00.000Z]
  • 1 week
  • 1 1/2 weeks
  • 2 weeks
[/: [poll ]

How much time do you want to spent on the 14-15 text page chapters that are midway through the story?

[poll name=long-chapters type=regular results=always chartType=bar public=true close=2022-03-12T22:45:00.000Z]
  • 1 week
  • 1 1/2 weeks
  • 2 weeks
  • let’s decide when we get there
  • other (please comment)
[/? [poll ]

If we end up reading some chapters over 1 1/2 weeks:
Would you rather have chapter based discussion threads or weekly based discussion threads (even if weekly breakpoints end up at weird spots 1/3rd or 2/3rds through a chapter)

[poll name=poll3 type=regular results=always chartType=bar public=true close=2022-03-12T22:45:00.000Z]
  • weekly based discussion threads
  • chapter based discussion threads
[/* [poll ]

And if we end up with no weird chapter breaks and just spread out the beginning chapters over two weeks?

[poll name=poll-no-weird-breaks type=regular results=always chartType=bar public=true close=2022-03-12T22:45:00.000Z]
  • weekly based discussion threads
  • chapter based discussion threads
[/? [poll ]

Should we have a break week for catching up in the middle?

[poll name=poll-breaks type=regular results=always chartType=bar public=true close=2022-03-12T22:45:00.000Z]
  • no
  • yes, after chapter 7 (roughly middle of the book)
  • yes, after chapter 8 (after two longer chapters)
[/? [poll ]

And just for good measure, one final poll

  • I’m just here to click some polls
  • Coelacanth

0 voters

14 Likes

You could do chapter-based threads, but ask posters to limit discussion to that week’s pages. Then when the next week’s reading starts (and you read the other half of the chapter) you could have a post in that same thread to announce that the next part of the chapter is now also fair game to discuss. An example:

I’m refraining from voting in the reading speed polls because I am probably not the target demographic and I don’t want to skew it.

11 Likes

Excited, nervous, and excited.

So far I haven’t had much luck with moving from manga to novels, the perceived wall of text and lack of context pictures tends to scare me off and/or exhaust me.

I expect I’ll quickly fall behind, but worst case I can catch up slowly after the club shoots ahead (I’ve had to do this for ABBC manga before when life got in the way).

Thanks for mentioning this, I’d noticed your one vote and been wondering why =p

Ohhh awesome, I’d downloaded the sample from Kindle to try do some Vocab mining before my physical copy arrives, but this’ll save me time - thanks!

Edit: oops and a bit thanks to @sumsum for all their work organising & setting this up!

14 Likes

I know what you mean. I think I’m in the demographic reading material wise but at the same time it’s not my very first novel either. So a schedule I’m fine with might not be what most other readers want. But we will see!

I know what you mean! I’m getting better with furigana text (I just finished one of the other beginner club novels <3) but I’m getting major “noooope, never ever!” vibes whenever I see text without furigana (even though it might be fine once I dig into it). Luckily for me we have them here, but jumping into new material can still feel pretty intimidating.

That being said, I feel like textwise novels can actually be easier than manga because there is more redundancy and there are less contractions and stuff. So it might work out better than you thought! (Also, personally, my eyesight isn’t the greatest and novels have clearer text + better scalability in ebooks, so that’s another plus for me :wink: )

11 Likes

First of thank you for the work you already put into this!

I have to say I would not be a huge fan of this arrangement. For me Saturday is the day where I pay the most attention to book clubs and start all of my reading for the week. I would 100% mix it up if some of them were to start on Wednesday. But like @Phryne I will probably hold of from voting, just wanted to show a possible downside to that arrangement!

let’s decide when we get there

The vote scheduling part of my brain does not like this

11 Likes

I have to say, if you split the first two chapters in half and keep the rest whole you get a pretty smooth ramping up. If my counting is correct (using the physical edition) page count per week goes like this: 5, 5, 9, 9, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 15, 12, 15, 11, 15, 4. (That’s excluding full-page illustrations as from the pagecount.)

