[2022] 多読/extensive reading challenge

Yeah I remember you were quite fond of the coupons :smiley: Sad to hear they are gone (or at least not as valuable any more).

Well you could always run them in parallel, it’s probably a bit annoying (when figuring out which book is where) but it’s only that you need to search two places instead of one. Might be acceptable.

You know what? I literally discovered just the other day that Bookwalker also has proper coupons :crazy_face: :woman_facepalming: OMG I feel so stupid! They sent me messages all the while, and I thought they were just to announce their cashback sales and whatnot, so I did not read them properly, and some of them indeed are just announcements, but some others contain a proper coupon code that I can apply on top of the cashback and discount campaigns, as it seems :rofl:

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If you look at the limited time freebies, there are some really popular shows among them, like popular shounen jump series, nana, teasing master takagi-san, kuroshitsuji, etc. The catch is that not all volumes are available, so that could be the case with the 20.000 manga as well.

Wait a whaddamma what now?

Like this here: 「歳末クーポンフィーバー2021」 | 電子書籍ストア-BOOK☆WALKER
It’s no longer valid, but it would have given me certain discounts if I had bought enough books. And there were others before that…

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I once got a random 99% off coupon for any book(s) up to 1000 yen. I paid like 8 cents for 2 manga - that was nice! :laughing:

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Anyone read a book in Japanese that isn’t bad but is too slow to push you to read consistently? I’m at that point with 三日間の幸福 right now. I’m a little over a third of the way done and it’s just not exciting, so I’m not reading nearly as often or as much as I should be. But it’s not bad and I am curious how the story will go, so I definitely want to finish it. When I run into similar situations with anime I tend to start a second show, which of course makes me finish the first one even later, but at least then I’m still watching an anime consistently. I suppose I could do the same here by starting a second book, but I’m not sure that’s a good idea. Especially since the next book I pick up with likely be 本好きの下剋上 book 13, in which case I’ll almost certainly read that every day and never touch 三日間の幸福 again.

(I did just finish going through the rest of my highlighted words for 本好きの下剋上 12. Now I just have to do the lessons for them in Kitsun and I should be in a good place to start 本好きの下剋上 book 13.)

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I had that with ある朝殺人犯になっていた. I read a page here and there for months after hitting a slump in the story, tried really hard to get back into it in December to finish it off, and ended up just having no enthusiasm for it at all and dropping it. I think it really depends on how slow it is and if the ending seems like it will pay off the work of getting there.

Do you like short stories? When I’m feeling a little mentally exhausted that’s when I go for short stories. They’re easy to pop in on days when I don’t feel like heavier book reading but since they’re one-and-done there’s less chance of being sidetracked long term.

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I haven’t really encountered that with Japanese books yet because I’m not at the level to be reading anything bigger than manga, but I’ve run into that more times than not with other books. It really does help to have another light reading source that’s maybe more fast paced and/or “fun” (not a chore) to read.

Sure it’ll take longer to finish the first book, but you don’t want to be dreading the reading experience at all if the book is a bit difficult to digest. At least if you have another more fun book to look forward to, you can set a goal to read through the more difficult one first before rewarding yourself with something easier. Anyway, you can have too much of a good thing so you’ll probably feel like challenging yourself with the more difficult book even if the other one is hard to put down.

I think what I would do is choose a book that’s not at all a challenge (smoother to read with vocab and kanji that I’m already familiar with so I don’t have to look up much if I don’t feel like it). So when I want a challenge with the other book, I don’t feel like I’m working too hard for two books, if that makes sense?

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It’s unclear if the ending will be worth it (it’s not clear to me at this point how it could end in a satisfying yet still logical way), but the ratings for the book are good enough that I have hope that the author knows what they’re doing and that I’ll be pleasantly surprised. In any case, I’m curious enough that I will definitely finish it at some point.

I don’t want to say I dislike short stories as a rule, but often I find them unsatisfying because there’s simply not enough time to develop the world/plot/characters. I’d be open to reading some if the premise of the stories interested me, but I do have a lot of novels I’m interested in as well.

