Intermediate Japanese Book Club (Currently reading: コーヒーが冷めないうちに)

Probably more of a pace thing–a bit quicker, 30-45 pages per week range as you said–to allow for a fuller range of modern Japanese literature. Additionally, if there’s interest, we could pick some harder works at a slower pace. I’m thinking of something like Soseki? Classic, modern, but dated vocabulary.

Check out the first few pages of his 「草枕」:

First Three Pages of Chapter One



What is this beautiful community interested in using an advanced book club for?

7 Likes

Same, 30-45 pages sound good. That would also ease the restrictions on length. I feel we should still limit a given book to max 20 weeks, which would put us at a 600 pages soft limit. I’ve seen longer books, but they aren’t common or they have a 上 下 edition (then we can just read one of those).

7 Likes

Both of these sound very interesting to me, and would suit an advanced book club well imho.

Wow, sounds great! We would need a home thread like this one (you can probably use the OP here as a skeleton), and then people could nominate books! I definitely have a list of suitable books on my stack :innocent:

For the discord channel, I’m not sure about this. We will not be able to read a whole book aloud if we go at that pace, plus we (the Kemono no Souja read aloud club) have discovered that we hardly post any questions in the threads any more because we discuss them all in the read aloud session… And while I definitely prefer having a quick chat over writing a lenghty post, it kinda dries out the reading threads, which is a pity for those who are not in the live discussion. So, I would actually lean towards not having a discord channel in order to force me to have more discussions in the forums.

Along these lines (same conclusion) :joy_cat:

8 Likes

This explains so much! :sob:

An advanced book club, I would be interested in that! It’s exciting to think what books we might read and at what pace.

10 Likes

ワクワク

Just unnecessarily expressing interest again, haha.

Creating a new club seems to be the neatest solution, providing more options without making it harder to transition. :slight_smile:

5 Likes

変愛サイケデリック

Summary

Japanese

「ストレンジサイケデリコ」こと彩家亭理子は、その名の通り千光高校きっての有名な変人であり、変わった愛情を持った者が集まる「変恋部」の部長である。そんな変人マスターが「愛しいね」と目をつけたのは、春になると死にたがると噂のクール系男子・神宇知悠仁だった。理子は悠仁の言動が「変愛」に関係しているとにらみ、興味を持つのだが…。『月光』と同じ世界を舞台に新たな登場人物が紡ぎ出す異色の青春“変愛”物語

English

(Disclaimer: this is my own translation, mostly done while very tired. There could be mistakes. Also not completely literal)

The “strange psychedelic” Saiketei Riko is, as her name suggests, known as a famous eccentric at her high school and head of the “strange love club”, a club for people with unusual love. What has caught her attention is the rumoured cool boy Kamiuchi Juujin who starts wanting to die as spring comes. Riko guesses that Juujin’s actions are related to strange love and takes an interest in him, but…

Availability

Amazon
Bookwalker
Booklive

Personal Opinion

To be honest, my main reason for nominating this is just that it’s something I personally thought looked interesting. But if I think it looks interesting, maybe some other people will too, and (at least to me, though I don’t know how well I can judge) it didn’t seem too hard from the first few pages.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Seems to be about more everyday stuff, which probably would limit the range of vocab used somewhat
  • Could be interesting

Cons

  • Hard to find physical copies
  • Kind of long at 288 pages
  • Judging by the preview the main character seems to like using occasional more uncommon words

Pictures

(All pictures come from the preview on booklive)

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
  • Moderate effort
  • Significant effort
  • So much effort my head might explode
  • I don’t know

0 voters

2 Likes

A book that it seems to be super hard to find new physical copies of might not be ideal and I also realised I’m not great at writing nominations, but I figure one extra nomination probably won’t hurt anyway :slight_smile:

6 Likes

For the advanced book club, I can’t guarantee I will participate personally but I wanted to just say that if someone wants to manage it(Which some people don’t.) then that person can go do it. I just wondered tiny things about it

The advance book club is another book club that will be more time consuming than other book clubs and might thin out the other book club’s members.(Considering the number of people in numerous book club maybe not. The number of people that have increased their Japanese is getting higher so maybe that will not be a problem) I just wondered is the participation for nominations, reading, and commenting will be the same or if this will only thin out book club members. I’m probably worrying for nothing though.

Oh! and for those interested the Re Zero book club is an advanced one.(Yes I must speak about it. It is in my contract to make publicity about it on every post) Just putting it here in case you know :eyes:

7 Likes

This thought has crossed my mind too, but I prefer to think of it in terms of simply providing more options, thus making it more likely any one book being read will be of interest to someone and they will choose to join. There’s always people choosing to abstain from a club for lack of interest in the material, particularly in this club where a lot (if not most) members are able to more of less comfortably read on their own.

