IBC Primer Book Club 🍙 Reading コンビニ人間

Just as a reference for people with the small physical paperback (I’ll edit to add subsequent weeks later):
Week 1: pg 11
Week 2: pg 16
Week 3: pg 21
Week 4: pg 27
Week 5: pg 32


Thanks, @Memito. Those numbers let me know that what I’m doing seems to correspond with your edition.

Basically, I wanted to make sure my little shenanigans with the ebook had produced something similar to some edition of a paper edition.

My plan for the rest of the schedule is to increase to 7-8 pages, and then 8-9 pages, and then 9-10, etc. Until we hit 15 pages per week.

Please look over what I’d done so far for the schedule, and let me know if you like it or not. Even putting that together was pretty time consuming (part of it was figuring out what font settings to use and such).

Unless people have a problem with what I’d done so far and my plans for the rest of the schedule, I will finish of the rest of it in a couple of days.


Thanks for all your work. Schedule looks great so far!


It’s all looking great. Thank you so much :bowing_woman:

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I told myself I wouldn’t join this time around, but now I’m starting to waffle … It seems like kind of an important book, and it’s supposed to be easy to read, and it’s out in paperback (so it’s not expensive) … I don’t know … …


I was thinking of joining this club since it seemed like a great introduction to shift to IBC. But I am a little bit worried by the above comment since I didn’t touch yet narrative texts. I thought I’ll give it a try since the current BBC pick feels somewhat easy. Reading together gives me a great motivation to go through it, and according to one comment this club will only run once (maybe twice), so I felt like I should take the opportunity before it is gone. I got myself 魔女の宅急便 yesterday, but I am not sure if I can finish enough of it before this club starts for practice.

Do you recommend me to better wait it out and first get more practice, or go with it and (possibly) feel like enduring a CoCo壱番屋 10級辛さのカレー? :sweat_smile:


Assuming your WaniKani level accurately reflects your kanji knowledge you’ll probably need to look up a lot, but only you can say if that’s a dealbreaker. It also depends on your grammar level. Ideally you’d have strong N4 and hopefully some N3 grammar knowledge.

That said, what’s the worst that happens if you give it a shot? You decide it’s too hard and have a book waiting for you to try again later. So if you’re on the fence I say give it a shot.


Thank you for clarifying! I passed N3, so grammar-wise it should be okay.
But I didn’t think from the perspective of Kanji knowledge (my level L36 shows it very accurately).
So I may better start when I know more Kanji to be able to enjoy it more.


I wouldn’t be too worried in your case tbh. Level 36 is really not too bad when it comes to reading books. If you are worried about lookup times, I can recommend reading digitally, so you can make use of built-in dictionaries, which is of enormous help.


A great excuse to revisit this book! :smiley:

I really enjoyed it when I read it last August and was hoping to read it again this year too. :smiley:


I think it will be challenging if your first experience with narrative sentences are in an adult book. Only because those sentences do get a lot more complex. So would it be easier to join the club if you had som experience already, yes. Will it be impossible without, no.

Well, I guess the truth is more that I’m not likely to run this kinda thing again. As the jump between BBC and IBC is currently pretty steep, an IBC primer becomes a bit necessary and most people have done that by themselves (or been okay with falling behind on IBC reads and still complete them).

But if a upper beginner / lower intermediate main club is started, it might mean that this kinda thing isn’t as necessary anymore. Because even if it reads mostly manga, if they are harder, more complex sentences are bound to show up (hopefully!).

I just think that sometimes, the best one to run something is the person who needs it/wants it. But after I’m ready and able to read IBC books, I’m not it anymore.

If you want to read the book eventually, then why not get it and try? I agree strongly with @seanblue and @NicoleIsEnough, there is no reason not to try.

With N3 grammar under your belt, grammar shouldn’t be a problem really. Long sentences can prove to be difficult to parse, but then it will be the same for most of the people joining this club, so we’ll be breaking that stuff down most likely. And as it is a book club, you are free to ask as many questions as you need. Because the truth is that even if no one thought to ask about X, they might all benefit from the answer to X. (I’ve found many times that I have misunderstood a passage a bit (without realizing it) and only when someone asked a question about it and got an answer did I see I got it wrong.)