It’s not that the book is difficult, just that it’s not engaging. I’d say it’s slightly more difficult than 本好きの下克上, but that difference is nowhere near significant enough to impact my ability to read it for long periods. Anyway, I get the point you’re trying to make and I think it’s good general advice. Just not particularly relevant to my situation.

Honestly, I’m wondering if my reading less has as much to do with the weather as the book itself. I got a lot of my reading done after work by reading outside. Now that it’s too cold and I’m inside more, I’m finding myself watching more TV instead. It’s probably a combination of factors. I think I’ll try to be more disciplined for the next few days and if the book doesn’t pick up I’ll decide what to do then.

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Hi all,

Actually going to join you this year - I looked at joining last June and my social anxiety was like ‘but it’s halfway through the year, you can’t do that, it’ll be weird…’ My brain is an idiot.

I went for a few books this year. Last year I read 2 kids books and it was okay - definitely can’t read them for as long as I can read manga volumes - my brain gets tired and I end up needing a nap. What I should do is read more kids books this year to build some stamina and work my way up towards harder books. What I want to do is step up into at least one light novel this year - last time I tried this, I needed to look up too many kanji I didn’t know, which was a bit of a drag - so much more time consuming to look up the word when I need to locate the kanji first. This time, I’m looking through and seeing fewer characters I don’t recognize, so I’m moderately hopeful. If not, well, back to finding easier books.

I devour manga volumes, but am trying to account for the massive time sink that I expect reading books to be. I’m currently reading the first few volumes of a couple of series’ to see what I want to continue. I was not a manga/anime kid - I’m still discovering what I like and what’s out there that I want to read. I think the answer is ‘lots of stuff’, but wading through Japanese descriptions of the books is still slow.

English: give me stacks of fantasy novels and leave me alone. Japanese… well, so far mainly slice of life stuff, a bit of romance - I’m intimidated by acquiring the vocabulary I’d need for fantasy/sci fi when my basic vocabulary is still pretty limited. And I’m having fun giggling my way through silly romances, so I think I’ll stay there for a bit and get more comfortable (and stop having to look up the same super common kana words over and over again because the meaning just isn’t sticking well).

Looking forward to seeing your updates and thoughts (and getting other ideas for things I might want to read)

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Finished 少年探偵団 and loved it - it doesn’t seem to matter how cheesy or predictable 江戸川乱歩’s writing is, I always adore it. In fact, I probably adore it more when it’s especially over the top. :joy:

I still have the second volume of すべての神様の十月 in progress but I haven’t been enjoying it as much as the first book. Hopefully it picks up soon. It’s a nice chill read regardless - very slice of life but with 八百万の神 sprinkled in.
To contrast this, I’m going to start おやすみ、夢なき子 by 赤川次郎 as I need to work on my physical book backlog and this has been sitting on my shelf since late 2020. I loved 夜警 and it was, to put it plainly, a trashy thriller. I’m hoping for more of the same with this book. Depending on my mood (or if I want time away from a screen) I can just swap between them which will be nice.
I haven’t started 夢なき子 yet so here’s the synopsis if anyone is interested

十歳の時に行方不明になった 亜紀子が、28年たって死体で発見された。友人だった朋余は、子供のころ夢を見た記憶がなく、亜紀子が失踪した日のことも思い出せなかった。事件を知ろうとするほど深まる謎、そして連続殺人。夢を見ることのなかった少女達の心に潜む恐怖の正体とは?

So uh…missing memories? Serial killings?! Probably another trashy thriller. :smiley:

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And, being true to my words, I just read the first volume of 蜘蛛ですが、なにか? yesterday.

It was actually pretty fun, when abstracting the writing style. I’ve also noticed that, now that I have read of few such series, I’m much more tolerant to it.
Actually, that reminds me of an Amazon review I have seen on a different series.

[…] 文は拙いです。日本語を母語としない人やAIが書いたと言われても驚かないくらいです。[…]

[…] 日本語を母語として日本で育った人がこれを書いたのだとしたら、小学生に英語など教えても意味がないと改めて強く思いました。[…]

:rofl:

Anyway, plot wise, so far it’s mostly about seeing numbers going up.
The author has done a good job transmitting how terrifying it is to be in the situation of the main character, and it makes it even more satisfying to see her level up.
The view point of the other character is a bit slower, but brings a lot of info the titular 蜘蛛 doesn’t have access to.

