[2020] 多読/extensive reading challenge

Finished キノの旅 II today, now I have no good reason to not catch up with Night Market :stuck_out_tongue:. Also attained my original goal of 5 books officially for this year.

I started enjoying it more and more as I read. The stories are stand-alone and quite ambiguous about the time-line, so the story starts to slowly unfold more. There even were some connections between the stories, which I found nice. Might read the third volume at some point.

The books are quite easy, but I found they are quite at the right level where I still learn a lot of new words by adding them to my SRS. I have a hard time skipping unknown words, so this way I don’t end up with hundreds of words if I read a lot ^^.

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I finally read the second half of 乙女ゲーム[…] volume 5. It felt a lot better than the first half. It’s still a lot of side stories, but at least most of them brought new elements and/or were relevant to the current plot (and were nice refreshers of what happened). The very last 20~30 pages (hard to say on ebook) were from the point of view of random characters we don’t hear about often in the main story (the head maid, Tom the gardener, Mother, the head of the merchants from the local town (!), some unnamed classmate of カタリナ, …). The story from the mother, retelling how she met カタリナ’s father could have been a bit more elaborated… It was basically “we met, it was love at first sight for me, but (I mistakenly thought) he only decided to marry me to help out my father, I was wrong, we are happy, the end”

I could really have done without the manga part (a few pages here and there). They are non canon, thus bring nothing to the story, and do not even match the personality of the real characters that well. (メアリsaying she wants to cook for her lover? Say what?)

Still, not that bad, but I feel I could have just skipped it entirely and have lost nothing of value. Back to the main story, hopefully!

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A new week of book clubs starts, and I am determined to catch up this week. I was all grim about it when making my study log task chart but when I looked at the final product it wasn’t so bad. In the last two days I caught up on セーラームーン and 獣の奏者, and I had already read ゆるキャン△ and フルーツバスケット, so now I have all the new readings for those plus three weeks each for 夜市 and 魔女の宅急便, plus the new volume of アオハライド (but for that one I have two months to read).

I have still been good and not started the next otome villainess etc book (diligently doesn’t look at the post above mine), and I actually managed to reach a part of ハイキュー where I don’t mind pausing, plus the other manga that sucked me in, 約束のネバーランド, … well, the current arc I’m in started giving me nightmares, whoops, so I am slowing down on that. (But not stopping? I guess? If I can just get through this arc… I don’t know.) All this to say, I am set up to have book club catching up success this week and I am going to make it happen.

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Just finished reading とんがり帽子アトリエ Vol 7 and holy cow did that end on an intense note. The art is amazing as usual and I love seeing how much the characters grow or, in some cases, become much more complicated. But that ending. When the heck does volume 8 come out??

I also finally finished 涼宮ハルヒの憂鬱. I originally started it with the Intermediate Reading Club and fell behind and just stopped. I don’t think Haruhi is my thing anymore, though I still love going back and watching certain scenes from the anime again (That band scene was kick butt). I still feel extremely satisfied that I could finish the book.

Next novel will probably be コンビニ人間 and I’ve started reading セーラームーン vol 3.

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I started volume 2! :tada:

Favorite new pun: さすガット

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New toys, courtesy of an afternoon shop at Kinokuniya Sydney (and yummy sukiyaki for dinner). I picked up a new set of graded readers to help with my N3/N2 skills, another volume of Barakamon for my collection (I’m still reading Volume 1), and the next book selection for the Intermediate book club. That last one will test my limits for sure. I managed to get through the first few sentences in the shop, but it will be my first novel in Japanese, so I’ll do my best.

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By the way, I noticed the sale is over, did you get them in the end? :slight_smile:

読書メーター was featured in Tofugu’s summer edition of Japanese learning tools!
Is it weird I feel proud about it? I guess it is.

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I noticed as well and had basically the same thought of „Yay, our activities are being noticed!“ :slight_smile:

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I’ve been reading a lot of books with the bookclubs that were well above my level, and I think I’ve made amazing progress through that (and in any case just being able to read those books is great). However, there is always so much vocab I don’t know that I end up learning only a tiny fraction of it. That is not very efficient and right know I feel like vocab is my bottleneck so I’m trying something new (for science).

I’ve picked an easy book (The first volume of ポレポレ日記), which I could probably read without a dictionary without missing much, and everyday I’m reading until I find 10 unknown vocabulary (skipping some words that I don’t think are that useful atm), which I then add to SRS (I’m using Floflo for this).
We’ll see if this works or if it turns out to be too slow/too much, but for now it seems fine, and I always find it much easier to remember a word that I have seen working in context. I’ve chosen only 10 words because I don’t want to get overwhelmed with SRS now that I’ve found a good pace with WaniKani and in the long term it’s still a lot.

It this works well I’d like to keep doing this with increasingly more difficult (aka with more varied vocab) books in parallel with the bookclubs so I can one day finally read away from a computer/dictionary like the pros do :eyes: Or at least be less reluctant to read media that has no quick way to check words like videogames/physical books.

Anyway, will report back.

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I did that with FloFlo as well! (With a different book, but anyway). It has helped me a lot getting over the vocabulary bottleneck. One word of caution, though: sometimes, I got too much into the story and couldn’t stop and ended up adding like 100+ word at a time. Don’t do that.
In hindsight, I should have just kept reading without adding words for the day, then start adding word again on the next day until cap, then read without adding, etc :thinking:

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Haha, I’m worried this might happen with 乙女ゲーム at the moment. I exported the list from FloFlo with frequency 1 and put it to Anki (about a thousand words, though many will probably get suspended), and doing it concurrently while reading. Makes for quite a good experience.

Although I’ve been tweaking my learning intervals a lot and come to a pretty nice setup, that works for me. The default ones in Anki are quite bad. I only want to do SRS once a day, so my intervals are 1 day, 3 days, with a graduating interval of 7 days (so 20 1440 4320). This avoids “ease hell”, as in failed cards getting really low ease. Also putting the “New Interval” to something like 50% is essential, otherwise failed cards start from zero, which is absurd.

I feel like FloFlo and WK system heavily overtests us (with vocab), especially since learning words gets progressively easier as your “fluency” improves. I’m also considering the “Retirement” add-on for Anki, which basically adds the burn system to it.

This way going through a thousand words in a relatively short time won’t create a immeasurable pile of reviews, while letting me read comfortably. Have you guys tweaked your Anki settings somehow?

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Ah, yes, a person of refined taste, I see.

[Amazing Anki setup]

I only used Anki with the default settings and hated it, but you are making me reconsider. Or I could just finally use my Kitsun subscription :thinking: Or I could not get back to my SRS addiction

Meanwhile, a bunch of people on the forums are screaming that they don’t want burns :joy: But I do agree about the over testing in the early stages. I’m actually fine with guru2 and higher (on WK).

I think my comment just prior made it obvious, but no, I just suffered :sweat_smile:

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It’s funny, I used to hate Anki because of how unintuitive and difficult to understand it was (and it still is). But when I took the time to understand what all the settings do, I’ve come to appreciate the customisability. Even the manual is quite obscure and I had to scour many a reddit thread to really understand some of the concepts.

Kitsun can also tweak the SRS timings if I remember correctly? I guess that would be the most important setting to look at. It’s kind of weird and fascinating studies show better retention with LESS repetitions.

I liked the first half in this video explaining a lot of the stuff, if interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XaJjbCSXT0

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That sounds painful.
Since this is a kid’s book I probaby won’t have that issue quite yet (or will I? Being able to read Japanese fast is actually a little addictive), but I see how that could be a problem in the future. :thinking:
I guess if that happens I can stick to higher frequency words or something.

I’ve seen so much talk about this one, the premise sounds fun and the other day I noticed that according to Floflo I know over 40% of its vocab already (which I’ve determined from experience is the minimum required so that I don’t pull my hair out with all the lookups), so I am quite tempted so check it out later this year.

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It was. I got things back under control by simply stoping to read for a while. I felt really silly about it.

That would probably work. Also, as you get closer to the end, unknown words tend to get further appart. Then you may need too much text to get the word count :joy:

It is a pretty fun read! Not amazing literature, but it is good entertainment. It’s also a very easy read in terms of grammar and sentence structure.

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@Sylph I was (and still am) in the same situation as you, and I followed a similar approach: I added unknown vocab words to my Anki deck if I got interested in them (“I would like to know this!”) or if they annoyed me too much (“Why do I have to look this up yet again…”).
And this helped me soooo much already!

(And then, I thought that I’d be able to add ALL unknown vocab words from Kiki to my deck, but I only managed to do that for the first chapter :roll_eyes:)

Can’t you limit the amount of words you are learning every day?
I don’t mind adding however many cards to my deck, as I only learn 10 per day (and as I’m learning each word in 3 directions, this means ~3 new words per day only). My deck just serves as a buffer, and when I see a word in more than one book, I push it to the top to learn it more quickly, this way shuffling my deck around basically every day…

Yes! Initially I did not modify them as much, but recently I read the documentation a bit more and adjusted lots of stuff. But:

I think I’m on the other end of the spectrum :sweat_smile: While I notice that I can pick up new words much more easily than when I started out learning, I still like to go much slower than WK… I think WK’s SRS is fine for me up until Guru 1 or Guru 2, but then it gets much too spaced out for my poor old brain :cry: So I need to take things more slowly.

Yep, same here :slight_smile: I don’t mind having a word come back to me in 10 years’ time :woman_shrugging:

Yes, that’s really unfortunate but true.

They recently switched their help system to a new platform; it’s now a Discourse :star_struck: and amazing people have contributed with long writeups of how stuff works etc. Also if you have a question, they quickly answer (at least in my case). Might be worth checking there as well if you have another question…

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I really like to add the word while I remember the context, so I can associate it to the word in the moment. I think I added 50 cards today altogether :joy: I use Shirabe Jisho phone app for flashcards I add as I’m reading, as well. My word count fluctuates, but probably on average lately been adding about 20-30 words a day depending on my reading etc. But I’m only doing one direction, since I find it the most effective. What’s your 3rd direction?

Mostly I think the beginning SRS is way too dense, and I don’t want to have intervals that are less than 24h. That way I can do my Anki for the day and be FREE to enjoy reading. It helps me mentally and I avoid the trap of just doing Anki all day.

My logic is that if I remember a word after 6 months, it’s pretty well ingrained and I can retire it. As my input increases, it’s gonna be pretty likely I’ll see it somewhere during the next year. If not, well, then it probably wasn’t that useful a word. It’s just adding noise to my reviews. Even if I forget it, I think it’s better to keep going forward fast than trying to cement everything. At some point you’ll drop SRS anyway. I’m stopping WK and soft reseting my in-FloFlo words (basically trashing about a thousand words) in a weeks time, so just gonna do Anki then for reading.

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I’ve been using anki for many a year, and I’ve tweaked my settings, yes. I don’t remember what they started as and I just tweaked based on reading things online about it combined with trial and error, so I have no real suggestions to offer, but I have definitely found that with my tweaks anki works far better for me. One that I did within the last six months was adding in one more step for new cards, so my steps are now 5 20 1440 8640, with my graduating interval at 14 days. I have found that extremely helpful in terms of new cards sticking. I also made my new interval 75%. When I miss cards, it’s often because I’m going through them too quickly, so this works for me.

I have thousands of new cards waiting in the queue and only learn four per day, so we are coming at that part from different angles (which makes sense, considering different learning circumstances and goals). I also wouldn’t ever do the Retirement add-on (I didn’t know it existed but now that I do, lol). However, being able to customize anki is part of its charm, and if that ends up working for you, hooray.

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I’ve never thought about that. On Kitsun I lowered the default starting intervals from 4/8 hours to 3/7 hours just to work into my schedule better, but I never considered the option of just combining them into one review before. I wouldn’t get rid of the < 24 hour review entirely, but having one instead of two might help me out a lot.

Of course, unlike the rest of you I’m really bad at both reading books consistently and adding words to my SRS program of choice. I don’t have an easy way to auto-create the card with context sentence and audio included, and the extra time it takes to add all that discourages me from doing it. But I don’t like having cards without any context so I don’t want to skip that either.

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