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

Okay, so, we’ll finish Shirokuma in 2 weeks and then Chii’s gonna last for 7 weeks, so approximately in the middle of August we will start reading a new book /o/

But we need suggestions, I guess, and after that a poll, soooo I’m gonna change the title to indicate that we’re looking for new nominations:3


Were there some proposals not yet added to the list of proposed books in the first post? Are we still keeping in older proposals from people who may no longer be active on the forums (if there are any)?

Oh, thank you for pointing that out! I added 2 more recent ones to the main post, let me know if there’re more, my brain is a bit slow today :sweat_smile:

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I was able to read an entire post* on Facebook yesterday, so now I feel like I’m ready for this. I’m in!

*it consisted solely of someone commenting すごい on a photo :shushing_face:


Hello!! What is the minimum level required for this? I think I won’t join right now but I want to join for the next book! I’m eager to start reading some japanese book!

If I don’t have the minimum level…Are there another club for even more noobs here? lol

For a book with furigana (readings beside kanji), the minimum is simply being able to read ひらがな and かたかな. However, the less grammar and vocabulary you know, the more you’ll have to look up (or ask about), and the more learning you’ll have to do.

I don’t have any hard recommendations for progress, but I would recommend knowing all N5 level grammar, and having started working your way through N4. You can get this by reading through Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese (free), or using a textbook such as Genki.

For vocabulary, even if you learn the 2,000 “most common” Japanese words, you may find the comic you read has barely 50% overlap with the words you know. You’ll be learning new words regardless, but the fewer words you already know, the more you’ll be looking up. I’d say having 500 to 1,000 words memorized will put you in the position of feeling you are getting something out of reading, because you’ll see a mix of words you know and words you do not know, versus a page of unknowns.

Check out the graded readers thread. I haven’t looked it over myself, but I believe it consists of texts meant for reading by lower-grade Japanese school students. (Anyone able to confirm if I’m right or wrong?) These are texts intended for beginning Japanese learners. I think I’ve seen this recommended as pre-Absolute Beginner.


No, those are text aimed at beginner Japanese learner, so way easier than things aimed at natives. Even the simpler text aimed at young kids can contain N1 grammar, since natives do not care about that. On the other hand, graded readers follow the JLPT levels, which tends to match much better the skills of Japanese learners.


Thanks for the correction. I had a feeling my information was a bit off (for the reason you state, about how young kids may have N1 grammar in their reading material).

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I haven’t seen any recommendations yet, so I’ll add one! This is a series I’ve read recently (no longer a beginner atm) but I think it should be good for the absolute beginner thread. Lemme know if it’s not absolute-beginner level, but I think it’s definitely easier than shirokuma.



“Even if we’re married, I want to know more about you. I love you.” A semi-autobiographical story about the daily life of a married couple and their three children.


book: amazon
ebook: amazon | pixiv

Personal Opinion

It’s a light and sweet read.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club


  • Most of the chapters are short, making it easy to read in little batches
  • It’s a sweet comedy about family life so it should appeal to different demographics
  • furigana!
  • the first two chapters (and most of the third volume) are available for free on pixiv
  • the children talk in normal/casual Japanese (and not babytalk-Japanese)
  • I’ve already read it so I can set up the weekly threads and answer questions


  • no animals


First Three Pages of Chapter One

Additional Pages

more on pixiv

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


So cute. :sob:


I would like a book “book” as we have done 2 mangas in a row…


Something like:




That looks sooo cute ;o
I’d get it but it seems like pixiv also only accepts creditcards. :sob:

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its the warmest fluffiest manga in the world :relaxed:

Another good one (but probably a tad advanced for the absolute beginner club) is ツン甘な彼氏 (comedy about a tsun guy and his girlfriend who puts up with it) or うちの旦那がかわいすぎる件について (more of an art book with words - its gorgeous)

I need more slice of life manga about families / established couples instead of the usual dragged out romance.

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its also on amazon and ebookjapan!

Those don’t accept PayPal either, at least last time I checked. ; ;



It means something like “even after marrying you, i still love you” and not “even though im already married [to someone else], i still love you”

unless you mean a sweet story about married life sounds interesting, in which case you’re absolutely correct


Yesss… This… :eyes::eyes::eyes: