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

It has already been nominated. Please check out the first post to see all nominations, as well as links to see the details of each nomination. The first post also includes a template for nominating additional books/manga, if you are interested.

I swear the first post didn’t have anything when I checked. Just a link to the next book starting on the 17th and the current book. Sorry, I must’ve not looked properly.

They are in “detail” sections since they take up so much space.



Kino no Tabi - キノの旅


In Kino’s Journey , the protagonist, Kino, accompanied by a talking motorcycle named Hermes, travels through a mystical world of many different countries and forests, each unique in its customs and people. They only spend three days and two nights in every town, without exception, on the principle that three days is enough time to learn almost everything important about a place, while leaving time to explore new lands.



Personal Opinion

I haven’t read that book, nor have I heard of it until I saw it on floflo. Instead, have @MissMisc’s opinion:

That being said, reading the sample I posted below, I think people around N3 should be fine on their own, so it would be challenging at N4, but that’s what makes it a good learning target for the club, I think.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club


  • Word list available on floflo, and the word count is quite low (i.e. not too much vocab to look up)
  • Each chapter seems to be self-contained, so it’s easier for people to skip ahead to catch up with the group.


  • Light novel, so more involved than a manga for real beginners.
  • Self-contained chapters mean that character progression may be slow or non-existent.
  • A bit long for a beginner’s group (slightly over 200 pages of text), but that can be mitigated by the self-contained aspect (e.g. we could skip the second half or turn it into an independent reading group)


First Three Pages of Chapter One

Additional Pages

About two pages per screenshot

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


I’m already so busy I can barely keep up with Aria and Non Non Biyori, and now I have more samples to read?? :laughing:


I always forget that it’s the book and not the manga (which is free on eBookJapan until October 4th and looks to be closely adapted. :sweat_smile:)

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I’m in favor of consuming media in its original form as much as possible. I don’t think I’d ever read the manga version of something if it was originally a book.


Not even after reading the book first? :joy:

Eh, probably not. But not for the same reason. I just wouldn’t have the desire to, especially if it’s a close adaption.

Anime is different though, since seeing the source material come to life can be interesting.

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I guess light novels have illustrations, but I would still like to see everything play out in manga form.
For me book to manga is the same as manga to anime. But I guess I’m biased since I prefer manga.
I also re-read stuff regularly, so I wouldn’t mind seeing the same story again.


Forgot to add a “I’m @seanblue and I just can’t deal right now oh god why” option to the poll :thinking:


For those who read のんのんびより just be careful, there are a lot of obscure terms and use of country accents. With all considered its my favorite manga of all time.

I would highly suggest からかい上手の高木さん。Only about 9 volumes, charming, funny, and lots of good daily conversational Japanese.

Sorry, it looks like I am super late to this thread. Just had free time and saw this on the bottom of the Kanji review page! Mahalos!


Makes sense. I don’t love the general graphic novel medium, including manga and western comic books. They’ve grown on me a little, though, since I started reading manga for language practice.

I still strongly prefer books, which is why I want to improve my Japanese skills so badly. I can read a 300 page fantasy novel in English comfortably in a week’s time. I’d be happy to be able to read a similar length fantasy novel in Japanese in a month or two.

Not sure why I wrote all that. :man_shrugging:


It’s good to reassert goals, and it’s motivating for others too!


I’m seriously conflicted about voting for a book for the next round. Reading one more manga would bring us to around January, which would be much more convenient for me. But I am also tiring of manga and want to read a book. どうすればいいのかな…

True. I realized as I was typing that I was digressing from the discussion @Kazzeon and I were having, but it felt good to write it out anyway. :slight_smile:


Same here (although I’m technically reading SAO right now, but I’m holding off until I have cleared my floflo lesson queue, which in turn has to wait for my review queue to get back in order)
I really enjoy reading things with everyone (and ARIA is really nice), but I’m more of a book person too.

Now, I realize that I’m unfairly pushing for stuff that would probably be better suited for the intermediate book club, and that I’m only here because it’s technically dead to gather future recruits to push people to go beyond their limits yeah, that one.


I wanted to de-lurk for a moment to say it’s awesome how much effort you guys are putting into the book club and the considerations for nominations. I haven’t participated so far, but I’m thinking I’d like to this time around so I can read something completely new that’s a bit more challenging. Thanks for all the work you’ve done! :blush:


Having watched the anime, I imagine the manga would be easy going reading.

I’m putting this on my manga wish list.

Yes, I think it would make a good nomination.

Has anyone read 銀の匙? It’s also on my future manga shopping list.

I would be keen on that as long as I can actually read it without it being too difficult for my N3-ish level. I’m actually not sure where to begin looking for material that’s suitable apart from textbook reading material.


I am new here so don’t really know how things work but why are we taking nominations when the next book is already decided. The 2 reasons I see are, either it’s for the book we’ll do after 夏目友人帳 or only some people are reading that book and the rest are nominating for what to read next. It’s probably the latter. Also when will the current book end?

Yes, some good daily conversation, but there can be a lot of agricultural terms thrown around. Great story but it might be closer to intermediate level.

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