So it may well go in the other direction and increase overall readership. But who knows, we’ll find out in due time. :man_shrugging:

4 Likes

Is having a specific, regular, advanced book club necessary, as opposed to independent book clubs that read advanced books? Seems to me that if you want to read harder, longer books, that option might be better anyway, since you don’t have to worry about choosing books that aren’t too long etc…

3 Likes

I really have to get on that; I feel like I’ll never be able to catch up if I start. though. I’m still trying to “level up” with other books before I have the courage to tackle those :smiley:

5 Likes

I think an advanced book club would at least benefit from having a “home” post. Somewhere we can hold polls for new books, have a community chat space. Maybe, as interest demands, it might work better to read books less frequently than in the other clubs, but I think there’s a surplus of good books to read that don’t fit into the scheme of the current intermediate book club, whether because they’re too long or too tough.

9 Likes

I suppose none of these clubs are really necessary per definition, but they make the process much more enjoyable. :smiley:

While in a book club you often end up having to make concessions in regards to what’s being read, I think there’s a couple advantages over ‘lone’ thread.

Since everyone contributes with ideas, you get exposed to a large variety of genres and styles.

Since there’s a majority poll, there’ll be a maximum of interested readers.

Since there’s a majority poll/it’s a general club, even people who’re not particularly interested in a given poll may end up reading along and participating by default. (I think especially at first when you haven’t read enough to really know what kind of writing style you like in Japanese it’s a really good thing to be exposed to a good variety)

Also I think it’d be good to have a place for nominations that get excluded simply for being to long. :slight_smile: Also, as @Azmo said, as a place for gathering/idea collection etc so you don’t have to search for your target audience from zero every time.

4 Likes

For independent book clubs, somebody has to have the willpower to read the book and to do all the organization and management, while for an organized regular book club this is more or less “automatic” because the basics are already in place. This way it is much easier for people to nominate books, which broadens the range of available material. Also, it is regular, which means there will be one book after the other and not (like it is right now) so many books at the same time and then maybe nothing for a while? This helps me plan my participation.

Definitely! My real and virtual bookshelves are filled with lots of books I’m eager to read, some of which I already suggested for the intermediate club, but many are not suitable, like you said.


Something else: This is the Intermediate book club Home Thread, and while I like discussing the pros and cons of an Advanced book club, I feel slightly bad to do it here if it gets really long…

Also, I am one of those people that think we will never find out whether we like it if we don’t try it, and there have been discussions in the past already :wink:
So why not create a Advanced Book Club home thread and discuss there? …

7 Likes

smort
Advanced Japanese Book Club

7 Likes

Well, here goes a nomination as well.

ヨコハマ買い出し紀行

Summary

Japanese

お祭りのようだった世の中がゆっくりと落ち着き、のちに“夕凪(ゆうなぎ)の時代”と呼ばれる近未来の日本。人型ロボット・アルファは、喫茶店『カフェ・アルファ』を営みながら、オーナーを待ち続ける――。アフタヌーン本誌で12年もの間、読者の支持を集め続けた異色のてろてろSFコミック。

English

(Spoilers edited out of the Wikipedia summary)
Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō is set in a peaceful, post-cataclysmic world where mankind is in decline after an environmental disaster. Sea levels have risen significantly, inundating coastal cities such as Yokohama, Mount Fuji erupted in living memory, and climate change has occurred. With the seasons being less pronounced, the winters are milder and the summer isn’t scorching anymore. The reduced human population has reverted to a simpler life, and the reader is told this is the twilight of the human age.

Alpha Hatsuseno is an android (“robot person”) who runs an out-of-the-way coffee shop, Café Alpha, on the lonely coast of the Miura Peninsula of Japan. Most chapters of Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō are self-contained slice-of-life episodes depicting Alpha in daily activities, either alone, with customers, or on occasional trips through the countryside or into Yokohama for supplies (whence the “shopping log” of the title came).

Availability

Amazon Note: link to the 新装版 edition; the original is out of print.
Bookwalker cmoa (I do not know about that website, but the first three volumes are currently free there)

Personal Opinion

I know that this manga was mentioned a few times on the forum, but I don’t think it was properly nominated in any club. I read the first chapter and it had a very ARIA-like vibe, which I found charming. It’s an easier read in terms of contents and could probably fit in the beginner book club, but that’s also the occasion to just read something quickly with this club and move on to a different book immediately after. If this manga is picked, I guess we could read it in 4 weeks (two chapters per week) and just move on to the book that was in second place.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Nice atmosphere
  • Relaxing read.

Cons

  • Short
  • Easy

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One

Not exactly the first three pages, since there isn’t much text.

Additional Pages

Feel free to check the only preview for more.
Example of “alone in the world” vibe:


Example of naration:

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Moderate effort
  • Significant effort
  • So much effort my head might explode
  • I don’t know

0 voters

11 Likes

Also, I’d like to point out that there’s only one week until the next poll. Please nominate ASAP! @daines @morteasd

@Azmo, I did not take your nomination into account, since it is now part of the advanced club. I hope that’s okay.

1 Like

Alright. Most books on my “want to read”-list are too long (light novels mostly), so not sure if I have anything else at the moment.

1 Like

了解

3 Likes

Hey guys. I have been just lurking around the book club threads, and I have been really curious in participating. However, I have am not sure if I want to join the beginner or the intermediate book club. How big is the gap of knowledge between both groups?