[2021] 多読/extensive reading challenge

Since I’m reading manga more quickly now I think I’m going to have to place orders on Amazon more frequently. I placed an order a few days ago and it only included (gasp) 5 volumes of manga. Not the 11 or whatever I was originally planning to get. Hopefully I like the new series I’m trying (only buying two volumes of it to start) so I can buy a bunch more next time.

Or maybe I should actually read some of the books I own. :upside_down_face:

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Can’t wait to actually join this thread in 2020 since I started reading manga a few months ago. I’ve been lurking for awhile but maybe I’ll actually post things now.

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I love 本好きの下剋上 , it’s definitely my go-to series for when I want to “snuggle up” and read. It’s quite wholesome and despite the setting being a medieval-style place it feels like nothing truly bad happens. Well…until the 4th books introduces the condition of the orphanage. But that seems to be short-lived.

かがみの孤城 was fun too but definitely has a darker overall tone than 本好き.

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Me too. Lurking and enjoying the lurking. But I’m not a lurker by nature, so I guess I’ll un-lurk.

I don’t track how many books I read because I read so many books in English (the main language I read in, despite it being my second language; I would call it the only language I read in, but I do read in Japanese now too. :blush:). One year I started a 52 books in a year challenge, and read a bit more than usual and finished it after half a year. So yeah, I typically read 2ish books a week, although it looks more like 3-4 books one week and then 0-1 on another. Also read perhaps 10 non-fiction books a year slowly over time.

I’m what is usually called a voracious reader. Except I know there are people with much much much higher volumes than I. I’m not a fast reader, I just spend a lot of time doing it. So I don’t think I could even get up into some of those volumes (typically 1-4 books a day, not 400 pages fantasy volumes though, haha).

But next year, I hope to add in more Japanese reading (especially since I will stop having formal Japanese classes by end of March taking so much of my daily Japanese practice/consumption), and since the reading volume is small enough, I want to (keep) track(ing) it and also participate here, even though I feel like a total newbie. :3

I started reading this year. Getting through several volumes of graded readers (9 of them, maybe I should start and finish another to be able to say 10 :stuck_out_tongue:), 2 mangas (both with ABBC, Chi’s Sweet home and the married couple manga I can never remember the name of since I just refer to it as the 結婚マンガ) and one book (にゃんにゃん 1, with help from the previous book club).

My favorite would either be にゃんにゃん or the marriage manga. I enjoyed both a lot, but I definitely needed a lot more help with understanding the marriage manga despite it being the latter one I read. But then one is aimed at kids and one at adults, so eh, not so strange. ^^

My bookmeter is here: https://bookmeter.com/users/1024678

I’ve started reading セーラームーン by myself recently. (I might be joining or keeping up with the club starting after new years.) This is the first Japanese book/manga I’m just reading casually without trying for full comprehension, and I can do that, which makes me so happy. I know enough Japanese that I can get the gist and only look up some words here and there. (Basically I look up as little as I need to, unless I feel like it and then might look up more.) I really look forward to reading this manga, since Sailormoon or Pokemon was the first anime I ever saw dubbed to Swedish as a kid.

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Greetings all,

I discovered bookmeter app and I want to use it to track my to be read books in 2020. From what I can tell I can’t write how many pages I read of a particular book per day. I can only tag books by “read”, “currently reading”, “want to read” and “bought”. On the web page I can click on the calendar to mark the day I did some reading but that is it and I can see this feature in the app. Am I missing something?

Also I would to ask for some nice easy books for N3 reader. I read all of the graded readers and now I’m reading Magic Tree House in Japanese and it’s quite easy. Perfect level since I understand all of the grammar and new word are few and far between. I would prefer something that is also available in English so I can check the translation when I completely loose that of what is happeing.

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Nope, that’s pretty much all you can do on bookmeter. And I think I remember some people saying before that the app doesn’t have that calendar feature too :man_shrugging:

As for reading material for N3 level, I guess the beginner book club would be a good place to start. They have just started a book if you don’t mind being a week or so late:

If you want to read something on your own you can also check the list of books they read in the past, here in the main thread:

They do weekly threads where people ask questions about the reading, and you can still check them out for the books they’re done reading (and even ask some questions yourself if you feel like it).

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There’s also コンビニ人間 if you want something more intermediate level. The grammar and vocab wasn’t too difficult most of the time, so it’s fine if you know a good amount of kanji. It does have an English translation as well.

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Thanks for the answers. I will probably join 霧のむこうのふしぎな町 reading club. I glanced at the preview and it seems easy.

Also I have a couple of the previous books on my shelf so I will read them at my own pace. That excel spreadsheet is fantastic! cheers.

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By and large I also started reading native material this year. That’s such a crazy thing to think about, I didn’t even really realize until you asked about the wrap up, @Naphthalene - thank you!

(I say by and large bc theoretically I started a manga on the 18th of Dec last year, but I didn’t really believe in myself and it was more stop than go until after February this year :sob:)

What helped
Then from Feb 8th to 22nd I read the first volume of にゃんにゃん探偵団 because there was a thread and help for it, which removed a lot of the built up fear of failure :tm:. Even so I had some trouble getting started. The fact that @NicoleRauch was also reading this book at the same time helped so much with getting and staying motivated. I’m truly grateful. :sob:

I read like half of 時をかける which was a drag, and then jumped ships and joined the book club for キノ. Reading with others really did wonders for my motivation and growth into more difficult books. :heart: After キノ finishing 時 went faster too.

Anyway, since this is turning more into an ode to the bookclubs than anything else, I’ll stop here. (Oh, and this thread obviously was a tremendous help as well, but I said that somewhere in this thread already. Probably more than once. :stuck_out_tongue: )

About goals
I passed my original goal of 5 books and 10 manga with 10 books and 33 manga read so far and may yet finish Re:ゼロ and キッチン.

I think next year I’ll try to aim for 12 books as well. One a month seems like a nice even reasonable amount. :slight_smile:

Favorites
That’s a bit more difficult. xD Everything considered, I probably liked コンビニ人間 most? It was a very good fit for my level, quite straightforward and all in all a very comfortable read. I also liked the protagonist and the way she saw and told the world.

Close seconds would be Re:ゼロ and キッチン. I enjoy the whimsical style of キッチン, but it sure is harder to read than コンビニ, even if the words and grammar used don’t feel more difficult. And Re:ゼロ is unexpectedly good, but having to look up so many words makes it a tad less enjoyable to me. :sweat_smile:

As for manga, I’m enjoying よつばと! a lot more than I expected, but my fav this year was definitely 少女終末旅行. While the 1st volume wouldn’t necessarily have inspired me to keep reading, I’d kinda already bought the rest. And then I liked each consecutive volume more than the previous, so I’m very, very glad about it too. :heart:

おわり
Right, that’s it. It’'s long enough. xD Sorry for rambling!

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I half expected to see あとがき here :joy_cat:

Oh, and thanks for the praise! I had no idea tbh, but I‘m happy to hear that I helped you :slight_smile:

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What a missed chance! :cry:

You really did! Even just knowing you were also reading this, and checking back from time to time made it feel more possible. :blush:

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I have a question for those who have tried the extensive reading thing: have you found that your reading “stamina” and ability to focus changed at all over time? I have a problem right now where even though I can read, I can’t focus on what I’m reading (this isn’t just in Japanese either) and it’s frustrating. I’m thinking of going for the N2 next year but I know I’ll need to have the focus to read through a lot of comprehension questions. I’m not used to going through walls of Japanese text. Has there been anything that helped you stay more consistent with reading practice?

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I definitely have. I didn’t realize until very recently though. I also didn’t expect it, since I have been reading native material for years now, just not that intensely.
Before, I was constantly checking where was a good place to stop and how many pages I had left until there. Now, I can just read a volume of 新世界より in one (10 hours) sitting. I guess focus does depend on external factors as well, but at least reading Japanese does not feel any more taxing than reading English. I’m still in a situation where reading in my native language is faster than reading in English, which is in turn faster than reading in Japanese. (For 文庫本, that’s respectively 60, 50 and 40 pages an hour, roughly. I’m an average reader, I guess).

Loving the content. When reading something where I just need to know what happens next, I’ll do just that. For things that I like a lot less but are interesting from a learning point of view, making a ritual helps being consistent. That’s why I started this thread in the first place :wink:

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It’s good to hear that. When I look around for extensive reading stuff, it seems mostly aimed at beginners just getting used to reading. I’ve been reading native material for years, just not in a pure text form usually. Is there an amount of reading time in a day you generally tried to start with?

Hmm, I’ll have to think of some sort of ritual I guess. Or find a super exciting action-packed book, but I’m not sure what that would be :thinking: This year I got into the horror manga 血の轍 and binged the whole thing in a sitting, but I’m not sure if I’d be able to do that with plain text.

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You could always try and join one of the intermediate book clubs (with spinoffs) :slight_smile: 氷菓 will start early January, while 獣の奏者 will start late January. That’s not really extensive wrt. the amount of pages being read per week, but it should give you a structure and maybe help you get into reading books in a more regular fashion?

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魔法少女育成計画 kept me reading for that reason, despite it being difficult for me. That was still at a relatively slow pace of 35 pages a week, but that was far faster and more consistent than I had been with previous books. Now I’m reading 霧のむこうのふしぎな町 at whatever pace I want, but as it’s a kids book I don’t expect it to draw me in enough to make me want to keep reading nonstop.

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When trying to make a ritual, the best approach is to make it ridiculously easy, and build up from there. I started with 20 min a day, which was very easy for me. Scale as needed; can be as low as 5 min if that’s all you can manage at first. You’ll naturally see some improvement over time.

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@NicoleRauch
I’ve wanted to join book clubs in the past but I struggle trying to keep up with them while also keeping up with my classes. How much time/week do you usually set aside for reading?

What type of book is it? I’m wondering if a horror manga was able to keep my attention maybe I should try a horror novel? :thinking: But then I would need to find one with relatively simple language. Extensive reading is supposed to be “easy” reading isn’t it? The kind you don’t need a dictionary for?

It’s hard for me to do this on command. Altogether, I’ve probably read for about an hour today but it was all in 5-10 minute chunks.

What is the time commitment for a typical day like?

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I’m still a very slow reader, so it still takes me an hour to read about 4-5 pages. So for the average weekly Intermediate Book Club assignment I need like 4 hours, maybe? Usually spread out across multiple days of the week.

If you’re aiming for that, then maybe the Beginner Book Club picks are for you? We’re currently reading a children’s book (week 2 just started so you could easily catch up), but maybe that doesn’t keep you motivated enough? Right now, it does have a mysterious aspect to it, though - but on a children’s book level.

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Basically it’s a magical girl battle royale, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you haven’t done much reading already.

Well, I don’t do true 多読, because I can’t stand not knowing what’s going on. But my understanding is that you have to be willing to miss details and not understand some things. If it’s easy enough that you can understand 95+% of it without a dictionary you’re probably not learning much.

Same for me I think. It’s painfully slow, probably only about 10% as fast as I can read in English (and with worse comprehension).