And if you feel like you want a bit of experience before starting (but don’t want to start a new book that you won’t be able to finish), try reading some NHK news, the full version. You might have to look up a lot, and while the text isn’t narrative fiction, you’ll still get experience reading other things than dialog (if you’ve mainly read manga before). And for a way to check your understand a bit, you could pick a NHK easy article, and then click through to the full article (there is a link at the bottom). So in the easy version, you’ll get the gist of the story with simple sentences, and in the full version you will get more details and plenty of long sentences to practice that kinda thing on. And if any one article is proving too hard, just pick another. :slight_smile:


I‘d actually say that it depends. I‘ve heard many beginners complain about the flowery language in Kiki (a book aimed at 10-year-olds or thereabouts), while in my opinion コンビニ人気 is very straightforward and matter-of-fact.
Granted, parsing long sentences is a new skill that needs to be learned, but that holds true for children books and adults books alike.


I was going to say the same thing. It’s been a while since I’ve read both of those books, but I definitely remember thinking that Kiki felt flowery. So in some aspects コンビニ人間 may actually be more accessible.


True, it is always book dependent. I suspect though that コンビニ人間 will be harder than the books I’ve read (ニャンニャン detective books and 夜カフェ) since I’ve read pretty simple and straight forward ones.

But you guys have actually read the book, so you know better how well コンビニ人間 might work as the first ever book for someone. Therefore I defer to your judgement. :slight_smile:


I would like to speak from a perspective who is closer to your level! The thing is, I am not even N3 yet, I know around half of N3 grammar, and 1600 words and yet here I am, reading books(I started a book without furigana yesterday!). Don’t be afraid of diving into it! Honestly, at least for me, reading some books was easier than reading manga. There’s a JPDB deck that has all the words from this book also: here it is! So if you’d like to use it, you can set the words in the order of frequency across the book and study some words until desired coverage.
I also remember trying to read Kiki and it was easier for me than Yotsuba at the time, wow! So it’s different for everyone.
Also, reading it will help you solidify your grammar, I think.
Moreover, there will be a vocabulary list AND many people would be willing to support you along the way. Go you!


I went to my local university library today because it seemed like they had コンビニ人間 and they actually do have this cute little version:

I’m happy that I don’t even have to buy the book but can just lend it from here. :smiling_face:

Btw, this was the library from the Japanese studies branch of our university, I didn’t know this library existed but it was so fun just looking through the heaps of Japanese books they had!

off-topic library images

They even have a book in German that’s only about the differences of は and が (the blue one), haha

The library also has the “A Dictionary of ◯◯ Japanese” series!

There was this book with very funky (or old-looking) characters on it. I guess it says 集全學文本?代現 or something like that. Maybe it means “Collection of Contemporary Scholarly Works” because 學文 may be the old form of 学問 and the rest seems pretty clear (I don’t know what I’m doing though, soo). Edit: I found it on the internet archive as “Gendai tanka shuu”, so I guess it’s a collection of contemporary short poems.

A look inside this one. The way this book is written it seems to be pretty old.

Just another shelf.

A lot of history books here.

For example these chonkers.

A look inside that brown history book.

And they had Akira books.

人間失格 is a book I read in English a while back. Even though I liked it I don’t know if I would recommend this book because it touches on some very gruesome topics.

Well, enough about that. Sorry for the off-topic, the Japanese library was just too interesting for me :sweat_smile:


Wow, that’s amazing! I’m so jealous of you! Best I have here is a public library (which is amazing :heart:) but it only has books in the local language (a few english, but not a lot) and we can usually only borrow for up to 3 weeks, which wouldn’t be enough for this book club anyway :sweat_smile:


I think I would be jealous too :grin: The fact I just discovered this today is dazzling for me. I could’ve already read so many Japanese books there before moving cities in a few months. Oh, yeah the borrowing time is about 7 weeks but I forgot that this book club is going on for way longer… well I’ll guess by then I’ll have decided if I want to buy the book or not!
I guess you usually go with the online books then. I always used to do that too, maybe I’m gonna switch though, because I really like physical books and with this library right next to me :sweat_smile: (sorry to be so mean about it, I’m sure you’ll get to a Japanese bookstore soon enough too!)


Hahaha no worries! I did get a few physical volumes which I ordered online (just had to wait a few days for the shipping), including コンビニ人間. I’m excited to actually read it on paper and not online!


It’s written right-to-left. 現代日本文学全集.