Beginner Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: 夜カフェ

Well, it does not have to be done immediately, since it would be needed after the current book at the earliest, but yes, it’s a huge time sink. Which is why I think it’s unlikely to happen.


Typing up manga dialogue is quick and fun! …for the first chapter or two.

Time sink is definitely the right wording for it!


and building the vocab list… page 37 is basically updated… have to sleep…will keep slogging along tomorrow… yeah made it to page 38 (though haven’t started reading it yet)…


Looks like it’s almost time to vote for the next book. I wonder if any more nominations will come in.


Checking suggestions and voting is probably my favorite part of the book clubs :stuck_out_tongue:


Now, since you asked for it so nicely :wink:

こぐまのクーク物語 春と夏 - Kuuku the Bear Cub’s Story, Spring and Summer

Summary (Japanese from Amazon, English is my own translation)


Kuuku and his animal friends grow up among lush nature. Kukki’s parents run a restaurant called “Forest’s Kitchen” where they prepare delicious meals. 8 emotionally moving stories. Recipes are included.



Personal Opinion

I have not read the book yet, but I noticed it on FloFlo because it has very few different words. It seems to be a cute children’s story. From peeking into it, I like the artwork as well.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club


  • Vocab list on FloFlo
  • Only 1230 different words according to FloFlo (that’s about half the words compared to Kiri)
  • It’s actually a book for very small children, so the language is easy, and the sentences are short.
  • 8 stories that are each 20 pages or less, and each page contains very little text only (see screenshots). I can imagine that we can handle each story in one or max. two weeks.
  • It seems to be a series, so we can continue with the next book(s) if people are interested.


  • FloFlo may have misparses, e.g. it did not seem to be able to parse こぐま (bear cub)
  • As expected for a children’s book, there are not too many kanji.
  • The story is probably not too deep :wink:


First Three Pages of Chapter One

Additional Pages

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


When would the deadline for nominations be, by the way?
I randomly came across something special to me at book off: 10 years ago, I tried to read my first book in Japanese, たのしいムーミン一家 and gave up after 3 pages. I want revenge!


The current pick will be finished on April 11th. Maybe we want to add one week of leeway before starting the new book (as we often did before), that would mean the new book could start on April 18th.
If we want to have the new book pick 6 weeks before that, that would mean the pick should be determined by March 7th. I.e. maybe voting should start by March 1st or so? That would be in two weeks.

Or should we rather have 7 weeks for ordering the book? :thinking:

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Are the nominations those in the first post? They’re almost all manga :eyes: I like the 近所 one :eyes: and the kuma seems easy but interesting :eyes:

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That’s why I explicitly nominated a book :smiley:


To be fair, books are really long compared to manga and the group often reads some manga between each book.


Actually I wouldn’t mind a manga next time but I’m unusually worst at reading manga compared to books :laughing:


Yeah, voting will be the first week of March, or later if we decide to spend an extra week on Kiri. So if people could get any nominations in a bit before that so that there’s time to vote on difficulty, that would be good.

Let’s say the 24th of February for now, but with the possibility for an extension :wink:


Question! I noticed that たのしいムーミン一家 was a big boi, but thought that with the illustrations the page count would still be acceptable… but it’s not (青い鳥文庫 is at 284).
HOWEVER! The book contains about 4 story arcs, so would it be okay to just nominate the first two (~140 pages) or even just the first one (~75 pages)? Then people interested could keep going as an offshoot club.


I love how this is a thing now :joy:


Er… anyone else have an opinion?!

Personally I feel like that’s not unreasonable. It doesn’t seem dissimilar to reading the first volume of a manga without promising to finish the story as a club.

At the same time, I guess people might not be super pumped to buy a book when the club is only definitely planning to read 25% - 50% of it…

But! To me it feels like we could just make that super clear when voting, and then people can vote accordingly ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


I think if the stories are reasonably self-contained, like e.g. a collection of short stories or fairy tales, then it might make sense to nominate just part of a book (otherwise this would mean we could just nominate the first part of any book :rofl:)
But I would probably limit this to those cases where the full book is too big of a boi.

And of course, making this super clear for the voting would be mandatory.

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Oh gosh yes, definitely only for collection-style books. You can’t just nominate “up to chapter seven” :joy: and only if needed considering the length of the book. Don’t want to force people to buy lots of short story collections where we only read the first story or two of each one.

Edit: unrelatedly, have Amazon removed or changed the ability to preview books? You used to be able to click on the picture to get the first few pages, but I can’t seem to do that anymore…
Double-edit: wait, never mind…


But what if the ending just really really sucks? :stuck_out_tongue:

I’d be okay with sections if they are reasonably self contained. We could always ask the POLL. :rofl:


@Ditto20 I just (somewhat accidentally) read the first two chapters of FukaBoku online in my lunch break, so I guess I’ll be voting for that one :sweat_smile: