Absolute Beginners Book Club // Currently reading: Prefecture Stories ・ Next: Hunter × Hunter

I removed mention of Dragon Ball SD as a spin-off club in the main post. We started out at ~6 pages a week, but participation dropped to the point where only 4 people were reading, all of whom preferred a faster pace. We’re currently reading volume 2 at 18-20 pages a week. I don’t think it’s suitable for absolute beginners anymore because of that.

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Hi everyone! I’ve been contemplating joining a book club for some time and finally decided that I’m ready to do so :slightly_smiling_face:

I’ve read the information pinned in the top thread post, and I think I understand how everything works, but here’s my question: what would be a good time to join? Should I wait until the club starts a new book? I’m in absolutely no rush and have enough Japanese content to keep me busy, so I can wait, even for a few months. Should I?

How long is this 10 minutes biography book everyone’s currently reading? Are you halfway through, or close to the finish? How difficult, and how interesting it is compared to the other books you’ve read?

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The current book is scheduled to be finished on April 24th, so still a couple of months left to go (about 4 chapters left).

This is my first time joining a book club, so I can’t speak to what other books have been like in comparison. So far it has been a lot of fun to follow along though!

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You can join whenever you like! This is especially the case with the current selection because each chapter is self-contained (disclaimer: I’m not reading the currently the book, so I’m 99% sure this is the case, but I could be wrong)- so I would just do the reading for this week and dive straight into the chat. It’s a lot of fun to read at the same time as other people, so I’d take advantage of the fact that it’s happening right now and just go for it.

From my understanding, each chapter is a biography of a famous person - whether that sounds appealing, is up to you :slight_smile:

For the chapters already read, look at them at your pace: you can always go back to the threads and read over other people’s questions/answers. You can even post in them now - plenty of people will still be watching the thread and will be happy to help.

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Yes, this is the case. Each chapter is a mini biography of a different person and you don’t need to have read previous chapters. The benefit of reading previous chapters is that similar grammar/phrasing is used so it can make reading later chapters easier/fast/more familiar, but it’s in no way necessary.

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Doggy Detectives just started a new case and those can be read independently too. Also, doggies! :dog:

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Finally guys! This is a very accessible manga, mainly compared to しろくまカフェ and よつばと: からかい上手の高木さん is easier in my opinion. If you’ve watched the anime, then you’ll enjoy the manga even more because now you can actually pause and squeeze with a big smile to 高木さん’s teasing :heart_eyes:.

impossibru, everyone needs to embrace 高木さん’s cuteness

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TIME TO PICK THE NEXT BOOK!! :tada:

The current book finishes on April 24th which means we will be looking to start the next book on the 1st May.

This means it is a good time to finalise nominations and carry out a poll to choose the next book!

Can I suggest we have a week to get in any other nominations and I’ll aim to launch the poll next weekend (6th March).

Current nominations are:

Book Title Description
日本昔ばなしアニメ絵本 Japanese Fairy Tales
福娘童話集 Lucky Princess Fairy Tale Collection
こぐまのクーク物語 春と夏 Kuuku the Bear Cub’s Story, Spring and Summer
日本の昔ばなし Japanese Folk Takes Collection Vol 1 (Issun-boshi and other stories)

Manga

Manga Title Description
あたしンち My Family
Wanted Short stories from the creator of One Piece
からかい上手の高木さん Teasing Master Takagi-san
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:dagger: :eyes:

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VOTING TIME! CAST YOUR VOTE NOW FOR THE NEXT ABSOLUTE BEGINNER BOOK CLUB PICK!

The next book is due to start on 1st May, so if you are interested in joining please vote for what you would like to read. Just as a reminder here are the nominations, you can click on the links to see more about each book.

Book Title Description
日本昔ばなしアニメ絵本 Japanese Fairy Tales
福娘童話集 Lucky Princess Fairy Tale Collection
こぐまのクーク物語 春と夏 Kuuku the Bear Cub’s Story, Spring and Summer
日本の昔ばなし Japanese Folk Takes Collection Vol 1 (Issun-boshi and other stories)

Manga

Manga Title Description
あたしンち My Family
Wanted Short stories from the creator of One Piece
からかい上手の高木さん Teasing Master Takagi-san

And here is the poll! You get three votes and you can change your votes until the poll closes. I’ll keep it open for a few days until the votes dry up.

