Beginner Japanese Book Club (NOW VOTING | Currently Reading: 時をかける少女)


Has anyone read the first book of スーと鯛ちゃん? It was too cute not to pick up at the store, and has furigana and not a lot of text in general, so I’m assuming it’s pretty easy level, but just wondering if by its nature it’ll be a lot of unusual grammar confusing to a beginner?


Oh nooo — I was 結構 annoyed when that first happened to me :upside_down_face: that’s why I’m primarily reserving the new account I made for books only if I can so that I can make the most of the kindle reader and the dictionary

The manga is available for free on eBookJapan as well btw, I like their app and reader a lot!


Unfortunately I had no idea this could happen. I grabbed a whole bunch of free manga that I’ll almost certainly never read, and now I can’t get stuff I actually want. It’s such a waste.


Install VPN plugin such as Tunnelbear and problem solved


Would… would people mind if I organised the list of proposed books by medium? :see_no_evil:

yes, work has slowed down a little, why do you ask?


No objections from me.


Well I knew I’d be behind because of shipping times, but as soon as I opened the book, I was overwhelmed.
There’s one or two words in every sentence that I don’t understand.
I ignored the book for a bit but today sat elsewhere in my house upright with the book, my medium notebook, a gel pen, and my smartphone set to Jisho.

Tbh, without my smartphone, I’d not do it.
But thanks to now having one, I could quickly swipe or type and get back to my notes and reading with minimal disruption.

This was one of my favorite movies when I watched it, but I’m still surprised that I was able to get through two “weeks” (of book club material) and several hours nonstop of constantly note taking and looking up and still remaining interested. I am exhausted, though.

I hope I can join in soon… It’d be the best motivation not to give up.


That actually used to be the case when I first started trying to read actual books, but trust me, it does get easier*(in my case, after learning an additional 2000 or so words and some grammar from stuff I tried to read). It may take a while, but keep going and you’ll get there eventually. Or even if you don’t, at least you’ll get further than where you are now, which I’d still say is worth it.

I can’t explain it either, but I definitely also feel that way sometimes when trying to read something difficult.(Like SAO or Dies Irae lately. Well, really more like “looking up ever other word until I understand” than “reading” for those two, but you get the point) Well, maybe I wouldn’t actually be able to keep at it for hours, so I guess you’re a bit more dedicated than me… but I still understand the feeling! (I think)

*Disclaimer: I’m not amazing at reading japanese either or anything, but at least I can read 時をかける少女 without any larger problems now.


Sounds like you’re nearly there! It really does get easier once you get into it :blush: although chapter 3 definitely had some tricky pages, so don’t give up!


Having the vocab list linked in the OP of each chapter’s thread open as you read might help reduce the number of words you have to look up individually.

And if you read through a chapter (or even just a page or two) after having gone through it once, it should go a lot smoother and hopefully feel more like just reading (even if there are still words you don’t understand - that’s perfectly okay!).

Also don’t forget you can still post in any chapter thread even if the club has moved on past that chapter. I’m still planning on doing a thorough read-through of Chapter 2 (just read through quickly without looking anything up last week) before moving on to Chapter 3.

The fact that it’s painful just means that you’re learning. がんばって!!You’re not alone and hopefully I’ll see you in the chapter threads!! :grin:


I’d like to second that. I still have notifications on for every thread we do, and I’m sure some of the more advanced people do too so you’ll get an answer reasonably quickly. Plus, asking a question that’s not yet been answered may help something click for someone else or make them aware of something they missed the first time. So definitely post there :smile:


I have to look up virtually every second word. What helps a lot is exporting the book from Kindle to html (using Calibre) and reading it from the browser with Yomichan or a similar extension. Then it takes just a second to look up a word, it shows you where the word ends and deconjugates it for you (correctly in most cases). At least the grammar seems easy so far, and the plot is very interesting (I haven’t seen the anime).


Reminder to everyone that if you want to nominate more books/manga for next time around, now’s your chance. Check out the first post to see what’s already been nominated and to see the template for how to nominate something new. Voting will take place mid-January.

Personally, I’m rooting for 放浪息子.


Even though I’m not reading anything in the bookclub right now I would lile to nnominate the Manga あたしンち。

It’s main target audiance might me children, but I came to quite like it. The first Manga has around 130 pages and consists of around 32 short stories which are always about daily family life and quite funny. There are lots of furigana and even I was able to get what the storys where about. So maybe someone more experienced then me might take a look at it and say if this might be an option.

Edit: It’s full color, btw


Wrong template. sry



Outrageous misadventures of an almost normal family with a housewife, her husband, and their two kids Yuusuke and Mikan. Wacky humor about this weird family’s daily life.


An ebook is aviable on I don’t know where else to get japanese ebooks.

Personal Opinion

I did watch the anime and trasnlated it for crunchyroll germany. First I was skeptical, but the Anime ended up beeing quite funny. I bought the first volume of the manga and it’s a fun and easy to read manga. The manga is around 130 pages long and consist of 34 short storys about daily family life.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club


  • lot’s of furigana
  • daily life conevrsations
  • actually quite funny


  • might be a bit childish for some


First Three Pages of Chapter One


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


But I don’t know if my poor heart can take reading that again! It might take me back to the poor, lonely, closeted queer I was at the time! ; p

On the other hand, I already own most of the manga.

Hmm. Emotionaly security, financial security…


Oops, I accidentally voted, but I didn’t even read the book. Can I retract my vote or something?



(Nordic Girl Åsa Discovers the Mysteries of Japan)


Convenience store onigiri are way too handy! Why is it that Japanese girls can call just about anything “cute?” The guys at host bars are so hot, they’re like real-life anime characters! These are only some of the mysteries Swedish manga artist Åsa Ekström discovers in this journal comic about her journey from Scandinavia to Japan, which is jam-packed with surprises and laughs!




It’s also availble in original rudimentary form for free (and without the bonus material the tankobon version includes) on the author’s website, though I’d be extremely surprised if the ones on the website are identical to the ones in the book. It’s possible there’s cleaned-up versions later in the blog, but I don’t have time right now to search:

Lastly, if you want to cheat, and read it in English (though again without the bonus material):

Personal Opinion

I encountered the English version linked above first, and enjoyed it quite a bit. I feel we’d enjoy it because it’s about the experiences of a foreigner discovering Japan, which I’m sure we can all relate to.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club


  • Short and punchy 4-koma format
  • Funny and relatable
  • Uses normal, regular day-to-day language


  • No furigana. Volumes two and up use furigana (at least for speech bubbles and narration panels, not for the bonus material), but this volume doesn’t have any.


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


Just vote for the “I don’t know” option.


Decisions decisions. I quite liked the anime and look forward to seeing where it started (since the anime started from the middle of the manga).