[2022] 多読/extensive reading challenge

I started Kiki’s Delivery Service at a grand speed of 30 mins per page… 9 months later, with big breaks from reading in between due to time constraints, I’m also at around 5 minutes per page. And when I finally read コンビニ人間 I’m sure I’ll slow down a whole lot too, lol.

Thanks for the link! I’ll be sure to check that out :+1:

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You might not to be honest. The language in コンビニ人間 is relatively simple, so as long as you’ve got the kanji knowledge it shouldn’t be that bad.

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Where can I read クロシオカレント by こかむも?

Looks fun :smiley:

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Just in 青騎士 magazine for now, as far as I know!

It debuted in that magazine and there’s only been 5 issues (albeit with some of them split in half for some reason) so far, so there hasn’t been enough chapters accumulated for a standalone tankobon edition yet.

That chapter (which is indeed fun) is from this issue though, and all the chapters are available in the 青騎士 issues on bookwalker.
I’d guesstimate a tankobon would probably come out in mid 2022 or so, and I could try to remember to mention it if you’d like. It will probably show up here when it does and it looks like one series from 青騎士 already has a first volume in there (ムシ・コミュニケーター) so it might not be too far behind.

It looks like the author has another series also, so that’s an option too.
Hope that helps!

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Thank you so much :smiley:

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Just a quick note there’s a 2022 version of the listening equivalent of this thread now up and wikified and all that if anyone here is interested in similar tracking/discussions for things that don’t quite feel like they count as “reading.”

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Halfway done with 鹿の王 Vol. 1, here are some thoughts:
– I definitely do like the premise of a fantasy disease/pandemic and the way it’s handled (so far) is just what I’d expect from Nahoko Uehashi: it’s actually based on real-life biology/medicine and explained in a way that actually makes sense instead of just being a plot device

– So far it doesn’t feel like much has happened at all. I’m personally not a big fan of altering the point of view between different characters, especially early on, because whenever I’ve gotten used to one character the change happens. That being said, I can see why it’s being done here and it has a lot of potential, especially considering the two characters come from opposing “sides”.

– While the lore itself is interesting, I really don’t like the way it is presented, i.e. in long, impassionate paragraphs of exposition – for both characters. I actually had to take notes because I couldn’t remember all the names and relationships. I personally much prefer it if information like this is given in context, e.g. conversations between characters. An omniscient narrator doesn’t make it very engaging.

– It feels like a rarity in Japanese fantasy that both main characters are fully-grown men instead of children or young people without much life experience. I personally found it much easier to emphasize with Erin, but I like this change of pace nevertheless.

– As always I do love Uehashi’s language. So far it’s a little bit harder to read than her other works (due to being more lore-heavy), but I appreciate that she doesn’t use modern Japanese and/or English loanwords in a medieval settings like many manga/LN do. This always hurts immersion for me.

Some examples where Uehashi used Japanese words instead of katakana loanwords:
乾酪 cheese
腸詰 sausage
口覆い mask

– However I could do without these fantasy metrics that are explained in brackets – really defeats the purpose, especially if it’s just an 1:1 converstion (入っている油はきっちり六マル(約六時間)保ちます。)

– I convert the ebooks into a format that’s more handy for me and remove the furigana in the process, but for Uehashi books it often backfires since she often adds the fantasy pronunciation as furigana.

tl;dr: I enjoy it so far, especially the premise and the world building. I also appreciate the deliberately slow pacing, but the exposition segments are exhausting and I hope there won’t be too many more of them.

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I agree with that a lot. I like when a fantasy novel is like “you should understand that everything is actually in a fantasy language and it’s being translated into your language in this book for your convenience”. Which is to say, use the normal words and let the reader infer that it’s not exactly the same as the real world. For example, in Stormlight Archive, they use the term “foot” for length, but it’s not identical to the American foot length. Presumably seconds, days, and years are all different from the real world too, but they don’t need made up words in place of the normal words. After all, it’s a made up world, so obviously the specifics are going to be different even if the words are the same.

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I found this on the internet while looking for easy reading materials for my students in Japan. I feel like this applies to Japanese as well, except that you have to add kanji you don’t know to the mix.

Just wondering, does anyone feel like they’re reading above their level? I feel like the Saikawa & Moe books are a good difficulty level for me. Especially now, I’m cruising through with no more than a few new words on each page - and I can just infer the meaning without looking up the word in a lot of cases.

On the other hand, for stuff like 江戸川乱歩 and 横溝正史, it would be a miracle if there were a page with less than five words (or kanji) that I don’t know, so it takes much longer to read those books. Actually, at that point it’s getting to be intensive reading rather than extensive.

So what do you think? Am I reading too far above my level? How do everyone else’s experiences line up with the guidelines above?

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I think there are two types of books: Ones that introduce a lot of new vocabulary early on because they focus on a specific topic or the author has a specific style. And ones that generally feel “advanced” in their language and constantly shower you with new vocabulary.

