[2022] 多読/extensive reading challenge

Decided on a super simple goal for this year. Considering how little consistency I’ve had in both studying and interacting with Japanese since I left Japan almost two years ago. (Seriously, 2020 is still kinda messing with my brain because I can’t believe we’re entering pandemic year 3. My brain insists it must still be late 2020, maybe edging into 2021…)

So I’m going to read one volume of something each month. I call it volume because it is probably gonna be manga, but it might be a book or 5-part graded reader or an actual book with text. I’m not gonna decide in advance. This way, even if I fall behind, as long as I try to catch up each quarter, I will at most need to binge three volumes of something. Doable.

Also, my other reading (I’m a bookworm, well, been a bit inconsistent with that lately too) needs a boost too, and there is no way I’m giving up all my reading in English. So many books, not spending enough time. So about a decade ago I easily beat the read one novel a week challenge that I saw around that time (well, technically 50 books in a year, but whatevs); in fact I finished that at the half year mark. Now, I have no idea how much I read or didn’t read last year, so I’m just gonna set one novel-length work a week (could be novel, anthology/collection, non-fiction book). When I get going, I typically read 3-4 novels a week, so as long as I regularly get into my reading hobby bubble, then I will hit that challenge. (I won’t track the English reading here, obviously. But I’d probably count any book-book that I read in Japanese for 52 book challenge. I have a couple of those.)

I look forward to all the reading I’ll do if I keep up with these challenges. :3

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I recently discovered that an artist whose artwork I like published a manga in the Harta’s December issue, and I was wondering if you could tell me what it was about, more or less, and whether it was any good? :smiley: The mangaka’s name is 内田晟 and the name of the manga is チェンジマーク, I’m pretty sure.

I really enjoy reading your Harta highlight posts, by the way!

In exchange, I, uh, offer this music video traditionally animated in ink by 内田晟.

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Oh yeah, that one! (didn’t remember it by name but definitely did when I refreshed my memory)
It’s really good!

It’s one of the 八咫烏杯 contest winners (so congratulations to the artist!) and definitely one of the more striking and memorable of that group. I would very likely have mentioned it in the post if I didn’t have a whole bunch of stuff in that issue to highlight already!

As I recall, it’s about a guy getting caught up in a dreamy time loop type of thing, involving a monster movie and a girl he met in class. It’s 67 pages and really well illustrated, so it’s quite cool and substantial. My only complaint was the ending felt a bit overly telegraphed to me.
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Hope that helps! Thinking of picking it up?

Also, thank you for the kind words (and the music video)!

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Wow, really beautiful! Thanks for sharing :blush:

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Only saw this topic now - it’s a really fun idea! I’ve been reading through comments but a lot of the books mentioned seem very far out of my wheelhouse as a super beginner. Can anybody suggest any extremely beginner friendly books or direct me to any existing threads/articles to get started?

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Have you checked out the Absolute Beginners Book Club // Currently reading Mitsuboshi Colours ? You can either join for their next pick, or you can read any of the old picks and use the discussion threads (and even still ask questions in them)!
Happy reading :blush:

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I hadn’t! Thank you very much for the information I’ll start looking through them.

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Well, edits have mostly died down, but as a final reminder, I will be archiving the 2021 table tomorrow and putting up the new one.

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Thank you for the thorough reply! A dreamy time loop type thing sounds interesting!

I’m not quite sure… That story alone might make it worth it, being a 67 page-long one and everything, but in general, I don’t really like buying magazines with a bunch of stories already in the middle of things. That’s one reason why I appreciate your reviews of the stories, because based on them, I can theoretically just jump right to the separately published volumes of the series I’m interested in, if/when they get released. But this story probably wouldn’t get that treatment, would it? Unless if there was ever going to be a book published of a round-up of winners of various contests run by Harta, but I’ve never heard of such a thing…

Is there some time limit for how long the December 2021 issue will be available (is it still available)? And do you get the digital version, or the print version (I’m guessing the former)?

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Come to think of it, it looks like they uploaded the winners of the first 八咫烏杯 contest to their website, so probably just waiting to see if they do the same for the second 八咫烏杯 (which is the one that included this story) would be the best thing to do. I think they’ll finish publishing the winners in the magazine with the next issue on February 14, and maybe after that, or when the third contest rolls around they’ll show up on the website.

On the off-chance you’re still tempted by the magazine though,
I get them digitally here on bookwalker and that issue’s 680 yen for about 1000 pages. The contest winners + 3 読切 one-shots + 1 debut would mean roughly 1/5 to 1/4 of the magazine would definitely not require any additional context. And I think a lot of the chapters would be fun even without prior knowledge (like the chapter of the hotel one with the dog) although others admittedly would be incomprehensible (that issue’s dungeon meshi would not make any sense). I’m sure they’re at least more fun to browse than my summary posts at least. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:
I don’t think there’s any set point it will stop being available - there’s no limit listed and the first issue on bookwalker is the same as it was when I found the magazine on there, so theoretically it’s available indefinitely. Not sure about the physical editions (but I think you can order them like books).

