[2022] 多読/extensive reading challenge

Hm, after having a taste of light novels involving adult protagonists (in their late 20s or 30s, e.g. ビブリア古書堂の事件手帖 or 紅霞後宮物語) it’s hard to go back to high school level protagonists. It’s almost impossible to relate to them at this point. Actually, I guess it was impossible from the beginning, I just didn’t realize how much it affected my enjoyment of a book.
(To be clear, I can still enjoy a book even if I find the protagonist unrelatable, though, just less I guess)

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Right!?
I was playing a visual novel recently where the protagonist was an actual friggen adult and man, breath of fresh air.

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Have you tried 狼と香辛料? Why read about high schoolers when you can read about a traveling merchant and a wolf deity? :slight_smile:

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Hey look another good show about adults :wink:

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Despite being home for three months, I sure slacked off on reading.

Finished 台所のドラゴン vol 3 a while ago and I loved it. It got a little scary for a bit since the dragon has gotten big enough to be super noticeable and freak out the locals.

Also finished 衛宮さんちの今日のごはん vol 4. It’s an extremely cute cooking manga using the characters from the Fate franchise. Each chapter features a new recipe.

Now I’m getting my act back together with some Sailor Moon manga.

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I’ve read about 1/5th of the first book now. It is maintaining my interest.
It was actually fun to start reading not knowing literally anything about it, and so with all the 回目 stuff I had to actually surmise what was going on myself from zero : p
It’s super rare for me to engage with media I don’t know at least a dust-jacket style synopsis for.
The last time I can remember is when I was a young teenager and rented (that used to be a thing) the game Xenogears based on having heard a song from it. I didn’t even know the game had mechs in it, so that whole game was a big surprise : o

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You already caught up to me. :laughing: I’m glad it’s been keeping your interest. How’s your comprehension so far? Any issues?

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There’s stuff I have to read over again, especially stuff 醍哉 says
also wtf is with his name 大嶺 醍哉 go away with this nonsense
, but I think I’m following everything? It’s a little hard to say because some things are confusing, but I believe that’s because the book is just genuinely being vague about things.
Like, in what way did 音無 “prepare” the corpse for him? Did she drive the truck into him? It doesn’t seem like it. And it only describes her just standing there. But 星野 doesn’t seem to have any doubt that it was her doing. So buhhhh?

But I think that’s intentional.

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1/3
It keeps getTING WEIRDER

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Try not to spoil anything for me while I read it way too slowly. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Ive heard good things about the 空ろの箱と零のマリア series, its on my to-read list, as is 狼と香辛料. Definitely interested to see your updates about it.

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I think I’m about 23% done, and it’s still interesting. I’ll be sure to post my opinion of the first book once I finish.

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I read the 3rd volume of 乙女ゲームの破滅フラグしかない悪役令嬢に転生してしまった over the past two days. While it may sounds like a speed record, it’s just a really quick read, since the same story is shown from the perspective of multiple character, giving copy/pastes of some of the dialogs.
What’s interesting is that this book was not originally planned by the author. The initial idea was to simply publish the web novel with some improved editing and nice illustrations (and they are quite nice too!), which should have ended with the previous volume, when the MC protagonist not only survives the game, but even gets the “reverse harem” ending. That was supposed to be it, but since sells have been actually pretty damn good, well, the publisher asked for more, so here we are… uncharted territories!
That brings a major change to the premise too: so far, the protagonist had the advantage of knowing (more or less) the future, since she had played the game herself, quite extensively. However, she now has no idea of what is going on. That lead to a slight retcon where “nah, it’s okay, she has crazy charisma, she can just keep doing the right things even without knowing what she is doing”.
Also interesting, the relations between her friends are getting more tense as they get more hormones increasingly jealous of each other (can’t really blame them). The statu-quo was utterly broken due to three (!) characters confessing to her. In pure romcom tradition, she misunderstood the first 2, but the third one really did an effort to make himself clear (by kissing her). That’s not something I’m used to see in the middle of a romcom, so it got my interest :stuck_out_tongue:
Also, there’s a little bit more of world building with the political game for the succession of the king becomes relevant.
Overall, I’d say the writing got better, even though it still has the issues I mentioned. I’m about to start volume 4, we’ll see how it goes.

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Unfocused thoughts about reading stamina, etc

Lately I have been very aware of my stamina for reading novels vs for reading manga. Novels are more time-consuming and brain-tiring for me, in general, but that doesn’t account for the entire disparity I’m feeling. I think at the stage I’m at right now it’s more a problem of perception. I started reading novels a couple years ago now, but only started reading manga at the end of 2019. I have years of memories of struggling through novels, but months of memories of not struggling very much (in general…!) with manga. So I read a novel for twenty minutes and it’s slow but not really all that tiring, but then my brain is like whoa you are really going for it, maybe you should take a break from that overly difficult thing and read manga instead. Then I read manga for three hours and only have to stop because I’m sleepy, lol. This math doesn’t add up, brain! When I do push myself and read a novel for an hour, let’s say, I am not noticeably that much more tired than at the twenty-minute mark. Another outcome of this perception gap is that if I’m doing both types of reading, I always do novels first and then manga, and I never switch back. Brain, you are dramatic. If I need a break from novel-reading (which my brain frequently insists I do, though I think at this point that is usually a lie), I could read a chapter of manga and then switch back, surely. I do find I can do longer if I switch between novels, like my main book, then a book club book, then another book club book, but that only works when I have book club reading to do, which runs out fast. (I could join ALL THE BOOK CLUBS but I think I’m already in all the novel ones that look appealing to me.) I don’t really want to have two non-book club books going at once, so … hm.

I think my takeaway from all this rambling is that I should try to push through my brain’s first warning sign (because, again, I think it is a lie), then at the second one switch to manga, but then try to switch back after a while to get more novel-reading in. Plan! I will try it out tonight.

Ah, I also wanted to say that I’m really enjoying 無人島の十六人! It zips along pretty quickly, is adventurous with high stakes but (at least so far) not bleak or grim, and because all the characters have roles, Japanese helpfully reminds me of who everyone is frequently, phew. (I don’t have a handle on all 16 names [and don’t think I need to], but I have a good idea of who is who based on roles.)

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When my brain tries something like that on my, I just say “okay, well I’ll just keep reading until next stop/end of chapter/whatever”. Then I’ll just read the next sentence. More often than not, it’s interesting enough to make me want to read a few more. Then I’ll get tired again and repeat :stuck_out_tongue:

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I wouldn’t claim it’s a perfect book by any means, but I’m at the 2/3 point right now and still enjoying it. Recently there was a surprise/twist that I was so taken off guard by that I had to go back and reread several sections of the book over again because the book had tricked my naive brain into thinking things that weren’t true. (I’m not sure I would have fallen for it in English where I’m a bit more savvy).

Weird thing is that I’ve stopped at what feels like the finale of the book, but clearly isn’t since there’s still another 1/3 of the book left.

But though it’s a mystery book, the biggest mystery of the book for me has been the same ever since I grasped what the premise was near the very beginning: how is this going to be a series of 7 book? It 100% feels like a standalone story concept that couldn’t possibly continue. The whole time I’ve been really curious if the continuation is going to feel natural, or if it’s going to be a forced continuation of a done story that I’ll refuse to read like it’s a Hunger Games sequel :wink:

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I do the first part pretty much every time, but I should do more of the second! I think for my brain to be convinced I might need to do at least a paragraph, though. :smiley: The book I’m reading now has short chapters, which is both helpful and not in terms of keeping reading. Too many places to logically take a break!

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How slow is “slow”? I’m at the point with reading novels where I don’t usually get tired either. Except the occasional time I encounter something completely beyond my understanding and my brain just shuts down haha.

For me, I tend to read more when there are short chapters (or frequent breaks in the text). When the breaks in the text come regularly I can often keep reading since I know it’s not that much more. And then when I reach a break I’ll just keep going, because the next break also isn’t far off. On the other hand, if I see there’s not a break for a while (I often check ahead) I might just stop reading immediately, even if it’s in the middle of a conversation.

I do this when reading in both Japanese and English by the way. It’s just that with Japanese I’d like a break every 4-5 pages, while I can tolerate breaks every 10-20 pages in English.

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I usually set myself a reading goal for the day (e.g. one chapter, or the week’s book club assignment). My reading speed is still quite slow (maybe 6 pages per hour) because I still don’t know a lot of words and kanji, and recently I noticed that whenever I need to look up a lot of stuff, and when the passage is not that gripping, or when I need to think a lot about the text in order to understand it (e.g. who is saying what, or what are they referring to), I have a tendency of mentally dropping out. If I have a goal, I can motivate myself with that (“Look, only 6 more pages!” - although initially it was maybe only 9 pages, but interestingly enough that still works) or at least I can get back to reading after a short break.

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