I do not think the latter is necessarily bad, but if the content itself is also on the harder site to the point where reading isn’t fun anymore, I’d suggest to save the book for a later time. On the other hand there are also benefits to this “slow reading” approach (and really, for people who just started reading Japanese books there really isn’t a good alternative). But I think the best approach is the one that keeps you motivated. I personally enjoy books that don’t challenge me too much because usually they still contain plenty of useful vocabulary, but once in a while I also like to read something harder. For the harder books I generally recommend shorter ones, though.

Reading digitally also saves a lot of time looking up things. If I were to read only physical books I’m sure I’d be way to lazy to look them up 90% of the time.

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2-3 new words per page? :rofl: I’m happy when I get less than 2-3 new (or forgotten :sweat_smile:) words per sentence :crazy_face:

Yes, constantly, that’s why reading still takes a long time for me. But if I enjoy the books, then I don’t mind.
Also, I think I’m a slow reader in any language - I tend to read for 100% comprehension whatever text or language it may be, even in my mother tongue, so there’s that :woman_shrugging:

I noticed that recently I have started dropping books where I either don’t like the writing style or the contents because I want to get something nice out of them now that they are still so hard to read - which often drives me to pick even harder books :woman_facepalming:
The Saikawa&Moe books are indeed a nice middle ground - they are not too hard, the number of unknown words is not too high, but they are still pretty interesting.

Not sure such a thing exists tbh… If you enjoy reading the book, and if you’re not annoyed by the slow speed, then why not!

(EDIT: Oh and when you’re looking for English language books for your students, I found the books by Astrid Lindgren amazingly approachable for English learners, and they are also beautiful stories. I’m currently reading The Brothers Lionheart with one of my Japanese language partners and although he is not very proficient in English he can get along quite ok most of the time.)

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I think the whole thing is a scam.

If you wanna read something then just read it. If you don’t want to, then don’t. The only time reading level plays any role in my opinion is if you want to reach a level above the average native. Then you gotta start picking stuff out once you get to an advanced level and familiar books might only give you a dozen new words or so. But thats a story for after you’re already comfortably literate. Getting literate, literally just read what you want and you’ll become able to comfortably read it soon enough.

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I believe the theory behind this is that reading at too high a level prevents you from really absorbing the new words you’re reading, which would allow you to improve your reading speed and become more fluent in general. I’m not an expert though. :sweat_smile:

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I suppose I can’t talk too much about theory, but I read glorified porn with harder words than any regular novel I’ve read (apart from maybe ningen shikkaku) before I was even able to read katakana or learned verb conjugations and I improved plenty fast imo. And if thats not considered above your level then I’d say you don’t have to worry about anything you’re doing.

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Haha, thanks for boosting my confidence. Time to read some more 乱歩.

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When you just start reading, it is not weird to encounter sentences in which you cannot even figure out when a word begins and ends in Japanese because they don’t use spacing xD Apart from that, for me right now it is really normal when the only word in the sentence I know are 私, 俺, 俺 and the verb (not the conjugation of the verb most of the time…). Does this mean that reading is not difficult? Yes. Does this mean I have no fun reading? Absolutely not! I still enjoy reading, enjoy learning new words and grammar points as I go.

As long as you enjoy what you are doing, you are doing a good job!

I really liked this video on the topic: My Japanese Study Method! - (Game Gengo 10k Special) - YouTube

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I think I’m always reading above my level. Of course as your level does change slowly that means seeking out new things. For now that’s not really a problem for me. Everything I read was somehow slightly more difficult than the previous thing, except maybe the pokemon game I’m playing rn which is about my level. However that still gives me more new vocab than zelda and I like playing it so it is also useful as learning material.

Maybe that’s just my way of dealing with it. Ignoring the need to understand everything. It will come together eventually as long as I keep moving.

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I agree with what other people in this thread have said about this, and I’d also point out that I think the rule was meant for like, a kid picking out chapter books to read. Kids who need encouragement to read are, I would think, more likely to get disinterested and stop than a motivated adult, and they’re probably not using a dictionary or anki to help process those new words either…
I don’t necessarily agree with it in the intended context either (I know I didn’t follow it when I was a kid…), but I think the encouragement and easy ramp-up meant to be gained by seeing mostly words you know is less of a benefit to consciously studying adults than kids, especially if you’ve got a process for dealing with the new words that makes them less painful and more beneficial.

I definitely felt like I was hitting much more than five new words or kanji a page when I was reading 江戸川乱歩 and 横溝正史 and I had a great time and definitely felt like I improved!

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とても relatable :stuck_out_tongue: . That being said, he’s writing style is a good tradeoff between more elaborate grammar and being overly metaphorical, at least to me.

There is a non-zero possibility that I will be reading more this year and I don’t mean articles in Tobira :sweat_smile:. My WK sub is over in a couple of days and I’m almost done with Tobira as well.

Got a nice backlog of Spy x Family, Your Name, a manga about a Shiba Inu and a girl (forgot name) and some other stuff.

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FWIW 江戸川乱歩’s adult vs kid books (ex 怪人二十面相) are worlds apart in vocab spread but the writing style is the same. I read 少年探偵団 and looked up maybe ~20 words the whole book but 黄金仮面 was overwhelming (I also had a paperback copy, which played into this, though).

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