The only thing I found strange (just like with the series ハメフラ) is that reincarnated characters keep (mostly?) the personality of their previous life. I guess it could be because they got their memory immediately at birth, thus preventing the development of a different personality?

I was planning to finish 伯爵と妖精 9, but the problem is that I don’t really remember what was happening, so it’s hard to get back into it :sweat_smile:

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青騎士 第4号

For some reason this one isn’t split up into two like most of the others. I think I prefer them together like this, since it eliminates the possibility of most of the ones I like or don’t like so much clumping together in one or other of the halves (though with the split issues there’s an illustration column at the back of each so that’s nice).
Some memorable things:

クロシオカレント by こかむも featured a たこ in a Schrödinger’s はこ

猿の手貸します by 戸塚こだま, who I’m pretty sure previously did the “Receipt Jiangshi” story I enjoyed, has another story about the intersection between business and the supernatural, about a business that rents wish-granting monkey paws of a variety of types to suit your exact need.
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全てが劣化する by 鈴木りつ is an interesting 読切 about an unusual interest in 古墳 (and insistence that they’re かわいい) becoming a metaphor in the relationship between two girls.
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お姉さまと巨人わたし by Be-con is an intriguing debut of a fantasy series about a girl who’s been isekai’d teaming up with a giant looking for another girl who betrayed her trust, in a series that looks like it’s going to try to flip some fantasy tropes on their head.
I think it’s funny/kinda neat how “isekai protagonist” is practically as established as “elf” in a fantasy manga at this point. The author really doesn’t need to do a lot to establish what’s going on and then build in whatever direction they want with that.
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Other updates:

どろろ
Because of his fame and influence, I tend to associate Osamu Tezuka’s work with like, dusty flipped English editions from the library that I read when I was just starting to get into manga and didn’t really have any context for it.
So I’m extra happy to read this as my first work of his in Japanese, in a very nice (but small) couple of think volumes from the Tezuka complete library collection. The upgrade in presentation and language fidelity I think extra makes it pop and let me really fall for the work. The Disneyish aspect of his work isn’t inherently a draw for me, but I was genuinely really struck by how dynamic and interesting the layouts are, how crisp and informative the art is, and how he can constantly turn on a dime from silly and fourth-wall-breaking to hugely atmospheric and grim and vice versa. There’s cool action scenes, beautiful landscapes, stunning title pages, and everything in-between. さすが「マンガの神様」I suppose, huh.
And Dororo itself is just bursting with bizarre yokai, and a truly unusual set-up in the form of 百鬼丸 and his sword arms. Dororo the character is also at least arguably a decently well represented trans character so that’s kinda cool.
There’s an afterword from Tezuka where he says it was inspired by the popularity of ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 (which is probably the #1 thing I want to read soon) but morphed into him doing very much his own thing with it. Interestingly, he also makes it sound like it’s more popular in the US than in Japan. I wonder if that’s just because ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 is less well-known here?

Some misc. poorly photographed pages that I thought were cool




All the title pages look really cool (lot of very cool ways of writing どろろ) but I feel like I took a picture of the least cool one.

魔女の宅急便
Novel-wise, I read Kiki’s Delivery Service! It was quite pleasant and quick. A lot of sweet stuff about leaving the nest and striking out on your own. It made me miss commuting, since I think it would have really shined as a nice comfort on an evening train. As it was, the lack of a major driving plot for a lot of it made me impatient and I probably read through it faster than I should have.

Misc. manga updates

I’ve been reading a whole lot of manga lately with the goal of revitalizing what I used to have with English manga and the library - a way where I could just periodically enjoy lots of varied manga instead of treating each volume or series like a big project that way it’s necessarily been for me with manga in Japanese in the past. It’s been fun! And I’ve let a parcel of things build up without mentioning them since it’s a lot harder to know when I want to talk about them when some don’t change from volume to volume and others I know I’m probably going to read all the way to the end soon.
I guess what I’ll do is just mention whatever’s built up whenever I feel like and talk more or less about whatever I feel like talking about.

