Hunter × Hunter 🐸 (Absolute Beginner Book Club) - Starting on the 27th of August

This is definitely the most important thing for a first-time reader to know. Your first volume of manga will not be “reading”.

As you decipher your way through, you will be learning grammar. You will be learning vocabulary. You will re-learn the same grammar again, after thinking you had never seen it before. You will be wondering why you keep looking up the same word every time you see it.

Various grammar may be difficult to understand at first. Some of it becomes easy to understand once you know the English equivalent. Others will become more clear after seeing them in a few different contexts. And other grammar still will not make sense until you’re seeing it for the 50th different time, at which a light bulb finally goes off.

Looking up, asking about, and (slowly, partially) learning grammar is part of the equation. Reading a lot of native material is another part. This is because the brain is a pattern recognition machine. To build up that pattern matching, you need to see patterns of grammar many times, in different situations.

It’s enough to make you come out the other side of the volume thinking you’ve accomplished nothing because you spent long hours parsing and deciphering and piecing everything together.

But that’s normal.

Everyone who learns through reading goes through it.

For those of us who don’t have a native conversation partner, reading is a great method. You just need to give it a chance, and taking part in this book club is going to be like a language-learning shortcut in that you can ask questions and get answers specific to the material.

Hereby also known as the Makoto's Uncle Effect.




Aside from the case where a character isn’t meant to be understood, there are also times where you find you cannot follow the context, and that makes it difficult to understand what’s going on.

It’s like stepping into the middle of a conversation and someone asking you, “Don’t you think he’s in the wrong for not giving it to her when he asked him to?”

Usually, if you’re not following the context, it only gets harder if you keep going. But sometimes you’ll find someone says something that clarifies the context, and suddenly the confusion clears away. Thus, it never hurts to try reading a bit further along. Readers will find they get more out of the keep-going method once they have more experience in reading, so don’t hesitate to post asking for help.