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

This topic is main topic for Absolute Beginner Book Club. Main topic is for choosing next books.

They are now reading レンタルおにいちゃん - Home Thread is here.

They are currently on Week 1, Week 1 discussion thread here.


Thank you so much for your help :hugs:


I accidentally linked the same thread twice, fixed now!

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Hello everyone :slight_smile:

This is my first post, so please bear with me, as I’m being thoroughly confused with all the threads leading to more threads and so on :see_no_evil:

I am happy I found this absolute beginner’s book club as I find it highly motivating to overcome the hurdles of the Japanese language together and support each other throughout.
I’m looking forward to join the conversation on the current read, but was wondering if the next book, which is probably scheduled for November, is already being discussed? Or will we read the whole series, which I think is 4 books in total…?



Book clubs usually read the first book in the series only. After that, and if there is enough interest, an offshoot book club will be formed to continue on with the rest of the series.

Voting for the next book takes place a long time before it actually starts. This allows for people around the world to order the physical book. Delivery times are extra screwy at the moment with the pandemic messing things up, so the lead time required to buy the next book is significant in some cases.

I hope that all makes sense. Let us know if you have any questions at all.


Welcome Yviee! As Davids68 says, after we finish volume one of レンタルおにいちゃん, the club will start on a new book.

Your question is well timed as it’s about time to pick the next book. We have several books nominated already as potential options. The plan is that we will have a poll of the book club members to decide what we want to read together next.

The list of proposed books is visible in the opening post of this thread - under the heading “List of Proposed Books”. Each book has a link to the original nomination post for the book which gives further information about the book.

Within the nomination post for each book is a poll, that allows people to rate how difficult they think the book is for absolute beginners. It’s helpful for lots of people to look at the nominations and rate their difficulty. The aggregate score is used to come up with a score for the overall difficulty of the book.

Anyone can nominate a book. The proposal template and instructions for proposing a book are in the opening post of this thread, just above the list of proposed books.

I was thinking we should aim to select the next book by the end of this month. This would give 2 months for people to get hold of the book prior to an early November start date.

My suggestion is that we spend the next couple of weeks asking for any further nominations, and giving people a chance to rate the difficulty of those nominations, and then look to have a poll around the 23rd August to pick the next book.


At the end of なぜ? we talked about nominating another one from the series, but there was some discussion on if we should move up to Grade 3 or stick with another one from Grade 2. Any thoughts?


ドラゴンボールSD 1


Dragon Ball SD is a remake of the Dragon Ball manga with SD graphics and simplified text made for very young children.”
“The first four chapters of Dragon Ball SD quickly cover the main story points of the series, jumping straight from Goku’s childhood to the battle on Namek, and then to the Cell Games and the Majin Buu Saga.”


Print Version:


Personal Opinion

Dragonball brings up childhood memories and this Chibi-Style version gets one excited to dive back into it. It could be a good pick for the absolute beginners book club. All Chapters have 20 pages, which would make it managable to read within 9 weeks. The font-size might be a little small, but it seems sharp and still good readible due to the quality of the print.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club


  • Beautiful & fully colorized
  • Gorgeous Art Style
  • Furigana


  • Small font
  • A lot of pages (192)


First Three Pages of Chapter One

Table of Contents

Additional Pages

source of additional pages

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Just right
  • Challenging
  • Impossible, even with everyone’s help
  • I don’t know (please click this if you’re not voting seriously)

0 voters


Addendum: Bookwalker with Preview

For those lazy enough to not click the link:

First 3 Pages

A couple of pages soon thereafter


That’s better, I’m gonna add it to the post! Thank you @ChristopherFritz :slightly_smiling_face:

Yes! I’ve been eyeing these lovely volumes and I’d love an excuse to buy them.

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Hmm, what to do about なぜ? There was a strong appetite among those who finished the recent なぜ book to do another one. People particularly liked the format of separate short chapters, so if someone fell behind it was easy to skip some chapters and join the group again. The language was also a nice level for beginners.

I guess we should pick one and put it on the list of nominations. Personally while I enjoyed the two なぜ books I’m more interested in reading a breadth of different books rather than another なぜ book just now.

I’ve looked at the level 3 books and I didn’t think the language looked any harder than the level 2 books we’ve read. I presume it has more kanji, which might even make it easier! So I think a level 2 or level 3 book would be fine for this club. What do others think?

And how to decide which book to put in the nominations? Is a poll to decide which one we nominate taking it too far!!

If the なぜ book doesn’t get selected - people might be interested in an offshoot book club I guess to continue to read なぜ books…


Maybe we could finish off 10分で読める物語 二年生. Not exactly a なぜ, but the same general series.


I’d read another non-science one! Maybe something like biographies for 3rd graders: 10分で読める伝記 3年生


I would love another なぜ! Like you had mentioned it’s nice they are bite sized and can pick back up if needed. If I had to say something I disliked about the last one was that there were some very technical terms that aren’t really relevant to my learning that would trip me up. I don’t have any specific nominations though but would be OK with a level 3. :slight_smile:


Just to add: though there is value in the process, there is, of course, no requirement for books to go through the route of nomination and polling.

If someone really likes a book, wants to run a club, is prepared to do the work of running it and seeing it through to the end, then they can set up a bookclub at any time.

Not all the books in the WK bookclubs were proposed and polled, many were just set up by keen individuals.

Not to say that polling etc is a waste of time, there is some value in the process, but it’s not the only route to making a bookclub.


As someone who doesn’t run clubs but only reads with them, I do appreciate the polls and scheduling in the level-based clubs though – because the scheduling usually lines up nicely, so I don’t end up with too many books at the same time. :slight_smile:


Oh, yes, for sure! (I’m just pointing out that it’s not the only way, and never has been the only way - there is always room for anyone to start a club any time they like too!)


I bought both 10分で読める伝記 2年生 (よみとく10分) and なぜ?どうして?科学のお話3年生 (よみとく10分) when I got レンタルおにいちゃん, but there are so many なぜ? books. I wouldn’t mind trying something new and I’ve been meaning to read Dragon Ball since forever so SD doesn’t seem like a bad way to do it.

I’ll likely join whatever gets picked since the clubs seem to be good for motivation to continue reading and sharing thoughts/translations/problems. I’ll just have to try to stay on top of what is going on since I don’t check the master thread that often, or browse other threads in general.

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I too will go with the flow since I really like having the community motivation. Compared to レンタルおにいちゃん though, なぜ seems more difficult and maybe why we ended up a small group finishing it. (or were our final numbers normal? I’m new-ish to book club) I still really liked なぜ and felt like I learned a lot reading it.

I’ll write up a separate reply with the nomination template to have one of them thrown in the poll, I’m leaning towards Grade 2 biography since @matthewsa already owns it! The biography chapters from なぜ?科学 were really nice since they had a little bit of dialogue and storytelling.