  • 名探偵コナン (14-5)
    I love Detective Conan! After vaguely assuming I wouldn’t like it I gave it a shot a couple years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a consistent parade of fun (and surprisingly grisly) murder mysteries with an art style I like a lot more than I thought I would, and a heaping helping of silver age Superman-style secret identity hijinks, complete with copious amounts of super ventriloquism.
    It’s not a series where volumes especially stand out though, so I probably won’t talk about it very much (but will hopefully read a volume every so often).
    These had a ski lodge murder, a 武道館 murder, and a murder that really looked like it was going to be mahjong-themed but alas, was not.
  • MAO (1-2)
    This is Rumiko Takahashi’s currently-running series. It’s actually the first non-Ranma thing of hers I’ve read so far, so it’s hard to tell what differences are because of time, or the different genre, or what. It definitely feels… drier, or flatter, than Ranma 1/2, and I’m not sure if I’m completely sold on it yet, but it’s an easy read, the Taisho and 陰陽道 flavor of the setting is fun, and there’s some fairly horrific monsters. So I’ll see where it goes.
  • ゴールデンカムイ (1)
    I read a bunch (10 volumes, apparently) of Golden Kamuy in English, so this is me picking the series back up. I decided to start again from the beginning with this one, for the sake of all the juicy period info and Ainu vocabulary and stuff that I would have had a lot less context for originally (like a name like 土方歳三 means a lot more to me now when it’s been in my anki deck, for example), and to fill in my foggy memory of the plot.
    It’s a series that has everything you’d want from a Hokkaido story (e.g. snow, bears, Abashiri Prison, Ainu, matagi, etc.) with a great set-up, an interesting mix of violence and goofiness that I remember at least mostly enjoying, and what seems like a good-faith effort to portray Ainu culture accurately.
    I definitely think it added a lot reading it in Japanese so I’ll likely (slowly) keep catching up to where I was.
  • チェーンソーマン (1-6)
    Of the strength of peoples’ recommendations and Lookback, this was the manga in my backlog I most wanted to read, so at the end of last year I started going for it. I don’t know that I like it as much as I was hoping based on those expectations… but I do like it!
    I’d kind of describe it as like JuJutsu Kaisen but with the id cranked way up? Both in the psychological sense and in the “being like Doom” sense. Like it’s got kind of a similar (to JJK) X-Menish “mostly teen protagonists with powers fighting bad guys with powers with a high casualty rate” setup, but instead of complicated kanji powers it’s just a one-word them like “sword” or “blood” or “chainsaw” and the protagonist just wants to live simply and touch a boob maybe.
    I really like the art and the 悪魔 designs, and it’s a fun and easy high-octane read. I wouldn’t mind if the plot developed a bit more beyond Denji’s horniness being his main motivator but I’ve been told that it will about where I’m at so fingers crossed.
  • 紅椿 (1)
    This is one of the more fun series in 青騎士, so I read the one volume out to catch up.
    It’s… well… it’s a nudity-heavy monster women harem manga. It’s a lot better than that sounds though? A folklorist travels around the world trying to gather up various folklore creatures causing trouble, the process for which generally involves clothes falling off and/or bondage, to pacify and hopefully rehabilitate them at her institute. I think what makes it ok for me is there’s a sense of warmth and fun to it. Like it’s not “all of these monster women are inexplicably into this crummy dude protagonist” but “all these monster women are very grateful to this extremely confident folklorist” which goes a long way to make the rampant nudity and bondage seem all in good fun instead of just gross. Definitely still not really my jam exactly, but it’s an interesting take on something I would have assumed from the description would be trash, that I wouldn’t have sought out if it wasn’t in a magazine alongside much drier series.
    There’s also a long endearing author’s note at the back where she talks more about the various folklore she drew from. She seems genuinely very enthusiastic about both folkore and monster women so… good for her!
  • 伊藤潤二自選傑作集 歪
    Junji Ito’s super popular in English these days, so I read lots of his books from the library, and this is my first in Japanese. The nature of them (mostly short story collections with similar vibes) makes it a little tricky to tell exactly what I have and haven’t read, but I saw this in Kinokuniya a while back and bought it because of the “自選” aspect (apparently this is the second 伊藤潤二自選傑作集 and the first got brought over as “Shiver”, which I did read in 2018), since the commentary from Ito would be interesting even if it turned out to be a best-of with stuff I’d already read.
    I think in the end the only one I was familiar with was the first one, although there’s stories with his recurring characters (i.e. weird guy with nails in mouth; tall strange model; Tomie) in here that felt new but I may well have read some of them before…
    Anyway, they’re good! They’re Ito stories! And his commentary was fairly interesting. My favorite was definitely the one about the town where when you die, your corpse transforms into your gravestone, and must not be tampered with during that process at all costs. I feel like Ito’s work translates completely fine, so I don’t think reading these in Japanese felt especially different than reading it in translation but it’s still cool though.
  • LOVE GOD (1)
    I personally think there’s value sometimes in picking something off a shelf with absolutely 0 expectations, so I’m gonna try to use Bookwalker freebies (which I have been vacuuming up with reckless abandon) to do that. A while ago I put together a queue of five things that I’d never heard of but own now because of that, that looked like they could conceivably be interesting, and apparently what caught my eye that day was titles in English or katakana and garish covers, so the first one up is this.
    It’s… fine? With a title and cover like that I was worried it would be way out there but it really isn’t. It’s a late 90s story about a high school student’s trials and tribulations on the lead-up to exams and independence etc., with the mild twist on the premise just being that he’s a popular model so people expect him to be cooler than he is.
    I’m intrigued by some of the plotlines, but I don’t like that the art pretty often veers into intentional ugliness, portraying characters as mean-spirited caricatures sometimes. And I don’t really get the impression there’s anything especially notable about it. I have 4 more volumes free (which adds up to most of the series) but I probably won’t read more. I’m not 100% opposed to it, there’s just probably better things I could be doing.

