ChristopherFritz's Study Log

I’m a huge fan of Japanese the Manga Way and refer to it often. I’d never thought of using their breakdown format (which I love) for my own studies. You are such an inspiration and one of my favourite people on the WK forums. Keep up the most excellent work!


In my never-ending quest to find ways to procrastinate from reading, I’m looking at what my goals are for September reading. (I recommend developing systems rather than setting goals, but this post is just for fun.)

Book Clubs Reading

I am of course continuing with all the book clubs I’m in. No goals to set here, as these are for the most part simply “continue reading”.

  • わんわん探偵団 1: I think the fact that I’m reading this one as a physical book rather than digital is having a big impact on my slacking off. (I fall behind, then read a few weeks worth in one go, then fall behind.) When it comes to the next book, I’m definitely going digital again.

  • レンタルおにいちゃん: Since I’ve read it before, I’m indirectly reading along, as I’m answering questions (quick re-read of a page for context), and writing up dialogue changes from the original release to the commercial release.

  • よつばと!: We’re at the end. I actually failed to read last week’s chapter, so I’ll be finishing that up, and then reading this week’s chapter, hopefully this upcoming week.

  • ふらいんぐうぃっち: We’ll be finishing up volume 6 and starting volume 7 in September. Back at the end of volume 5, I’d forgotten I already bought volume 6, so I went and bout the “next” volume, volume 7. I’m more than ready.

  • 魔女の宅急便: I’m officially behind (again). If I could implement my system of reading at least one sentence per day (under the expectation I’ll read more than one sentence), I might actually be able to not be far behind all the time. (I’m halfway through last week’s reading.)

  • おじさまと猫: I need to work this one into my page count tracking, and then “formally” start reading it. (I’ve skimmed the first few chapters.) Being about four pages per week, it’ll be an easy ready to keep up with in September.

  • 美少女戦士セーラームーン: Nothing’s going to slow me down from reading one chapter per week of Sailormoon! It’s exciting to consider I’ll reach the end of the third story arc by the end of September, as I’ve never gone through this story arc before (manga or anime).

  • アオハライド: I’m liking the increase one-month-per-volume pace. Now that we’re way out of anime-adaptation material, my interest level in the series has greatly increased. I’m glad I watched through the anime earlier this year and joined in with reading the manga.

  • 3月のライオン: My prediction: I’ll start reading this with the club mid-September. I’ll struggle to keep up (especially if the first chapter isn’t split across two weeks). I’ll be OCR’ing like crazy. I’ll fall behind. And I’ll shelve the series for now after I finish volume one.

  • スキップ・ビート!: I think I’m going to skip this one, but I’ll keep it in mind for when my reading stamina is up higher. It looks the series has a fair number of pages dense with dialogue, which is the main thing slowing me down reading 「GALS!」 and 「ハヤテのごとく!」.

Non-Book Club Reading

  • GALS!: I’ve been reading the first volume off and on for some time now. I plan to read through volume one in English, then finish up reading the volume in Japanese (with the super-power feeling of always knowing what everyone’s saying immediately as I read it). I’m 59% of the way through, and would really like to push to finish by the end of September. (Pace: 3 pages per day, unless I fall behind or read extra.)

  • GOSICK―ゴシック―: I want to like this series, but it’s been such a struggle. I feel like I’ve barely started the third/final chapter of the first volume. That said, I’m 81% of the way through the volume. (Pace: 1 page per day, and I finish right at the end of September!)

  • ハヤテのごとく!: With the density of dialogue, I don’t feel I can finish this volume up in September, although it would be nice if I could. I feel like I must be near the end of the volume, yet I’m only 52% of the way there! (Pace: If I can manage 3 pages per day, it’s doable…)

  • 三ツ星カラーズ: Volume 8 just came out! I’ll probably be buying it soon, but I’ll have to force myself to not read more than one chapter per week. (The short chapters are the worst for this!)

  • 異国迷路のクロワーゼ: My physical manga fall by the wayside because they’re so inconvenient (for me). Looking up a word means having to place a bookmark and close the book, and I need to be near my desktop computer, or have my smartphone handy. And the text is always so small. That’s the primary reason why it’s been just over two weeks since I last read this series! (Pace: All I need to do is read 1 page per day to finish by the end in a month.)