Also, I want to recommend ordering this book from Kinokuniya - I ordered from them and received my copy very quickly! And amazon jp seems to have switched to some kind of ultra-slow shipping (to the US at least).

13 Likes

So, this would be my first time reading a light novel on a schedule with a group, so I might be incorrect with my thoughts here. The reason I voted for the 1 week over the 1.5 week schedule is because I imagine by the time we reach the mid-point of the novel, we ought to be (mostly) familiar with the writing style of the author, and the general conventions of the prose, right? So adding another 2-3 pages by that point shouldn’t be too much of a burden, I would think. (Maybe I’m in for a really rude awakening, and I’ll be grateful for the extra time once we reach that point, eh?)

Either way, thanks to @sumsum for suggesting the book, and for running the club! Whatever is decided for the schedule, I look forward to this! I really need to start reading more of this style of writing so I can get used to the different grammar rules from manga, and this book is going to be significantly more achievable than the one I’ve been slaving away at on my own. :sweat_smile:

11 Likes

Thanks for the participation and suggestions so far! Yes, excluding chapter 2 the affected chapters are in the middle of the book so even first time novel readers would have gained some experience by then.

Tbh I’m not mad that people seem to prefer the ramp up into one week schedule so far. I was just a bit hesitant to make that the main suggestion as I thought that was just my own preference and people might feel it’s too fast for the beginner book club :slight_smile:

edit: I edited that in as a schedule as well

11 Likes

That’s basically why I made the “weekly discussion threads” versus “chapter discussion threads” poll, because I thought some people might be intimidated by the speed but still prefer weekly goals and have the discussion threads reflect that. Even with 1 1/2 weeks per chapter we could make weekly threads, but the break points might be a little more odd than usual (e.g. one week might be “chapter 7 until xy” (roughly 2/3rds) next one might be “read rest of chapter 7 and start of chapter 8” and third is “read rest of chapter 8”). Just reading one chapter a week is certainly more easy to organize tho :joy:

edit: also… more polls… :sweat_drops:

9 Likes

I get the feeling I saw another book club use Excel spreadsheets to track their vocab lists, but if it’s useful to anyone, I’ve already started a vocab list up to Chapter 6 where I had to stop (since I had to return the book to the library :sweat_smile:).

I used the Koohi list while I was reading, but I assume it was generated through a computer? because there was a lot of words that either weren’t caught (sometimes some words normally written in hiragana/kanji are written in katakana for stylistic effect?) or some words that weren’t actually there were added to the list instead. My list isn’t by all means perfect either because I also only added words I didn’t know the meaning to and/or kanji I didn’t know for personal practice.

As for the readability of the book, it was my first novel-style book I’ve started reading. The first few days I read it, I could only do a page or two a day, but the writing style is very fluid and “easy to read” that I found myself reading a chapter a day at times. Since it’s written from the perspective of Hanabi whose thoughts and speech are easy to understand, and even when it breaks to dialogue, it’s easy to decipher who’s talking (even if there are 2+ people talking). It’s thanks to the dialogue too (as well as the pictures) that some chapters feel shorter than they really are.

To put into perspective, I’ve finished Genki 2, so I have solid N4 grammar going into N3. But even with just N5 level understanding, most readers should get used to the flow of the writing pretty quickly and be able to at least get the gist of what’s going on if they’re following along with the vocab list(s). I think it’s one of the best first books for that reason, and a lot of you will be surprised by how much you can understand!

13 Likes

I’ll probably use the bookclub as a jumping off point for myself to start reading books, but I’m not sure how long or how much I’ll be reading per day. Maybe I’ll read more, or maybe even less.

9 Likes

Yeah, the usual method has been to use a Google Docs Spreadsheet (same thing as Excel, just not Microsoft).