EDIT: in fact yeah, it’ll definitely get posted on the website, here:

It looks like the one you’re interested in isn’t clickable yet, but the one’s published in the November issue are, so maybe give it another try once Valentine’s day rolls around!
(January is an off-month for Harta so Feb. 14 is the next issue)

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Alright, as promised the table has been reset.
Since I have a way to keep track of manga now (through natively), I decided to set a goal as well. I’m not sure if 100 is going to be a lot or not. It will depends on my ability to find series I enjoy, I guess. I got a bunch of recommendations in this thread last year anyway.
As for books, I am once again only going to keep track of the “proper” books I read, and ignore light novel. Anyway, I’m going to read garbage with reckless abandon no matter what, I don’t really need to keep track of it.
(It does kinda defeat the purpose of 多読, but anyway)
As for things on my radar (as proper reading), I have:

  • 豊饒の海, a series in 4 volumes about which I only know that it’s famous.
  • 天冥の標, since I started it last year
  • Maybe more from the walkalone series? More SF, anyway.
  • Finish 鹿の王 and 獣の奏者.

As for light novels, there’s of course 伯爵と妖精. I’m also thinking about finally trying 蜘蛛ですが何か, although I guess I might be disappointed. Finally, I only read one of the books I bought just before my new years break (since it got me to 100, and I then switched to reading ゴールデンカムイ), so I’ll probably read those.

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16 volumes in 5 days… :thinking: = 3.2 volumes per day… times 365 days… = 1168 volumes

At this rate you’ll finish 1000+ manga in a year! :exploding_head:

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I’m sadly not made out of money. (Also, I am planning to read other things as well)

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Done with 神さまたちの遊ぶ庭!


It’s an autobiographical story about a family moving to a remote place in Hokkaidō: a mountain area 36 km from the next supermarket and with only 10 kids at the local elementary/middle school.

It’s really a very mundane account of normal family life in a remote village written in diary style, so it’s quite slow. But so many things happen in just one year and you can really feel how much of a special time it was for the whole family.

Even more than the descriptions of the quiet rural life I was enarmored with the sense of community Miyashita describes. It’s a combined elementary and middle school with only 10 students, but all the teachers, parents and the locals put a lot of energy into organizing events. Everyone knows everyone, neighbors help out each others etc. etc.

This reminded me of my own exchange to Fukushima city. Not exactly the same level of rural, but a huge difference from the big cities. The people there really worked hard to make us feel at home, letting us participate in all kinds of events. For me it was also a year full of experiences and a stronger sense of community than I’d felt before.

Since the book is written from a mother’s point of view, it also made me think about what it’d be like to have children of my own. And once again it made me realize how big the presence of “clubs” at schools and universities is. I sometimes wish our schools had a similar level of extracurricular activites where students can find and pursue hobbies.

Anyway, this was a good book.

Today I’ve finally started 鹿の王.

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I struggled with the beginning last time I tried reading it on a train ride, but apparently because I was too tired/lazy to look up a few key words. This time I found it much easier to read. Can’t say much yet, but the premise with a disease as a central element is intriguing.

I’ll probably have less time to read until mid-February, but I’ll try to read a bit everyday so a volume hopefully won’t take much longer than 2 weeks.

@Naphthalene: Good luck with 豊饒の海! I’ve heard Mishima is very difficult to read, both in terms of language and understanding his thought process. I also kinda want to try reading some of his writings, but I’ll definitely not start with a 4 volume work.

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Nice!

Yes, I’ve heard that too. I’m mostly planning to read that series because it was recommended to me, but I guess the challenge is also compelling.

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Noice :slight_smile:

I just found out that the series has been added to the UNESCO Collection of Representative Works :exploding_head: Don’t know anything about that collection but it sounds pretty crazy to me.

The Advanced Book Club features one of his books in the proposals list currently :grin: It’s 午後の曳航 which seems to be doable at 208 pages. Maybe one day it will win, hmmm? :wink:

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There’s a few freebies every week or so on the digital stores, as well as heavy discounts here and there. Not sure if your library has manga as well.

I’ll also enter the 多読 challenge this year. Based on last year, 50 volumes of manga should be a good goal. For books I’ll want to read at least 5. Additionally I had my year goals include beating 5 games and finishing 10 anime series plus a movie.

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I’m joining too this year!

First manga volume I read was the first volume of the sequel of QQ Sweeper: Queen’s Quality. It’s a manga by one of my favorite mangaka Kyousuke Motomi (最富キョウスケ). The story is about a high school girl that turns out to be a queen; someone with the power to give orders that everyone needs to follow. A queen can be a black or a white queen, based on their mental state. The main character also fights evil in the form of black bugs in the meantime by cleaning.
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As you can guess, there are a lot of words with regards to cleaning and psychology, which is an interesting combination xD The main character is also really polite, so polite language is used a lot in the series. The manga can be really lighthearted most of the time, but when it’s serious, it’s really serious and dark… In the first volume, after the main character gets mad and possessed by her inner black Queen, she asks the one making her mad to never close her eyes again and even to gauge her own eyes out. It gets really heavy :sweat_smile:

Overall the manga is not easiest manga to read, but I enjoyed the whole volume! Unfortunately, I didn’t get to read the other 4 free volumes on Bookwalker, since I ran out of time. So I’m going to wait until the volumes are free again, maybe start buying from vol.6.

A random manga page because the manga is too pretty :heart_eyes:

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I’m checking the freebies regularly (thanks to the thread here), but it’s rare for me to find anything that sounds interesting.
Heavy discount is not enough discount to reach 1000 volumes (especially since I can always buy stuff from Book Off really cheap anyway).
My local library’s selection is pretty poor. I checked a couple years ago (I did borrow and read 放浪息子, though).

All in all, I don’t think any of those methods would work :sweat_smile:

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Why don’t you start with manga you rated highly but never finished? For example, I see you read the first 4 volumes of 宝石の国 and gave them all 5/5, but there are 11 volumes published so far.

Also, obligatory recommendation to read やがて君になる (which may actually be popular enough to be in your local library).

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