Voting for the next Absolute Beginner Book Club :open_book: - starting May 2021
  • Japanese Fairy Tales (Physical book only, 16 books in the series)
  • Lucky Princess Fairy Tale Collection (Free online stories)
  • Kuuku the Bear Cub (Physical book and ebook)
  • Japanese folk tales - Issun-boshi and other stories (ebook only)
  • Atashinchi (Manga - physical book and ebook)
  • Wanted (Manga - physical book and ebook)
  • Teasing Master Takagi-san (Manga - physical book and ebook)

0 voters

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Well it looks like the outcome is fairly clear. I’ll close the poll in about 12 hours. Sorry you can’t see who voted for what in the poll!

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:eyes: :partying_face:

I think it’ll be a great pick for absolute beginners in terms of difficulty. I hope that those who didn’t vote for it will still join us :slight_smile:

Shall I make a home thread when the poll is closed, provided the result stays the same?

EDIT: Here we go!

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And we have a winner! I was going to ask if someone else could volunteer to run this one, so thanks for stepping forward Phyrne! You sure were quick setting up that home thread!

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I am just so hyped that my nomination won :joy:

… and now I’ll just have to wait 7 weeks :confounded:

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I’m currently watching the show for listening practice! I already told myself I wouldn’t buy anymore books for a while, though…Such torn emotions…

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I had a hole in my weekly reading schedule, so I started reading this a few weeks back. I’m only three chapters in, but now I feel I should set it aside, wait for the club to start, and wait for it to reach chapter 4 before I continue. Time for me to find something else to fill this new opening =D

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Well, I ended up purchasing a physical book from the Kinokuniya store in person, and this is first Japanese book (of course, besides Genki) I have bought. I am on the 5th chapter in Genki 1, and also using HumanJapanese. And I’m at WK level 9. My hope was to follow along this book’s reading club thread to pick up on grammar, as I go.
Am I being too ambitious given my current level?

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I think you could certainly join us, but if you have not finished Genki I you will definitely be looking up a lot of grammar (and/or asking a lot of questions). So it depends how you feel about that. I wouldn’t worry about having to ask a lot of questions, cause there are loads of people about who enjoy answering questions :slight_smile:

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Yes, and that’s a good thing! Don’t let it discourage you later.

My recommendations are:

  1. Utilize the vocabulary list. (It’s user-populated, so if what you’re looking up isn’t there, you can look it up on Jisho or another site, and then add it to the vocabulary sheet to help others.)

  2. Aim to get the gist of what’s going on. There will be a lot of grammar you don’t know, so you don’t want to overwhelm yourself. (Unless you enjoy being overwhelmed with new grammar, as I did at that level!)

  3. Read all grammar discussion even if you don’t really understand it well. Just being exposed to it will be helpful for when you encounter it in Genki later.

  4. Feel free to ask for a deeper explanation of anything covered in discussions.

  5. Feel free to ask questions on any sentence you have trouble with.

  6. Expect to learn a lot of new grammar along the way.

  7. Expect to reinforce grammar you’ve already learned.

From what I’ve seen (first three chapters), the stories look to be self-contained. I don’t know if this changes later, but for so long as that continues to be the case, that means you should be okay if you don’t finish a chapter, or have to skip a chapter.

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I tried to join the current ABBC at about level 15 Wanikani and somewhere between chapter 8,9 in Genki I (not super thorough Genki studies though…). It was a lot of work, and I decided to quit. I realised I knew far too little grammar for the reading to be enjoyable and given my time constraint I thought it would make more sense to go back and focus more on Genki I/II and recharge my batteries for the next bookclub. Although it was a bit of a blow it gave me a feedback on where I was in my learning progress and what I had to learn to start reading (with an amount of effort to still make it enjoyable to me). When self-studying, these things are valuable!

Despite my failure to follow along the bookclub, however, I definitely do think that it is doable at your level. As others have said, you’ll just have to be willing to work a bit and look up a lot of new grammar and vocabulary. How much you’ll have to work exactly depends on how much time you want to spend, on how well you can incorporate your readings to learning, on how much you want to understand, on how much you’ll like the book, etc. etc.

I guess what I want to say is that maybe (and if you’re ready to work sufficiently hard, then definitely) you’ll be able to follow along, which is great(!), or you’ll get a good sign of where you are at the moment (and maybe get a better idea on how you should proceed with your Japanese studies to reach your goal). Either way it’ll be a good outcome :beers:

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