Beginner Japanese Book Club // Coming Soon: The Way of the Househusband

I think that would be too limiting. There are many interesting manga/books that don’t have ebook versions. While that’s unfortunate, I don’t think we should exclude them.

If you don’t mind me asking, why can’t you purchase physical books?

2 Likes

It’s entirely down to a space issue. I can purchase physical books obviously but storing them is the problem. I don’t buy domestic books for the same reason.

Perhaps someone could create an ebook only book club but that might just muddle things up.
My viewpoint is that there’s no reason people can’t read the books without ebook versions themselves but a book club is the kind of thing you want lots of people to join so it only makes sense to keep things accessible in this way.
It’s entirely up to you, of course, but please think of who can’t import these books when choosing a book to cover. :3

1 Like

Does anybody have a good handle on how widely available the kinds of books that usually get nominated are in ebook format?

If most/many are available in ebook format then it seems like a good choice to restrict it in that way, because it increases potential readership. Otherwise it seems like being able to pick better books from a decent selection should take precedence. Perhaps we could include ebook availability in the polls, and those who want an ebook could vote accordingly?

From your tiny sample of 3 :wink: it looks like the issue may be with manga accessibility, and I can’t really see us taking manga off the table, as they tend to be easier and more accessible for people of our level. That’s a total guess though.

Would you consider selling on the books after you finish reading them? That might allow you to overcome the space issue while also recouping a little of your money, though I realise you might want to keep reading material in order to be able to return to it in future.

You could always resell the books (or donate them) if you don’t have room for long term storage. Then you’d only need room for a few extra books at a time. Not being able to go back to them is certainly a downside of that approach, though it might be worth it so you can get reading practice.

There are loads of manga I’ve found though with ebook format. So obviously I would not recommend taking them off the table.
I think there’s more than enough material available digitally for such a restriction to make sense.

I’m not really interested in buying and selling them because finding buyers would be too much of a pain. I’d rather just skip the book in question. Which I will do if you guys still want to cover them. I don’t want to be “that guy”. lol

2 Likes

It greatly depends on the publisher (plus recency of the series) and many of them use their own services instead of something common; I don’t know that anything from ASCII Media Works/Dengeki (Yotsuba, Sword Art Online), and whatever the parent company of Shounen Champion Comics happens to be, is available digitally, though, and they tend to publish a lot of the easier titles that I’ve got in my collection.

I’m pretty sure the shoujo titles I’ve picked up also tend to come from smaller publishers that have no digital presence.

I’m planning to prepare a nomination for Non Non Biyori soon, which is, I assume, available through Bookwalker (I think that’s Kadokawa’s service, of which Media Factory is a part), and I might put together a nomination for Himouto! Umaru-chan, since it may be a decent choice in the limited-furi category, which I’m pretty sure is available digitally, too.

if I were to spout an undersubstaniated opinion, it would be that publishers/labels that do digital distribution are also those who pick up series more targeted towards readers with disposable income. More direct sales, less used-book-market, more likelihood of people buying far more than they could ever hope to store (or read).

(I’ll also get around to reading and voting on the nominations we have thus far by Tuesday)

1 Like

I was gonna do the same! But by all means, save me the trouble haha. :joy:

I read the first few pages and it seemed easy enough!

@seanblue
I just recently started using Amazon JP, and they have quite a LOT of manga in ebook format. I’ve found Nodame Cantabile and Chihayafuru (first 3 volumes free for both series!) amongst the manga that I do know. There are many other series I’ve seen that also offer free volumes.

I don’t feel that ebooks are ‘limiting’ when I look at the selection, but then again, I don’t know as many titles as some people here.

Edit: After a further search, I found other popular manga series as well (yes, I know they’re very typical, but I’m not that familiar with other series). Here’s just a sample:

  • Nisekoi
  • Naruto
  • One Piece
  • Nana
  • Chi’s Sweet Home
  • Fruits Basket
  • Claymore
  • Card Captor Sakura
  • Dragon Ball
  • Doraemon

And a few others that have been recommended online: ダーリンは外国人, くるねこ,
タマさん

I think if the book club were to select books available in both physical and ebook format, that would be ideal. We’re talking about foreign books here, not domestic English books readily available at your local bookstore. Some people aren’t able to buy physical copies for a variety of reasons, and I don’t think it’s up to us to judge their decision. I think it would be a lot more rewarding for the book club to become more inclusive.

2 Likes

Sorry, it’s a bit confusing now that this discussion has been duplicated over two threads.

As I said in the other thread:

I’m not sure whether your comment about judging people’s decision was a general comment or specifically in response to those of us making suggestions about selling the book on afterwards, but I was making that suggestion because the book had already been selected, and it might have helped some people in this position to join in for this book.

1 Like

Sorry if it sounded like I was pointing fingers, but it was a general comment!
I know that the book has already been decided for the next session, so no worries about that! It’s definitely a good idea to find solutions if the issue is the lack of space.

I guess I should’ve specified the context of my comments. I’ve quoted the main points I wanted to address here.

My post was mostly trying to explain that it doesn’t seem that limiting from my understanding, and I wanted to show that it’s very much possible to have good selections while making both formats available! I’m very sorry if you felt offended, there was really no sting intended at all! :disappointed_relieved:

1 Like

No no no, not at all! I thought it was probably a general comment, and even if not there was no offence taken, I was just clarifying. I’m a bit sleepy so writing in a rather tired and direct way :stuck_out_tongue: I also wanted to reiterate the idea for anybody lurking, just in case it helps more people join in.

I think the most illuminating thing would be to know how many of our currently/soon to be suggested books are available in ebook format, rather than looking at the selection generally. I’m sure there are lots of ebooks available, but that’s different from lots of the books we want to read being available in ebook format.

My personal stance (and I’m just one new member) would definitely be to allow as many people as possible to join in for every book, but it can already be a struggle to find appropriate material, which I think is why there’s an argument to be made for not excluding particular books altogether.

I would say only one or two of those manga you listed are appropriate for the book club. To me, it doesn’t make sense to read one volume of a very story-driven manga. That’s why I’ve been nominating and voting for slice of life stuff, even though I do like other genres in general.

As has been stated here or in the Aria thread, people will always be left out because their preferred choices loses the vote. I think the best we can do is to clearly indicate in the nominations table if an ebook is available, and then let the poll do its thing.

7 Likes

I agree on checking which of the nominations has an e-book available and mark them so those who are influenced by it can vote accordingly, without disqualifying any items based on lacking e-format.
Let the majority vote decide on items, where everyone are free to base their vote on their own criteria.
Disqualifying factors should be hard to obtain, or deemed too advanced for the group.

I would like to denominise the Vader books. I know, we are re-nominating, and as long as not nominated it will be out, but since I’m the one who found it in the first place I would like to put a denominisation on it :wink:
I mentioned it when I found it on Amazon jp, and it got added to the list based on “oh this looks cute”, so I’m glad we do better nominations now =P
When it arrived it turned out to be all in handwritten text, and was very hard to make out what it said. So rather than practicing words you got to practice deciphering :wink:

5 Likes

I think starting from scratch means everything is “denominated” until and unless it is officially renominated. That way everything will require a new post explaining why it would be good for the book club, providing sample pages, and having a poll so we can gauge difficulty.

Exactly :wink:
I just wanted to put it out there, in case someone considered checking them out cause they had been in several of the past polls. They didn’t get many votes (luckily), but thought it worth mentioning =P
But on the other hand, if someone is looking for practice reading handwriting… :wink:

We should try to do the new nominations over the next couple months. Since Aria is only 9 weeks long, we’ll need to do the next poll in July. Hopefully by then we have more than two nominations. :slight_smile:

Were you planning to renominate anything else or nominate anything new?

Chii’s Sweet Home, possibly Naruto if people don’t hate the theme on Ninjas

Nothing against Naruto, (I really like the manga) but I personally would prefer something that would context-wise be closer to realism or a slice-of-life situation for the book club. While some techniques like 影分身の術 have interesting naming and Kanji, I doubt they would be any useful for me as a beginner. Same goes for things like だってばよ or 忍道. I personally doubt I will ever run into a conversation where someone asks me about my ninja way. :see_no_evil:

But then again, maybe the majority of the people would like that idea. :slightly_smiling_face:

2 Likes

I don’t really have interest in those kinds of shounen manga, but maybe many other people will be interested. Who knows.

1 Like

Chi is certainly worth nominating, though I’m among those who, trying it as one of their first native titles, found it difficult to deal with the combination of hiragana overload and, for lack of a better term, meowified sounds. Be sure to include some dialogue-heavy pages for reference.

Naruto, as mentioned, is likely too far into domain-specific-vocab territory to be a good choice for most peoples’ first manga. But it’ll be up to the same voting process as everything else and it’s not like what’s learned from the experience won’t be transferable to later volumes and other similar works.

As long as the nominees and/or past threads help to convince people that transitioning from studying to reading isn’t an impossible task, there’s no wrong choice.

2 Likes