From here I’ve definitely veered back into more of the scatter-gun approach than the “first one thing, then the other” approach. I’ll keep trying to read a lot of varied manga (though it will be harder as I go back to work next week). Prose-wise, in my backlog system I drew 眼球堂の殺人 ~The Book~ as the next thing, which I got for 99 yen a while back and looks like an interesting science/math-tinged murder mystery maybe in the vein of those Saikawa&Moe mysteries they’re reading in that book club (which I also want to read some time…), but I’m not sure if I’ll actually read that next.

I recently found out three different pieces of media that were quite high on my rader, the Toshiro Mifune Samurai trilogy movies, the manga Vagabond, and the video game 龍が如く 見参! are all based on the historical figure 宮本武蔵 and/or the apparently wildly successful (like all-time best-selling successful) novel series about him of the same name. So since I also have the first of those novels from a previous 99 yen sale… and I wanted to get into 時代 novels… that seems like a load of good reasons to check that out.

And I’m also tempted to just jump into my remaining advanced club nominee, 文字渦, since I really do want to read that, and I still have a lot of かがみの孤城 to read… So there’s plenty of good options!

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I forgot to add my name to the table until now :sweat_smile:
I’m aiming to finish Kiki’s Delivery Service (which I’m just more than halfway through) and three other novels this year. I’ve never been a big fan of picture books or manga, so now that I’m past the absolute beginner stage I’m only going to read novels from now on. My reading speed is still terribly slow, but I’ll improve eventually.

So I’m currently reading 魔女の宅急便 (in paperback form) and ふしぎ駄菓子屋 銭天堂 (as an ebook), and once I finish them I’ll either continue with the Kiki series or begin コンビニ人間, which I’ve been looking forward to reading!

Not an actual goal but it would be nice to be able to have a daily goal measured in chapters instead of pages before 2023.

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I’m glad I’m not alone. :heart: :joy: Those reviews are something, though.

Probably faster than you expect, too. My first novel was Harry Potter and I started at something like 15 min per page and ended the book at ~5 min per page IIRC. But then my 3rd book was 容疑者Xの献身 and I was right back to 15 :upside_down_face:

FWIW the author of that book wrote a short story that is available for free if you want to get a feel for their writing style. コンビニエンスストア様 - free ebook on Honto.

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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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