[2021] 多読/extensive reading challenge

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:

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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.

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

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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
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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.

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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:

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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:

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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?

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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)

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

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Have you tried 狼と香辛料? Why read about high schoolers when you can read about a traveling merchant and a wolf deity? :slight_smile:

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Hey look another good show about adults :wink:

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Despite being home for three months, I sure slacked off on reading.

Finished 台所のドラゴン vol 3 a while ago and I loved it. It got a little scary for a bit since the dragon has gotten big enough to be super noticeable and freak out the locals.

Also finished 衛宮さんちの今日のごはん vol 4. It’s an extremely cute cooking manga using the characters from the Fate franchise. Each chapter features a new recipe.

Now I’m getting my act back together with some Sailor Moon manga.

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I’ve read about 1/5th of the first book now. It is maintaining my interest.
It was actually fun to start reading not knowing literally anything about it, and so with all the 回目 stuff I had to actually surmise what was going on myself from zero : p
It’s super rare for me to engage with media I don’t know at least a dust-jacket style synopsis for.
The last time I can remember is when I was a young teenager and rented (that used to be a thing) the game Xenogears based on having heard a song from it. I didn’t even know the game had mechs in it, so that whole game was a big surprise : o

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You already caught up to me. :laughing: I’m glad it’s been keeping your interest. How’s your comprehension so far? Any issues?

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