Absolute Beginners Book Club // Now Reading: Miss Shikimori is not just cute! // Next: Granny Girl Hinata chan!

By the time you all start the next book on here I will probably be around lesson 9 or 10 on genki (on 7 now), is this enough or should I wait until the one after starts and I should be well into genki 2 by then?

It all depends on your tolerance for struggle :slight_smile: I personally didn’t mind looking up a lot of grammar as I went and I found it very rewarding and motivating to read an actual Japanese book written for actual Japanese people (children, though, granted :sweat_smile:). Starting to read is always going to be a bit of a challenge, but the Absolute Beginners Book Club makes it as easy as possible for you. Give it a shot, I’d say :grin:


You will get some slightly different views from different people on this one. I read the second book in this club (なぜどうして世界はふしぎ) just after finishing Genki 1 and doing my N5. That felt about right for me. It was tough, it would take me up to half an hour to read a page and I skipped the occasional chapter to catch up.

Looking at those last few Genki 1 chapters there is a lot of core stuff in there. My advice would be hold off for this one and work on finishing Genki 1, growing your vocabulary, and learning some more kanji.

We’ll be reading this book for 24 weeks and each chapter is a separate story. So you could always jump in part way through if you wanted!


Or you could start with one of the old ABBC books while waiting for a new book club to start. I think the Nyan Nyan books could be a good introduction. Those threads already contain a lot of information; pretty much every conceivable question has been answered. And if not, you can ask your question and plenty of people will be able to help you out.


That’s perfect then, hopefully I’ll be able to join in before Christmas!

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And we’re off in the Dragon Ball SD book club!


The 10 minute biographies bookclub has started! Perhaps someone with the right permissions could kindly updated the title of this thread. Thanks!


Is that title ok?

Great, thank you!

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I’d forgotten it was starting already!

I was hoping to have reached home before it did, as I think I may have a copy at home…maybe I’ll just need to buy the digital version. Home in about a week, anyway.

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People here might be interested to know that we’re starting the next Doggy Detectives book on the 11th of January!

It will be around Absolute Beginner level, and you don’t need to have read the first book in the series to join in now - it’s a bit like reading a Miss Marple or Sherlock Holmes story.


I would definitely recommend the Doggy Detectives book for anyone reading their first Japanese book. One of the other books in the series was the original absolute beginner book club book. They have a nice mix of story telling and dialogue. The pages are not very dense, and the pictures give a lot of context that help you understand the text.


Teasing Master Takagi-san ・ からかい上手の高木さん


Middle school students Nishikata and Takagi sit next to each other in class. Takagi, who is in love with Nishikata, enjoys teasing him with embarrassing pranks and jokes. In response, Nishikata creates plans to get his revenge, but they always fail when she identifies his weaknesses and capitalizes on them.


Physical: Amazon JPCD Japan
Digital: KoboBookwalker

Personal Opinion

The anime is often recommended for listening practice because the vocab is common and the sentences are relatively simple. It made me think that the manga might be suitable for this reading club. The anime is also very funny (and cute), so I think it should be an entertaining read.

Pros and Cons


  • Slice of life, so easy in the vocab department
  • No wall of kana, plus the kanji have furigana
  • Low text density, so can be read in 9 weeks (15 pages per week).
  • There is an anime on Netflix


  • Might be a little too cute for some?


First Three Pages of Chapter One

Additional Pages

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • 1 - No effort at all
  • 2 - Minimal effort
  • 3 - Moderate effort
  • 4 - Substantial effort
  • 5 - So much effort my head might explode :exploding_head:
  • I don’t know

0 voters


Kobo has been recommending this one to me off and on for over a year now. I may have to vote for it in the next poll just so Kobo can ease up.

I see there’s also a full-color version that is a third of the price per volume compared with the original. I don’t see anything on whether that’s normal or limited time pricing.

Here are the links (ebook only): KoboBookwalkerAmazon JP

It’s not the entire volume, which would explain the price difference:


So it just contains the two stories for volume 1 that made it into the anime adaptation.

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Ah, good to know! I didn’t clearly read the summary part.

I have that one! I’m in!

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Amazon.jp doesn’t let me purchase Kindle resources. I think it doesn’t like me being outside of Japan. Is anyone familiar with this and have suggestions for a work around? Thanks.

There is a post that explains all the details of buying from Amazon.jp:


Just be aware that you need to switch your Kindle contents between your Amazon.jp collection and your “normal” collection afaik; they can’t both be present on the same device at the same time.


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.