  • アリア: Likewise on the paperback. I haven’t even started the first volume! (Third if you count the two アクア volumes, which I’ve finished.) I’d like to get back to one chapter per week in September, as I’m one volume behind on my 2020 reading schedule for this series.

  • 魔女の宅急便: (シネマコミック) The only reason I haven’t finished this one yet is because the lack of furigana keeps me from wanting to start reading, even though I know when I do start reading, I’ll make a lot of progress. I’m 71% of the way through. (Pace: 4 pages per day. Actually lower when considering many pages will have little to no dialogue.)

  • どんなときも名探偵: Have I even started this one yet? I was supposed to finish it by the end of August (oops). I think my reading time for this has been overtaken by Kiki (the novel). I don’t know if I’ll start this one up yet, or wait until わんわん book 1 is finished

  • ご注文はうさぎですか?: I feel like this is an honorable mention, with as much as I don’t read it. (I want to read more, but no furigana…) I’m actually 75% of the way through, but I don’t expect to schedule it for any reading in September.

September Planning

My daily reading schedule has been:

  1. Start reading something.
  2. Read until I feel I’ve read enough of it. (Maybe I reached the end of a chapter, or maybe I read a few exhausting pages.)
  3. Pick something else to read.


  • I can get a lot of reading in on one series.
  • Finishing a week’s reading early (such as a whole chapter of Flying Witch over the weekend) provides a sense of relief for book club reads. “This one’s completed on schedule. No worries of falling behind, and I’m able to answer questions (plus no worries about spoilers).”


  • Prioritizes reading book club items over non-book club items. I haven’t done any stats on how much book club vs non-book club reading I’ve done, but I expect it’s a rate of about two to one.

My planned system to achieve my September reading goals is to read a set number of pages from everything I’m reading. After I reach the goal for everything, I can go back and read more of something.


  • Ensures I do go long periods without reading a series.
  • The desire to read more than my daily minimum for a series may push me to hurry and complete my quota.


My list of active reads currently has 13 items on it. Hopefully by the end of September, that will lower to 10.

(My apologies for anyone who read all that. You could have been reading something in Japanese. And I didn’t really include pictures.)


Don’t worry because you know there’s frayderike who’s farther behind than you.


Would you be so kind and share how you track your page counting?

1 Like

@ChristopherFritz has a beautiful and efficient study log


Aaaah yes I remeber I saw it before (I was just too lazy to search for it :see_no_evil: :see_no_evil: :see_no_evil:)


Previously I was simply filling out a checklist (still am), and making a back-up copy of the week’s tab each week. Recently, rather than a back-up copy of prior weeks tab, I’ve put together a tab where I record my page count per day per series/volume.

The main goal was to not have so many tabs, but I also hope to be able to get more stats out of them, such as tracking how long it’s been since I last read from a volume. One issue I face is when I stop reading something mid-chapter, then get back to it three weeks later and I don’t remember what was going on. Of course, this won’t be an issue if I’m able to read a little bit from everything every day (remains to be seen).

The most important thing with the tracking is that the (minimal) time it takes to track page counts is more than offset by the amount of extra reading I do.

1 Like

Reading in Japanese tires me out! :rofl:


I know this pace won’t carry over into the work week, but I’ve managed to have my most productive (manga) reading weekend in three months (and possibly ever!)

My records only go as far back as 5/31, so I don’t know how well I did during that weekend overall (86 pages read that Sunday). But this current weekend, with 49 pages Saturday and 121 pages Sunday, it’ll be hard to beat going forward

For these numbers, I don’t count pages with little to no dialogue. If there are three or four pages with minimal dialogue, I typically count them as one page.

Of course, this also counts these as one page each:

08_856158_856158_1_120_001x i-0103x

i-006x i-374x

…so it’s not the most even metric.

The dialogue-heavy series are still a drudge to get through even one page, so hopefully I’ll be able to push to finish them up in September, and then I can focus on more easy material.


Hi @ChristopherFritz. The Google sheet you shared won’t let me switch to see the schedule tab. I’m not sure of what vocab to use to google this either :sweat_smile:

How can I change it from video to chapter without losing the equation formatting?

If you save a new copy of my sheet, you should be able to access the Schedule tab from the “All Sheets” icon at the bottom-left. (For now, I’ve temporarily unhidden it.)

As for the word “Video”, this is achieved via numeric formatting, which allows a number to be typed in (or to be the result of a formula), and it shows formatted with text in front of it. You can change this by selecting the cell, then going to the “Format” menu, then the “Number” sub-menu, then “More Formats”, and then select “Custom number format”.

