Beginner Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: シャドーハウス

Also, I have an idea for how to avoid choosing books that are too difficult. After this next book is selected (go Aria!), all previous nominations are removed and must be renominated. Required with each nomination would be the first three pages of the book and up to three additional pages (so that there is some variety). At the end of the nomination post must be a public poll where people can vote on how easy the book is based on the pages posted. Or maybe the polls should be included in a subsection of the main post in this topic. Either way, the average difficulty rating for each book can be included with the list of nominations and we can even eliminate books that have too high of a difficulty rating. This would add some overhead, but it might be worth it to avoid choosing books that are too difficult.


I’m too sleepy to comment on the other aspects, but I think eliminating suggestions and requiring they be re-nominated would help to keep the list under control anyway, and including page samples seems very sensible.

A planning thread for this coordination thread (which is already kinda long) sounds good and doesn’t seem like it would be difficult to manage.

We could do it in parallel with the reading thread, but I’d suggest we delay accepting nominations until after we’ve been through at least the first chapter or two of the current pick (c’mon, Aria!).

If I understand where you’re going with the idea, this should have the following benefits:

  • provide plenty of time for people to present their candidates(s) with samples and rationale
  • not distract people who just want to read whatever gets chosen, trusting others to make the informed decisions they’re not ready to vet (this is a beginner-level group, after all)
  • ensure that anyone putting forth a suggestion has a frame of reference for difficulty (at least relative to the ongoing book, if they didn’t participate in the past, keeping the barrier to entry low for newcomers to help guide the group)
  • allow more-difficult suggestions from people at the upper-beginner/low-intermediate level to fall away gracefully as they move on to harder material
  • give lurkers and future learners a resource they can use to find interesting material that didn’t make the bookclub cut, but might be well-suited to their own reading progress
  • give members of this club a record of why something was rejected so it doesn’t take time away from finding new content or so they can challenge the counterarguments
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Yeah, I think that’s what happened with Kiki as well :slight_smile: I think the debate here is more over whether and how to make sure that the options presented in the poll are of an appropriate level for the book club.

Hey all, I guess I’ll put in a lurker’s perspective.

I voted in the very first poll for よつばと! but had to drop out after 3 chapters due to life circumstances.

I voted for よつばと! volume 2 for the second tally, but Kiki wound up winning. I read a sample and it was too much for me and my free time was still at a premium and so I sat it out.

I voted this time again for Shirokuma Cafe (I’m immensely enjoying the anime atm and the manga is often recommended to beginners) and Chi’s Sweet Home (which I also bought and would say is easier than よつばと!), but sadly these aren’t in lead.

If Girl wins I’ll likely sit out again. I’m concerned that if i tackle something too hard I’ll get frustrated and drop out again. Of the two leaders, I’m rooting for Aria, but I didn’t update my votes to include it because I’m not sure if I’ll join again. I have a nasty habit of buying things and putting them to the side, and I fear Aria would be yet another book on the pile. I’ll definitely give it a look, tho. If it doesn’t work out for me, perhaps I’ll rejoin the よつばと! group in a short while.

Anyway, not sure why I felt compelled to jump in. :stuck_out_tongue: I will say that I see vote trolling occurring in other forums as well, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it is happening here too. In that case, just make it all public voting. If harassing occurs due to people’s choices, the mods can probably take care of it. At least it puts a face to the voting. (And let people rationalize their participation as well, eg: I’ll participate if XYZ wins but otherwise maybe next time).

Posted from my big stack of unread Japanese books, manga and video games.


I do think public voting would be fine as well. I voted for Shirokuma Cafe because I liked the anime and already own the manga. Its vocab level is a bit higher than my current level, but with furigana, most things can be looked up just fine. I highly recommend watching the anime first, since it seems to give a lot of context for the events in the manga.

To further complicate the discussion, I’d like to point out that the club doesn’t necessarily have to read one book at a time. With public voting, it should be possible to tell if there’s enough interest to take on two books at the same time and split up the readers into multiple groups.

It’s possible that this is what lead to the Yotsuba reading club’s formation.

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I’d guess we’ll be less than 10 people reading the next book/manga already, so I think it’s better not to.

The main reason that happened is that people wanted to continue with よつばと! instead of going for the current book.

Ah…, that definitely doesn’t square up with the number of votes. :sweat:

Yeah, most people drop or never end up participating :man_shrugging:

People definitely overestimate their ability, their free time, or both.

Getting 10 people to stick with the next book would be a huge step up considering we have somewhere around 3-5 people still reading Kiki.

I think it’s good for people to create long-term groups to continue reading series that they like. But we definitely shouldn’t plan to split ahead of time.


that one seems to be a spin off of ふしぎな図書館. Or perhaps its the other way around. The same character 羊男 appears in both.


waaaahhhh. only 3-5 people are still reading kiki! :sob::sob: i feel sorrier now about quitting. I will finish it at some point and quietly refer to the discussion threads and vocab lists for my doubts so to the gambarimasu-ers who are plodding on, おつかれさまです and ありがとうございます!

Could someone please add me to the members list? i would like to join from the next book!

thank you!

Put you down as “will order the book”!

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Can you please add me, too with the truck symbol? xD i‘m gonna join, no matter what.

Can I be added to the group too please?

@cybershark and @MajorVI - both added!

@Jakeb - you all might want to bookmark this thread to keep an eye on when the book gets selected and we start reading and so on :slightly_smiling_face:


Awesome thank you so much!

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Thank you!

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I think they are both spin offs of the longer novels that feature 羊男 such as 羊をめぐる冒険.