Absolute Beginners Book Club // Now reading: Cells at Work! // Next: Ruri Dragon

I’m still there although it does not look like it


As much as I enjoy re-litagating the way the club is handled over and over again, I guess I’ll just put in a couple of observations:

  • You’re gonna have high attrition in the ABBC no matter what you do. When I was starting out, I was starving for a way to consume content from the beginning, because I wanted to feel like I was progressing (tangible progression, not just SRS levels going up). I can’t fault others for getting excited that just maybe they’ll be able to keep up this time only to be disheartened that they aren’t quite ready yet and have to drop out (hopefully only temporarily). This won’t be as big an issue at the higher clubs, but at this level, it’s intrinsic.

  • I guess it’s inevitable that people will want to different things out of book clubs. Some people want detailed breakdowns and analyses, some just want to share impressions with others and discuss content and cultural points, and some (like me) are motivated by a set timeline and knowledge that others are doing the same thing. None are right or wrong, but I guess it’s unfulfilling to some if others don’t participate as much as they do.

  • The last week of BBC had literally 5 posts with 16 participants. It’s not just the ABBC club that exhibits low post counts.

In the end, I enjoy the ABBC club as it is. It’s a tad easy for me, but I’m at the point where reading every day is important and it gives me some stuff to work with when I’m more tired or don’t have as much time to study. It also exposes me to new stuff I otherwise wouldn’t have considered.

Sorry for the soapbox. In the end, I’m fine with whatever the group decides to do, as I’m at the point where I can find my own stuff to read if need be. But as I mentioned, I’m happy this club exists and I super appreciate the people who work hard to put this together. I wouldn’t be where I am without your help!


I’m finding I’m having a little trouble getting the amazon.co.jp to go to my US kindle. Hopefully I can figure out a workaround for that.

I can’t fault others for getting excited that just maybe they’ll be able to keep up this time only to be disheartened that they aren’t quite ready yet and have to drop out (hopefully only temporarily). This won’t be as big an issue at the higher clubs, but at this level, it’s intrinsic.

I’ve noticed this for myself. I bought 10分で読める物語 二年生 and tried to read a few pages, but I found I needed a lot of glosses. I really underestimated how difficult it is to look things up myself, because often I don’t recognise the grammar and consequently I don’t know what the dictionary form would even look like. Obviously I can’t expect other people to gloss everything, so I have to conclude that I’m just not ready yet. I imagine other beginning readers have the same issues. Unless I am missing something and there is an easy way to look up grammar points?


Generally someone’s been posting a running translation, but if you want a breakdown of the grammar too, just ask.

But yeah, it’s not always standard Japanese being used in this particular book, and lack of kanji kinda makes it a bit annoying to read, but I still think it’s a fairly good way to learn.

I think the minimum ability necessary is to distinguish between words and particles. This becomes easier as you learn to recognize different forms (conjugations) for verbs and adjectives (even if you don’t know the meanings).

Anyone who is still working toward that point can still participate in reading. If you type a Japanese sentence into the free online tool ichi.moe, it will (as best it can) break it down into individual words and particles and tell what each means.

Then, if there’s something you don’t know much about, you can type the word into a web search engine along with words like “grammar” or “meaning”, and get web pages describing it. One time I read a sentence ending in のか, so I did a search for “のか meaning” (no quotes), and the first result was an old question/answer that gave me exactly what I needed to know.

I usually try to look something up on my own before asking in the book club, simply because I like to do my due diligence before asking. Oftentimes, I’ll find my answer and not need to ask at all. Because of this, sometimes I’ll simply ask in the club without doing much lookup, since it’s an advantage to the club to have more conversation around questions and answers of the material. Everyone who reads it can potentially benefit.


I second that! Nothing makes me happier than seeing lots of questions and answers in the bookclubs! I have learnt pretty much all the Japanese I know (which is much more that when I started!) through asking questions in the clubs here, and have found everyone to be so kind, helpful, and patient it’s amazing!


I’m planning to take a break from reading after finishing the manga we are reading at the moment. I want to focus on working through Genki 2 and working on my listening and speaking.

So I don’t mind what people want to do about the next book. A poll has been the traditional way of deciding!


Sorry I can’t offer you advice on this. But i have been buying the books through BookWalker instead and found this has been quite straightforward.

Did you deregister the device from the US site and register it to the JP site?

Wow, ichi.moe has really been my saving grace! I’ve read six pages since your post, it’s extremely helpful for figuring out which part is the word itself and which part is a particle or some other grammar point. Thanks for the help :slight_smile:


Okay, so, 結婚しても恋してる is now at its end, the last week starts from today and we need something else to read I guess. :eyes: I wasn’t as active recently, I’m getting ready for jlpt now and I don’t really have much interest in absolute beginner books atm, I can’t really vote and all that xD So sorry that I haven’t been much here

But, I guess we need a poll and a discussing to decide what to do now. There’s a book-book club going on right now, which some people really wanted, plus Kitty Detectives starting really soon.

Do we need anything else to read now?

  • We don’t need any more books/mangas to read right now
  • We need to suggest and vote for more (it will start in at least a month from now)
  • I’m not sure

0 voters

And are you going to participate then or are you busy/not interested as much?

  • I’m going to read with the book club
  • I’m probably going to read
  • I’m probably not going to read
  • I’m not going to read with the book club
  • I’m not sure

0 voters

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I voted we would suggest a vote for more, though I think it could be for the book(s) after the kitty detective books, rather than starting ASAP (or at least later, if we don’t want to wait for that book to finish.) It wouldn’t hurt to get that started a little while out, I don’t think.

I don’t have any nominations this time, though, since we’ll be doing the only one I had.


I’d gladly interact in the voting for the next reading, but it seems like the participants of this book club have their attention now divided into 2 different readings, so I think going for a 3rd would not be very productive. I do think we should at least open the nominations’ period so that once things get calmer, we can start right away with making things happen for our next reading.

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We currently have 2 books on the go, and as one ends another is starting up, which, if I remember rightly, takes us into January. So it strikes me that there is already plenty to read. Plus, of course, we also have all the old clubs which people can still add to.

My personal opinion (not an argument or something I want to debate, just my opinion) is that the best way to start a club now is just as にゃんにゃん1 and にゃんにゃん2 were started, by someone keen to read the book and committed to see it through, without all the fuss of polls and debates and discussions.

(And if anyone is interested, I’m reading a Gundam manga like that starting on January the first!)

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10分 seemed to have ground to a halt last time I looked in. にゃんにゃん2 is starting soon, and there is a Chi’s Sweet Home vol 2 club running as well.

I’m going to take a break from book club for a couple of months and work on some Genki and speaking/listening.


Yeah, it pretty much did. I deferred on starting the next story because I was about to go away on holidays, and noone else picked it up, sooo…

I’ve worked my way through the older 10分 stories and I’m pretty keen to keep going. I’d been waiting for a new thread to go up, but I could also make one, if that’s allowed?

That’s absolutely allowed.

I’m still away, though. Didn’t bring my book with me.

I got through story 3 and the poem. Although it was not as thoroughly as the first two. I’ll have a look at @Belthazar’s translations and join up for story 5 soon.