Enter into the format field:

\C\h\a\p\t\e\r #

Certain letters have a special meaning in custom formatting. Placing a \ in front of a letter tells it “don’t use a special meaning, show the letter”.

After setting the format for one cell, you can “copy and paste” the format only by using the “Paint Format” icon (fourth from the left on a desktop browser, after the Undo, Redo, Print icons). Click on the “Chapter” cell, then click on the “Paint Format” icon, then click on a “Video” cell to update its formatting.


Thank you so much!! That’s really cool :slight_smile:

1 Like

I’ve completed my first week since adjusting my daily reading.

Previously, although I had daily reading goals, I looked at things on a weekly level. Priority went to book club chapters, with other series filling the void.

The new method, I try to read a little from everything every day. This is easier to do now that my goal calculations and progress tracking are now on one tab, rather than two.

The last two week of August were anemic due to fitting in Kiki book re-read club reading. I unfortunately haven’t gotten to that in the past week, which has bolstered my manga reading numbers.

I’m hoping to cull my reading list a bit by the end of September. (I might pass on the March/Lion club until I’m a higher WK level. Still undecided.)

By the end of September, I expect to have completed and off my reading list:

  • GOSICK Volume 1: Already complete. Cliffhanger ending leaves unanswered questions for all three cases in the book. Since I struggled to just barely follow along, I don’t have any interest in picking up the next volume. I do want to re-read this volume in the future, though!

  • GALS! Volume 1: The difficulty level’s been too high for reading this volume to be enjoyable. I do want to read the series, having read it in English long ago, but I may just re-read in English one day.

  • ハヤテのごとく! Volume 1: I want to read through the whole series, but the text is simple too dense and often hard to follow for me right now. I probably need more vocabulary, but I’m not focusing on SRSing any vocabulary while I’m SRSing WK.

  • 三ツ星カラーズ Volume 8: Not by choice! But I just can’t see myself stretching this volume out for any more than a whole month, no matter how hard I may try.


Operation “read at least one page from everything I’m reading, every day” has not been going quite as planned…

So many blank spaces… The blue title rows are acceptable, as those are book clubs and once I finish a week’s reading, I don’t go ahead. (I should probably mark 「おじさまと猫」in blue as well, although that one I are a little ahead on.) And the days with no reading were me attempting to (not quite) catch up in Kiki (although I don’t track page count read on that one).

I’ve finally finished volume 1 of “GALS!”. As much as I’d like to own the series digital and be able to sell my (English) physical copies, there’s no way I’m going to be able to actually read this in Japanese with decent understanding any time soon.

I’ve completed another 「Detective ミルキー」 book. That third case was a really good one.
(I didn’t figure out how the crime was committed until a page before the reveal.) Since the latest わんわん book was also finished recently, I want to jump right into the next Detective ミルキー book, but I don’t know if I can fit it into my September budget, so maybe October.

Somehow I’ve managed to keep on track with 「ハヤテのごとく!」, even if I haven’t been reading every day. I did re-watch (English subtitled) the first few episodes of the anime (having last watch the series many years ago), and was surprised to see I actually didn’t miss quite as much as I thought I must have in what I’ve read. I finished today reading the last few pages of the chapter covered by episode 3, which felt like I had a superpower of understanding Japanese. I’m considering watching episode 4 before reading the next chapter.

Hopefully I don’t decide to go through volume 2 this way as well (watch anime, then read). I’d like to slow down reading to get in more grammar study starting in October. So in case I decide to read for volume two, I’ll keep this here as a reminder why I should not:


So… many… words…


It’ll be interesting to see how you work grammar into the mix. I picked up some readers on Amazon, and one of them breaks down grammar points. Except without seeing those points in additional sentences to reinforce the point, it doesn’t feel like a particularly useful method. So I don’t remember what I just learned and who knows when I’ll see it again.


Although I won’t know for sure until October, focusing more on grammar will likely come in one or more of five ways:

  1. Get back into watching Cure Dolly videos, and reading “Japanese the Manga Way”. I also ordered the two Mangajin compilations, in case they cover material that doesn’t show up in JtMW.

