Beginner Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: 耳をすませば

Haha, no that’s good, thanks! :+1:

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So, I have a borderline case. I want to nominate キノの旅, but it seems to have about 220 pages of text. That being said, that count includes an afterword from the author, and, since it’s a light novel, it probably contains illustrations as well.
(That being said, the sample I could check on bookwalker seemed to have a lot of illustrations at the beginning, already excluded from the page count I am giving above, so there might not be any in the main text)

My point is that it’s almost at the page limit, is it okay to nominate it anyway?


Should I just increase the limit to 500 pages? :stuck_out_tongue:

Seriously though, does キノの旅 actually seem beginner friendly?

Hm, it’s hard to say. It has a low unique word count according to floflo (also, it’s on floflo, which is a plus). However, it’s fairly short, so density might not be that low after all.

All chapters are basically self contained stories, which means that it’s easy for people to get back in, but at the same time it means different settings, and thus getting the usual learning curve multiple times.

There’s some furigana as well. Grammar-wise it seems fairly straightforward, I think? But I guess I can just leave that judgment to others.


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Well feel free to nominate it I guess. The difficulty vote will tell us if it’s appropriate for the book club.

I really enjoyed the anime, I would love to read it :motorcycle::durtle_love:

Edit: Ooo volume 1 of the manga is free right now! Free to download until Oct. 4th




I was bored by the anime, but maybe I’d feel differently about the book. :man_shrugging:

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Oh, yeah. I downloaded it and then forgot. :sweat_smile:

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I saw the first 2 episodes of the new anime and really liked it, though. :smiley:

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I’d personally be up for reading キノの旅, but floflo say it has more words than 魔女の宅急便, which people apparently had trouble with, so maybe it’d be a bit too difficult for the book club? Or were people struggling with 魔女の宅急便 for other reasons than just the vocab? Or am I just mistaken?

(though I guess having floflo could help a bit with the vocab)

Majo no Takkyubin seemed to have a lot of substandard grammar and spelling (for characterization purposes). Although I don’t know if that was the main issue people had while reading it. Kino seemed very standard in that regard.


@ditto20 @Raionus I think most of the reasons 魔女の宅急便 was hard are general issues with the first time reading a novel. Some of the issues I encountered were:

  1. First time encountering long strings of text and complex sentences, include complex relative clauses.
  2. First time encountering “novel speak”, like the million ways to say “he/she said” and 連用形.
  3. Large amounts of exposition in general, but particularly in the first few pages.
  4. Hard to read text that used kana when it should use kanji.

The first three problems became easier and easier over time. The fourth was a pain the whole time and it makes me reluctant to read another novel that uses kana inappropriately.

@ditto20 From my experience, unknown vocab is much easier to overcome than unknown kanji or unknown grammar.


キノの旅 doesn’t do that at least :slight_smile:
But the first 3 points are fairly unavoidable in a novel (light or not) :confused:

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I’m grateful the current and next book are both available on Bookwalker. It is just so much easier for me being Australian given we are now restricted from buying from Amazon outside of our own country. Thank you.


Yeah, that was my assumption. It’s just a hump everyone has to get over at some point if they want to read novels.

Also, regarding the million ways to say “he/she said”. The funny thing is that when I’m reading a book in English, I skip over that 99% of the time and just go back if I feel like I missed something important. But I can’t really do that yet in Japanese because I won’t realize as easily if I missed something.

This may be the first time someone other than Nath has voted for “No effort at all”. :open_mouth:


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Well that was based on the pages shown… I am probably tempting fate, I do realise that. :joy::thinking:


It does seem really easy based on those pages. Hopefully I didn’t accidentally pick the easiest pages in the book! :joy:

Alright, thanks for answering. I’ve always had more trouble with not knowing enough vocab(that was just as true for English and German as it now is for Japanese), so I guess I easily end up assuming that’s what others will have trouble with too, even if that obviously doesn’t have to be the case at all.

Yeah, unknown vocab is a pain and if there are too many you don’t know it’s not a smooth reading experience. But it’s much easier to look up vocab than it is to look up kanji or grammar.