Absolute Beginners Book Club // Now Reading: Granny Girl Hinata chan!

Hi, @Gunnleif!

Sorry about the hours before getting a response up to you; just been a busier day for me.

You could start with Hunter x Hunter and just use the threads and existing resources, but this week is technically the last week of the book club, so you would no longer be reading along with a live group (though often, the people who were in the club will still have those threads tracked, so if you have any questions, they will be happy to answer them!). If you enjoy Hunter x Hunter as a series, then it’s a great place to start. Otherwise, the next pick, Cells at Work! starts on the 26th of November, if you want to read along with a live group. :grin:

As far as strategies, the biggest thing to remember is that when you first start out reading, it’s not going to feel like reading so much as like a puzzle that you have to work through. It’s going to be difficult and take a lot of work, but it’s so worth the effort. I credit the book clubs here with making it possible for me to learn Japanese to the level that I have, as they really gave me a much-needed boost and allowed me to get so much exposure to native Japanese material.

There are a number of resources that are great for helping you while you get started reading, but rather than type it all out again, I’ll just link you to the post I made in the Hunter x Hunter thread where I did a bit of a quick “things you need to know when you start reading” post:

Along with @ChristopherFritz’s excellent addition:

If you have any other questions, definitely feel free to ask! We’re always happy to help around here. :grin:

As far as other potential clubs to join, if you feel like Cells at Work! might be a bit of a big bite, we also have some book clubs that were spin-offs from the ABBC originally that might be a little bit easier to ease into:

  • Not technically an ABBC pick, but I know よつばと! is very popular, though I haven’t read it myself!

  • Teasing Master Takagi-san, which is the first book club I joined, and the first manga I’ve ever completed. We are on Volume 9 now, but one of the nice thing about this series is that it doesn’t actually happen in chronological order; it’s just a bunch of slice-of-life vignettes, so you can really pick up the book at any point in the series. I know of one person who is both reading along with the older volumes, and reading along with the club in real-time, also! It’s also relatively simple Japanese, and a bit more natural speech than some other manga.

  • それでも歩は寄せてくる is by the same author as Teasing Master Takagi-san; it is a little bit tougher than Takagi-san, though not by much, and is also a lot of fun! It is definitely a bit more linear than Takagi-san though, so you don’t want to jump into later volumes without having read earlier ones, I feel.