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

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?

The gap is biggest if you’ve never read a real book before. What have you read?

Haven’t read a book before in Japanese, but I have played a lot of old games in Japanese including Final Fantasy V, Dragon Quest 1, and Pokemon Gold. Not sure how that translates to book reading. Lol

Whoops. Forgot to hit the reply button. Haha.

Appeared in my lessons less than an hour ago :blush:

2 Likes

Unfortunately I have no idea how the difficulty would compare. Have you considered joining the Beginner Book Club’s read through of 魔女の宅急便? They only just started chapter 2 I think.

I was looking to start with something new, but If they don’t mind me joining late I wouldn’t mind. :slight_smile:

You can join any book club at any time. You’re also welcome to try out the book selected next here in the intermediate book club of course, but unless the games you’ve played have a lot of narration/exposition, you’d probably be in for a rude awakening.

By the way, if you reply to me directly I’ll get notified and be able to respond more quickly.

3 Likes

Thanks for the insight and help. Also, sorry for not replying directly. I keep forgetting. Also, I’m used to rude awakenings from my cats in the morning, but I’m guessing you meant that figuratively. :stuck_out_tongue:

8 Likes

i want to live inside this manga

4 Likes

Thanks for the heads up on cmoa! Grabbed these three books and a few more. Their web reader is nice and apparently even supports novels, so I’m definitely going to check them out in the future (hopefully they support foreign credit cards).

Personally I’m not super interested in reading manga in a book club because I feel like any pace would be too slow for me to want to stick to. I had this problem with 一週間フレンズ and ended up dropping out of the club even though I was excited about it at the beginning. If the pace was more like one volume of manga per week to go through a short series, that would definitely tempt me but obviously that’s much more expensive than a normal book, and might be too fast for some people.

(Since I wouldn’t be participating if ヨコハマ買い出し紀行 was picked, I ended up reading through vol. 1 real quick and it was really nice)

4 Likes