For example:

Teasing Master Takagi-San Volume 2 Vocabulary List - Google Sheets

That’s the spreadsheet we used for Volume 2 of Takagi-san. The spreadsheets just tend to be more readable and easier to search at a glance, in my opinion. It definitely wouldn’t be a bad idea for somebody to take your vocab list and just bump it into that style of spreadsheet, though, since you’ve already done a lot of the hard work! If I get some time today, I can do that and post it here for @sumsum to use for the club.

7 Likes

Sorry for the double-post, but I’ve gone ahead and made up the sheet.

@sumsum, if you want me to continue to host it on my drive, and just use that link, that’s perfectly fine with me, but if you want to just copy the sheet over to your drive and post that link, that’s fine too! Just let me know what you decide, so that I’m making any changes to the proper copy of the sheet!

Couple of notes:

  1. I only got the first chapter done for the moment. I will go through and add more of the chapters once I know if I should continue to edit on this copy.

  2. I listed the title of each of the chapters at the top of their respective sheets and gave a rough translation of those titles, but keep in mind that I haven’t read the book. If somebody more knowledgeable wants to change the English translation, please feel free! (though, probably hold off until we know that this is the link we will continue to use)

  3. There were a couple of words as I was transferring over that felt a little off to me. Sometimes, my IME would refuse to even come up with the same kanji. For the ones that gave me trouble, I searched the book, and if I couldn’t find it in kanji form in the book, I didn’t bother to plug the kanji into the sheet, so that it matches what we are coming across in the book. Either way, those were super far and few between. Anything else that read as odd to me, I went ahead and added it to the sheet, but put in the notes that it might need reviewing when we get to reading proper, and what might need reviewed about them (again, few and far between, just a couple of words that struck me as a little odd. I’m lacking context, though, having not actually read the chapter!)

Edit: Also, if you want different guidelines than the ones listed (I just used the same ones we’ve been using for Takagi-san), please let me know, so we can change those as well.

Edit 2: Also, I didn’t add page numbers for the time being. I’m not sure how the Kindle version lines up with the paperback page numbers as of yet, and I wasn’t always positive which page the vocab was being pulled from to begin with, so I figure we can add the page numbers in once reading properly begins, and are aware of what the page numbering should look like. For reference, Chapter 1 starts on Page 6 of the kindle version.

Edit 3: I transferred over up to Chapter 3, and then the rest of my day, I ended up too busy to get back to it. I’ll finish adding the later chapters another time!

9 Likes

Using your sheet is perfectly fine by me <3 Thanks a lot for the work both @Hantsuki and @MrGeneric

6 Likes

book walker was the only place i could find that would take a foregin credit card. I’ll give it a try.

4 Likes

Amazon.co.jp will take a foreign credit card, at least for digital purchases, as long as your address is set to somewhere in Japan - there should be guides floating around for this.

Wow a huge thanks to @Hantsuki and @MrGeneric for their amazing combined work on the vocab sheet! I was getting a little confused by Koohi as their interface isn’t the most intuitive and I really just wanted it in Google Sheets list so I can move it into Anki. Beautiful!

7 Likes

That’s great, I wanted to join a book club at some point and my daughter starts with the 中学校 soon. I don’t know a lot about the new lifestyle so I feel this might be a good way to be prepared…
Maybe I can post some real life experiences later on.

7 Likes

I think I’m going to be a masochist and attempt this, for experience reading an actual book alongside ABBC’s manga starting next month. Not making any promises to myself though.

I’m wondering if anyone knows about buying the kobo book on rakuten: is that a copy of an ebook that I can download and use as I please, or is it fully locked-in, send-to-device like with Amazon and Kindle?

7 Likes

I’m not entirely sure, but I think it uses epub format, so you shouldn’t be fully locked in. Kobo has some help pages themselves: Export to another device or app. I do not know how the DRM stuff works though, so you might still need to jump through some extra hoops for that.

6 Likes