[2022] 多読/extensive reading challenge

Not quite; on topics I care about, that might be the case, but it is still lacking in other areas. A native speaker would come across a much wider variety of topics throughout their life and thus would have a more balanced vocabulary. If I want to progress further in that aspect, I have to get out of my way and read stuff I would usually not read. At the same time, I don’t read those stuff in the first place because I don’t really like reading them. It’s also unclear whether learning more about those would have any impact on my everyday life. The only case that comes to mind is when people try to have a conversation about such topic. I would be able to hit some 相槌 because I don’t care rather than because I don’t understand.
Needless to say, motivation is at rock bottom.

Sigh no, there’s no reason nor goal. There are other areas I should work on, the most relevant being the ability to produce business-level keigo. At this point in my career, I can still barely manage to get by as I am, but if I get promoted any further (which should happen in the 5 years horizon), that won’t fly anymore.
But I don’t want to actually study. At the end of the day, once the chores are done and kids are in bed, I’m tired and I just want to not have to think about anything. At this point, I definitely realize that my reading is just barely better than just crashing on the couch in front of netflix, but at least I don’t feel as bad about it as I can still pretend I am doing something active.

Overall, the most serious I was about actually studying was while I was going through WK, which really gave me some kind of structure and an end goal. If there was no end line, I would probably have burned out in the middle, but knowing that it’s “only 3 more months” helped a lot going forward. As soon as my weekly review count got below 100 and I didn’t even need to connect every day, suddenly everything else went down the drain as well.

On a more general note, my skills are extremely biased toward comprehension rather than production, so I should put some efforts into that. Someday.
I made it a yearly resolution for 2021, and failed on day 2. I didn’t even reach the 三日坊主 level.


My feeling exactly. Also, once you are past that part, things start moving quite a lot, which was appreciated.


I mean, it makes complete sense that your motivation to learn about things that may not even really benefit your every day life is at rock bottom. tbf I would say that reading is a whole lot better than just watching netflix and at the very least you’re doing a very solid job maintaining your level. I feel like the problem you’re having is a pretty inevitable one though for people who end up getting to a pretty high level.

relatable haHAA


I’ve been watching the anime on Netflix with audio descriptions (a narrator describes what’s happening between dialogue, it’s quite fun and extra practice :D), but honestly it’s not very good :rofl:. The manga seems to be much more highly reviewed.


I have heard that’s the case~ I’m sad that it didn’t turn out well, considering how great the manga is, but I’m glad that I heard it was disappointing before I watched it and got much more sad. :smile:


I finished the 5th volume of 薬屋のひとりごと and I have very conflicted feelings about it.
On the one hand, I really like the main characters and I mostly liked how they relationship was evolving up to volume 3 or so, but then (I guess the title of the detail section is a spoiler in itself, but 仕方ない)

Spoiler + assault trigger warning

if she doesn’t want to, she doesn’t want to. It was interesting to think how they could get around their difference in social status, but if her conclusion is “nope, too much trouble”, then stop pushing. I guess it’s “true to life” in the sense that someone in the position of 壬氏 would not be used to people telling them no, but still.
In any case, it was mostly low key until volume 5. Then this:

And, I’m sorry, but no, that’s not okay.
I’m also kinda confused about the intent of the author about that. Are we supposed to hate the character? Is it supposed to be romantic in a weird way?

Anyway, I don’t really know how to deal with that (and what happened next). I’m 50% curious about how that is dealt with (and thus start the next volume immediately) and 50% thinking about just dropping the series.


Volume 1 of かのウワ:

Author-san: Main character was cheated on by his ex and is all sad D-:, but dont worry, kawaii genki kouhai appears and makes him happy and cooks for him

Volume 3 of かのウワ:

Author-san: How bout ex girlfriend be best girl doe :o

Epic prank.


I finished my first book of the year last night! コンビニ人間

My reading stats for nerds

Total time spent = 15.4 hours
Audiobook length (for comparison) = 3.7 hours
Speed vs audiobook = 0.24
Speed for last book read (ハリーポッターと賢者の石) = 0.19

I had intended to go at the book club pace but January was quite hectic so I started late and then when I finally found time, I enjoyed it so much I ended up finishing it. :sweat_smile: I have the English copy lying around somewhere which I haven’t read yet. It will be a fun exercise to read the translated version to check my understanding and re-read it in Japanese again with the extra context going in.

But before then, I want to finish another book! I’ve started 魔女の宅急便 which was another book club I joined last September. It was too difficult for me at the time so I gave it up quite quickly. I’m looking forward to seeing how much I’ve grown by tackling this one again.


That’s such a nice way to get a feeling for one’s reading speed!
Sadly most books I read recently do not seem to have an audio version…
The only recent one I could find was KonoSuba, but I didn’t pay much attention to how long I took. Considering I read it in a single day (the 31st of December, so I had time :p), I’d say somewhere around 5 to 6 hours? The audio version takes 5h16, so I’m on par! Weee! (I know that reading out loud is slower, but still).