  2. Read a manga slowly and break down all the grammar as I go along. I think 「ひとりぼっちの○○生活」 will be a good candidate for this, as I’m going through it slowly already, looking up any words or expressions I don’t know:


  3. Same as item 2, but with re-reading a series I’ve already read instead of a series I’m reading for the first time.

  4. Same as item 3, but also write out every detail as a “reading guide” that breaks down the vocabulary and grammar, even if I already know it. Making myself write it in this manner forces me to know the material well. (Similar to when I’m trying to answer a grammar question in a book club.)

  5. Extension of item 1, but looking for examples in manga to “clip” and set aside for reference on that grammar later. This is my most and least favorite method. It’s my most favorite because it makes it easier for me to understand grammar when I see it used in manga (rather than random sample sentences). It’s my least favorite because even though I’m able to spot kanji/words quickly when looking, I can still spend an hour flipping through pages of an e-manga and not find any examples of the grammar. (Oh how I wish I could quickly and easily extract all the text from a manga, for quick look-ups!)

As always, laziness is my worst enemy.


Planning is always the fun part! YaY! But um, you have set yourself up for quite a task.

After reading through your thought process, I am reminded that repetition is key in mastering any skill but my stick-to-it-ness with reading and grammar is very hit or miss because a wall of text is almost “intimidating”. I always start out energized but then I spend lots of time looking up words and trying to piece together meanings and it’s all over. Since reading a page at a time isn’t working right now, maybe I experiment with 5 min increments.

*off to set up a tracker because planning is fun.


Me after work: “I’m going to read 40 pages of manga today!”

Me after four pages of Flying Witch: “Wow, there was a lot of dialogue in those pages. Maybe a short break…”

Following a short break, me after two pages of Hayate Combat Butler: “Dialogue heavy as always. Time for a short break…”

Following a short break, me after achieving an overall total of 28 pages read: “28 is practically 40. Time to slack off!”

I’ve…gotta work on my laziness discipline. In my defense, at least 40% of my time slacking off from reading, I’m getting other things done, sometimes involving Japanese-learning.

This is one of the good parts for me about my item 5 above. This past weekend, I was checking through manga looking for all instances of 気 as a word in an expression. As I worked my way through through the first volumes of four series, glancing about for every instance of 気, I occasionally slowed down to read a line here or there. I know all the material in these volumes, but I don’t always remember the specific dialogue, so it makes for good repetition.

At least, I hope that kind of repetition is helpful for me.

I think this is why I’ve made essentially no progress in the Kiki book club these past few weeks, as it’s all text text text. It does feel nice to be down to only one manga volume I’m reading that has a lot of “wall of text” dialogue.

The most important thing for me in this area has been getting to the point where I can get a sense of the grammar from the sentence, even if I don’t know all the words. (And in a wall of text in manga, it’s typically a cascade of unknown vocabulary standing in my way.)

The minimum grammar I’m glad to have reached:

  • Knowing the three basic sentence types (verb, adjective, noun).
  • Recognizing when a word or clause modifies another word.
  • Recognizing when two sentences are joined together (から,
    のに, etc).

Very short and very long sentences can still be tricky, though…


Glad that I am not alone in my difficulties! :rofl:

More often than not this is where I get stuck.

Definitely making a good case for having a range of materials on hand.

Well, October is only a few weeks away so I look forward to hearing about your use of JtMW and the Mangajin materials. Meanwhile I will chip away at my mental barriers.

1 Like

Well, I did my 5 minute thing BUT I discovered that I can’t highlight text in the Kindle app to look up stuff!? I am starting with Nodame Cantabile and while it does have an English translation - with panels so that I can read side by side- that doesn’t help with the Japanese (particularly new to me kanji with no furigana)… :sob:

That’s the “problem” with manga. It’s not text characters that can be selected, highlighted, and searched. It’s images, which (for a computer) is no different than trying to select text from a photograph of a flower.

If you have a desktop computer or laptop and the Chrome browser, you can install Copyfish and use that to try and read the text from the Kindle cloud reader web site. The extension’s been hit-and-miss for me, but it seems to get it right fairly often. It’s what I’m using on 「ひとりぼっちの○○生活」 when I hit a kanji I don’t know, and it seems to be able to recognize kanji for me most of the time.

Here’s an example of its use on a manga page I brought up on a web search:

I think it can work with the Kindle app on desktop/laptop as well, but it needs a companion screenshot app to be installed as well.

If you haven’t tried this method, but are interested, check the “Manga” section of this guide for installation and usage steps: