I Accidentally Bought a Book and Now I Need Help

Hello everyone!
So, about 4 months back I managed to read my first manga called “文豪ストレイドッグズ Dead Apple” I really enjoyed this series so I decided to buy more of it. I ended up buying one on Amazon.co.jp called 太宰治の入社試験, and it looked pretty interesting.
However, there was a downside. Because this series is manga I kind of assumed this was too.
It was not :joy:
For some reason I didn’t look at the fact is said it was a 文庫 right next to the title. I opened the book and all I could think was “Where’s the pictures!?”
So now I have a book :slight_smile:
I’m having some trouble reading it though. The series is supposed to sound old-fashioned, so it uses a lot of outdated words and grammar. It also uses literary grammar, which is probably one of my weakest points in Japanese. Does anyone have any tips for reading literary grammar (である、き form for adjectives, etc.)? Also, any tips for reading books in general would be greatly appreciated.
Also also, what we’re your guys’ first manga/books?


First book I read was 時をかける少女. While it was probably a lot simpler than the one you bought, I had a lot of the same problems (lack of vocabulary and grammar). I think I was still going through Genki I at the time.

What I did was basically try to figure out how the words were divided so I could look them up in a dictionary, and I did radical search on jisho for unknown kanji if it had no furigana. There’s really no way to escape this if you don’t know a lot of kanji and vocab. It takes ages to read a single page at this stage.

For grammar you can just use google. For example, I just searched “である grammar” and found a few satisfactory explanations (It is basically like だ or です, except it’s more commonly used in written language).

If it’s too overwhelming and tiring, you can always leave it be for a while and read simpler stuff until you’re better prepared to deal with that book. I’m doing exactly this with a LN series and a VN I have too much trouble with at the moment.

As long as you read it eventually, your money spent buying it will be worth it.


Thank you! :slight_smile: I’ve been using Jisho to look up vocabulary most of the time. However, some of the words are so old they aren’t in Jisho!

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I don’t feel TOO bad about having trouble with it though. Some reviews had actual Japanese people saying it was too hard to read because it used a lot of kanji not learned in school

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Then that’s certainly a problem… :sweat_smile: You can try google for those and see if anything relevant comes up, or do as I said and wait until you know more and look them up in a native dictionary (J-J).

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I second @sigolino recommendation of using a J-J dictionary. It will give you additional information about nuances and so on.

About recommendations with respect to grammar, I have the handbook of Japanese grammar (I think that’s the title), and it’s really nice and comprehensive. It’s a bit of an investment, though :confused: in the meantime google is indeed your friend.

About book reading recommendations, if the book sounds nice, you can always try to make a reading group here on WK. It’s easier to figure things out if you are not alone :slight_smile:

Finally, my first manga was “working!”, it has no furigana so it takes dedication to read as a beginner (and I was a beginner, looking up everything).
My first book was 獣の奏者. It was painful to go through it at the level I read it, but a couple years later, I just breezed through it :slight_smile:


When I saw the title of this thread this is what I immediately thought of


you should beg to @Leebo san to take you as a pupil and train you.
just like in anime and manga.

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