[2021] 多読/extensive reading challenge

Ah, yes I was checking surface mail.
Also, I checked air mail to France and found it was OK, so I stupidly assumed both information could be combined without further verification.
If you know someone in France, you could mail your stuff to them and ask them to mail it to you :sweat_smile: that’s going to cost a fortune in though.

1 Like

Hehe, yeah, don’t know anyone in France. Also yes, very expensive to ship twice. And unfortunately air mail is stopped to a lot of European countries right now. :sob: Probably a combination of some countries being closed to air mail and other countries not having (enough) flights to them (and or Japan Post always sends along certain routes and if any part of that air route is down…). Maybe after Japan eases restrictions, hopefully at the end of May. :crossed_fingers:

Or maybe I should just ask my friend to send by surface mail if that is still up… Just not sure how tracking is on that and just how smoothly even those transports are happening.

3 Likes

Usually I dilly-dally on picking a new book, opening up a bunch of options in tabs and maybe reading the first page or two of the ones that are real contenders before finally picking one, but this time I was unexpectedly and somewhat randomly decisive! No need for a rescuing poll! I was looking through all the books I’ve piled up on my kindle and the title of a book I put on a couple years ago, that was way back in the books I haven’t looked at in a long time, caught my eye: 無人島に生きる十六人. And I opened it up and started reading it and I think this is what I’ll read next, hooray.

Some notes on that book for myself

I just had a very important page or two in terms of information, so I wrote it into on google keep and am annotating that information here.

The 十六人 in question, in order of introduction and likely of importance to the ship’s operations.

船長 中川 (storyteller)
運転士 榊原 (based on weblio example sentences, I feel like this might be what’s called a first mate in English; apparently on smaller ships a first mate’s responsibilities include navigation)
漁業長 鈴木
水夫長 (not yet named; boatswain)
議会の会員 四名
練習生 二名
帰化人 三名
水夫と魚夫 三名 (水夫: sailor; 魚夫: fishermen; apparently these three are both?)

A particularly helpful example sentence from weblio.

水夫長のジョブ・アンダーソンが船では一番の適任で、水夫長と兼任で航海士の役割も果たすことになった。
The boatswain, Job Anderson, was the likeliest man aboard, and though he kept his old title, he served in a way as mate.

I also started 夜市 today! It’s been a good day already for reading, and I’ll probably do some more before bed. <3

8 Likes

I finished my 6th book for this year! I set my goal at one book a month, so I’m doing pretty well. I’ve had lots of free time the last month so I read around 40-50 pages a day. It really does help to not take month-long breaks while reading one book.
I also noticed that so far I’ve read more pages this year than last year combined!

The latest book I read, すべてがFになる, was also my longest book ever at 524 pages.
I’ve read two sci-fi books by the same author (森博嗣) before, they were basically the first proper books I ever read in Japanese. But back then (well… 1.5 years ago) my reading pace was much slower and not very consistent (actually slower than new volumes of the series were published) so I kind of lost track of the story.
But I’ve finally decided to pick up the first volume of all the volumes, since all of the author’s series are loosely connected. Most of his series are mystery detective stories, and it was a mystery alright :smiley:, while also getting philosophical at times (I remember this from the other series as well). Also quite a bit of computer science stuff, with two of the big mysteries basically being explained by a time overflow and a data overwrite (I hope I’m using the right terms)
I’m really motivated to continue the sci-fi series now, too. Luckily most of the other volumes aren’t that long so I hope the next volume will get easier and take less time.

Since the timing is nice I’m also thinking about reading along with 夜市.

17 Likes

Read a couple more chapters of 妖怪の子預かります today and it’s started to get very exciting. I didn’t really expect for it to turn from the “fantasyish-slice-of-life” style it had been going in, but I guess that’s what makes twists all the more fun!

However, I’m not a fan of the fact that Chaper 12 and 14(it seems from the first page, haven’t started it yet) are flashbacks… I’d love to know more about the background of Senya and Yasuke, which it’s giving, but… It just feels almost like a filler episode in anime, but in a book with no actual reason to slow the plot. Especially so close to the end!

(I did have to promise myself I wouldn’t buy any more volumes of 鬼滅の刃 until I finished it, though. I’d probably be done with the book by now if I hadn’t also read 6 volumes of that manga in the meantime :sweat_smile:)

5 Likes

Well, I decided tot go with ビブリア for now. Volume 6 was so good, and dealt with (I thought) all the loose ends that we had left, so I thought it could have been a good point to end the series and wondered what the last volume could possibly be about. Except there’s indeed still one major plot point that hasn’t been elucidated: why did 栞子’s mother disappear 10 years ago. We know it was to find a book (and that she hasn’t succeeded yet), but that’s it. Still, I thought that that level of information was good enough. It made her look like a ruthless person who will go to any extreme to get the things she wants, a personality trait that has been otherwise confirmed by other events. I don’t think giving her a more specific justification is necessary in terms of story.
Still, that means I get to read more of this series, so I’m okay with that.
I’m currently in the middle of the first part and It’s also hilarious to see what events and characters we are being reminded of. :joy: That’s like the most obvious Chekhov’s gun ever.

5 Likes

Finished the book tonight! I take back what I said in the spoiler section of the previous book.

The second flashback absolutely did not slow down the story, and in fact became somewhat of the climax of the book, or at least part of it.

I cannot recommend this book enough, y’all. It’s my new favorite Japanese book, and I will definitely be continuing with the series (though with space between them. They are definitely difficult). It’s a fantastic read that provides a really satisfying challenge to anyone willing to give it a go.
Now back to the comfort of 銭天堂 for one book, then on to 天気の子 :partying_face:

12 Likes

Finished 氷菓 last night with a record-setting 20 pages in one day. I wasn’t enjoying it through the middle but the last quarter of the book picked up and got a lot more engaging (probably because that was the point when the protagonist started to give a damn). I’m glad I stuck it out instead of dropping it, but I’m not sure I’ll move on to the rest of the series just yet.

With that my goal of one novel this year has been met, though I’d like to go beyond that. I might start 夜市 late and catch up to the book club, or I might read one of the 鬼滅の刃 novels – and speaking of which, vol. 20 of the manga came out the other day and I haven’t allowed myself to read it yet.

15 Likes

The first bit of 夜市 goes really quick–you’re barely behind at all!

8 Likes

Me starting a new book on kindle:

  • opens book
  • “Analyzing your reading speed”
  • “20 minutes left in book”
  • pssh, yeah okay
  • reads several pages
  • “10 hours left in book”
  • reads several more pages
  • “17 hours left in book”
  • now you’re getting there
22 Likes

This was exactly how I felt reading my first book on Kindle :joy: had to turn off the info at the bottom because it was distracting me from my actual reading. Though it is a really nice little thing to have when you’re deciding whether to finish off a chapter or not before stopping.

On a side note, for anyone interesed, the compiled 獣の奏者 series (5-in-1 book, including something called the 外伝) is on sale (I don’t think it’s the normal price, anyway) on Kindle for ¥3,355 (roughly $31.26USD) and it’s normally ¥8,580 (roughly $79.95USD) for the paper version. So I jumped on that and added it to my to-read list for the future!

I’ve also added 涼宮ハルヒの憂鬱 to my Kindle library, and a friend is lending me their copy of 君の膵臓を食べたい, so I’ve got more than enough books to fill the potential free time I’ve got coming at me with my schools’ new provisional schedule these next two weeks.

7 Likes

Ok, I’m done with the last volume, and boy it was good too! Really strong finish for the series.
I liked that the book is not there to give redemption to 智恵子, like I feared. Instead, it put emphasis on the fact that she made her choice. There was no way for someone in their right mind to do what she wanted to do. She did it anyway, just pretty much giving up on most of her humanity on the way. And it’s nice that, despite all that, she still gets on better terms with 栞子 and even recognize (to some extent) the worth of 大輔.

Anyway, this episode was also special in the sense that, for the first time since the first volume, the main characters are being personally threatened, rather than doing things for other people. And contrary to the first volume, which was a bit unrealistic, the threat here is life-destroying debts. That might sound bland compared to the enemies the main characters face in other light novels (Re:Zero comes to mind :joy:), but it got me to relate way more to the characters than fantastic stuff.

Reading the あとがき, I was really surprised to learn that it wasn’t a given that ビブリア would become a series. Instead, it was mostly going to be a one shot at first. And, thinking about it, I guess it makes sense from the publisher’s point of view. Can’t really blame them for thinking that a light novel about classical literature would not sell like crazy. But that also made me realize something: 智恵子 isn’t mentioned at all in the first book. I would probably need to re-read it to make sure, though.
Instead, she is introduced in volume 2, starts interfering with the characters in volume 3, then confront them directly in volume 4. She somehow gets to accept (or at least not hard reject) the relationship between 栞子 and 大輔 in volume 5, and even help them in volume 6. Then volume 7 comes, basically giving us a lot more about her background and solving that problem, allowing a tense, but real, reconciliation with 栞子, thus closing the arc. :tada:

I do feel like reading the “10 years later” book, now. I don’t know if the author will keep writing stuff in that universe, but that would be nice too. I also had a look at the other stuff from the author, but nothing is striking my fancy right now :thinking:

9 Likes

The book I bought and started reading is 空ろの箱と零のマリア. It’s on sale on Amazon and Bookwalker now for 201 yen for the first book. The entire series is on sale though, so I got the whole thing for 1,441 yen. Not much has happened yet, but I was intrigued and I’ve spent far more than that on physical books I’ll never read so :man_shrugging:

13 Likes

Haa, I just watched some youtuber who seemed to have read quite a massive amount of light novels and he said this one to be one of his favorites. I just got an iPad and installed Bookwalker on it so it’s a bit tempting; also cheap first volume to test if I actually like the reader… How’s the difficulty feel?

3 Likes

It’s one of the highest rated light novel series on MAL and AniList, so a lot of people must like it. As far as difficulty, it’s hard to pin down. It’s very different in style from other stuff I’ve read, and dealing with high schoolers talking is a pain. Plus I’m trying to increase my reading speed by allowing myself to skip (seemingly) unimportant details that I’m not getting fairly quickly. But I’m following the story as a whole so far, so it’s doable. For as cheap as it is, maybe you should just get it and try it out. If it’s too hard you can always come back to it later.

3 Likes

In Bookwalker, you can also have a look at the first few pages of the book before buying it, so you can try it out for yourself.

1 Like

But that’s the most fun! It’s like cryptography puzzle!

3 Likes

Also I just bought ‘em all even though I’ve never heard of it because what’s 1441 yen here or there

9 Likes

Hm, after having a taste of light novels involving adult protagonists (in their late 20s or 30s, e.g. ビブリア古書堂の事件手帖 or 紅霞後宮物語) it’s hard to go back to high school level protagonists. It’s almost impossible to relate to them at this point. Actually, I guess it was impossible from the beginning, I just didn’t realize how much it affected my enjoyment of a book.
(To be clear, I can still enjoy a book even if I find the protagonist unrelatable, though, just less I guess)

13 Likes

Right!?
I was playing a visual novel recently where the protagonist was an actual friggen adult and man, breath of fresh air.

3 Likes