In unrelated news, I have both finished the 6th volume of 薬屋のひとりごと and the 2nd volume of 紅霞後宮物語. First of all, I’m somewhat happy that my concerned from the previous volume of 薬屋 have been addressed to some extent. So, fine, I guess. Considering volume 6 was the end of an arc, it’s also a good place to stop. I’ll probably get back to it, but not now.
It was extremely weird to read 紅霞後宮物語 immediately after, though. The setting is basically the same, noble houses and titles are the same, the government is the same (at least in terms of structure). It’s so confusing. “Ah, he is a member of House [spoiler], so he is a good guy! Wait, no, here they are the bad guys. Uh, and he is talking to [title holder], who was that again, the wife of [character A]? Wait, no, character A is from the other series”

Anyway, I did enjoy it as well, but somehow (maybe because it feels slow?) I don’t feel like immediately moving on to the next volume. It took me one year between the moment someone recommended the first volume to me and me actually reading it, then 1.5 years between volume 1 and 2, so I guess I’ll read volume 3 in 2023 :stuck_out_tongue:

The only ebook I have left is 雪国, so hopefully I’ll read it sometime in the next couple of days :sweat_smile:


I got the first two volumes of GOSICK on offer last night (digital, I wish they were physical) so I’m gonna try to read the first one and see how it goes (spoilers, it’s going slow :P)

If I succeed then it will the first ever book I’ve read in japanese.


That’s amazing, very impressive! I’ve lurked on here long enough to see that you’re a voracious reader. :eyes: Can I ask how long it took you / how many books you read before you reached near-native reading speed? It’s a long way off for me but it would be useful for setting my expectations for the long-term.


Hm, I do not know if any of that is relevant, since I’m particularly slow in terms of progress, but sure.
I have first learned my hiragana ~16 years ago, started properly learning Japanese ~13 years ago and finished my first non-manga book (painfully) ~5.5 years ago.

Here’s a breakdown by actual kanji/vocab knowledge, which I think might be more relevant as it abstracts away the time I took to get to those levels.

In terms of actual book reads, it took me about 100~120 novels (and a quadrillion manga) to get to my current speed. That being said, I noticed while reading the 本好き series (so, around the 100 book mark) that I was throttling down myself, trying to properly read every kanji and character. Turns out that if I just quickly glance at them, my brain can fill in the rest, I don’t need to check every damn stroke. Of course, that only works for words I know well, so I don’t know how early I could have tried that. Still, that’s both faster and closer to the way I actually read in English or French.


How’d you approximate how many words you know? I have absolutely no idea how many words I know.


I’ve never tried it myself, but this Japanese Vocabulary Size Test was in the Ultimate Additional Japanese Resource List. Give it a try?

Number of anki cards + WK vocab + Floflo cards.
There’s overlap and there are some words I forgot, but I think it’s compensated by the words I learned outside any SRS tool.


That test isn’t very reliable.
I got some part were they asked for the synonym of a noun, and only verbs were provided.

As the resident expert on 魑魅魍魎, I can say that none are synonym with that. The closest is obviously 百鬼夜行, but it’s not right.

Anyway, it gave me 11822, but that’s extremely dubious. First of all, it makes no sense to give an estimate all the way down to single words. I could understand ~12000 (it’s actually close-ish to my own estimate), but it’s absurd to try to get more accurate than that, especially considering the evaluation method.
I’d say the test is also unnatural, in the sense that they write most tested words in hiragana and give no context, removing information that you would have in a real text.


@Ditto20 what were your thoughts about the writing style of the sayaka spinoff? I just started, but for some reason the author just seems to write Sayaka’s inner dialogue in a way that is harder to read for some reason. Like its almost like she is deliberately being more indirect and vague about things. I’m having flashbacks to when I first started reading and had trouble with japanese which can already be vague and indirect when compared to english.

After entering middle school it seems to have toned down a bit, but I was just wondering if you noticed this as well or if it was just me. Especially coming from the manga which felt too easy, this is a pretty pleasant surprise.

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If I just added WaniKani and Kitsun I’d get 7,000. I certainly know a lot of words not in either of them, but I’ve also forgotten a ton of words from WaniKani. It’s really hard to say whether I’ve learned more outside of SRS or forgotten more, which is the main reason I have trouble estimating. I suppose it’s probably somewhere in the 6,000 to 9,000 range, though giving such a wide range isn’t that useful.

I also tend to estimate my kanji knowledge at around 1,500, since I assume I forgot a lot from WaniKani. Maybe one day I’ll do the self study quiz on all WaniKani kanji to get a better approximation of how many I remember. Maybe I remember more than I assume, and I have learned a few dozen kanji outside of WaniKani, at least in the context of specific words.

I also still haven’t formally studied all N3 grammar, let alone N2 or (:grimacing:) N1. I find grammar trips me up a lot less than lack of vocab, so I don’t commit time to it. But there are a few recurring grammar points that I really struggle to remember for some reason. Not to mention I could be misunderstanding some things (or at least missing some nuance) without even realizing it because I don’t have a better grasp of the grammar.

In short, sometimes it feels like a miracle that I can actually read anything! :sweat_smile:


Thats accounting for forgotten words, right? Because if we are talking about words we have learned on srs (anki+koohi+WK) I am way past 12,000 and there’s no way I know nearly as many words as you.


Hm, true. I just looked at my old anki deck and I have 9000+ (9081) words and 1800+ (1823) kanji cards. I think I consider it to be 1500 to account for stuff I didn’t properly learned or remember (I have 150 leeches for kanji alone).
I don’t remember how, but I estimated that I only learned ~1000 words on WK, bringing it to 10000, and I have another 3000 cards on Floflo for a total of 13000.
Of course, I kept learning stuff from immersion since then (like, 宦官 is not in any of those decks, neither is 医師 I think, just to take the example of one of the most recent series I read), so those numbers, which were suspicious at best to begin with, are probably wildly inaccurate.

Well, it’s useful in the sense that I can tell you I got N2 with that vocabulary range. Same for kanji knowledge.

Hm, honestly, that might be enough. I don’t know if you even care about attempting N2, but I guess it would not take much effort for you. You don’t need 100% to pass, actually I think the N2 only requires 50%. Even if your theoretical grammar knowledge is abysmal, you can probably more than cover for it by crushing the reading section (like some rainbow turtle shell).