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

In terms of books, I’m fine with everything right now.
I feel like having variety would be nice, but that’s about it.

Also, 1Q84 by Murakami was the first book I managed to enjoy in Japanese, and that’s due a lot to his writing style I feel. I’d like to read more stuff by him.


It would be nice to get to some fantasy as well. 人類は衰退しました is an interesting setting, but I have no idea what the difficulty would be like.

@AngelTenshi Are you against manga entirely? Or would it just be a matter of finding one at the right difficulty?

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Oh I think that would be a good one, I think it has an anime I was looking at. I already saw the anime to 魔法少女育成計画 . It was slow in the beginning But it really picked up towards the middle and overall I really liked it. I liked the battle sense, characters and their designs. And I think only people who like that kind of anime would like it. Like modoka type animes. I don’t think it’s a very strong anime by itself, and for people who don’t like the genre.

I was looking at that book. It sounds good but I was worried about the difficulty because she’s stepping into different worlds and such. But if it’s one of the first books you read perhaps it won’t be too difficult for us.

Not at all. I was gonna suggest it actually but I thought everyone else would be against it since we’re looking for an immersive reading experience. But I’m totally down for it. I’d want to read noragami, nozaki-kun, houseki no kuni, and my little monster.

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I think manga was avoided because a couple members including myself only use e-books. So selecting a manga meant we weren’t going to participate if there was not an e-book format available.

By the way, how has using an e-book been for you? Did it help with the speed at all?

The light novel for 魔法少女育成計画 is supposed to be significantly better than the anime, from what I’ve heard.

For more intermediate level manga, I’ve been looking at 放浪息子 and うさぎドロップ. Both slice of life but with more mature themes.

It is good to have an ebook format available for people. Thankfully they are available most of the time, including for the two manga I just mentioned above.

I couldn’t get the dictionary to work quite the way I wanted so I gave up. I’ve mostly been reading my physical copy of 時をかける少女 with the beginner book club. I did read a chapter on my kindle a couple weeks ago, but even then I just used the dictionary on my phone (it honestly didn’t even occur to me to try looking up the words within the kindle reader :sweat_smile:)


I’m sorry to hear that. :sob: I think the biggest weakness the built-in dictionary has is the inability to extrapolate the dictionary form from the inflected forms. Plus the English<>Japanese dictionary is not as robust as the monolingual ones. :disappointed:

Agreed. Not handling conjugations was a big blow. The monolingual dictionary was much better, but obviously not great for quick lookup.

@AngelTenshi I wanted to expand on my thoughts about the difficulty. For me it’s about the right balance between pace and difficulty. 時をかける少女 is relatively easy, but for me that means after looking up words and reading some sentences/paragraphs a second time, I might understand 90% of the content. And usually that still means I’m asking a few questions per chapter (and the chapters are only around 5 pages long).

I could probably handle something slightly harder (e.g. キノの旅・ココロコネクト・魔法少女育成計画), but not at a faster pace (still about 10 pages a week). Or I could handle something about the same difficulty (e.g. ペンギン・ハイウェイ), but maybe at a slightly faster pace (perhaps up to 15 pages a week). I definitely couldn’t handle an increase in difficulty and pace all at once.


Since I’ve read The Wind Up Bird Chronicles, I’ve been a massive fan. I’ve got the book Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of pilgrimage (can’t be bothered to type that in Japanese, gotta run off in a second) in Japanese and I’ve been dying to read it.
I wasn’t sure whether to suggest it for the intermediate book club cuz I’m awful at figuring out difficulty level, so if someone could help me out with that, I’d appreciate it :slight_smile:

Bottom line, I’d love to read a murakami as well xD

I’ve also got Marnie (the book the Ghibli film was based on), which I’d also like to read, but again, not sure if the difficulty would fit. Again, any help appreciated :smiley:


Wasn’t that book originally in English though? I’d much rather read a book that was originally in Japanese.


It is indeed, a classic of British Children’s Literature :wink:

I could just read it in English then. :slight_smile:

The original version of something is almost always better.


I don’t think my Japanese is good enough to appreciate whether something is well-written or not :stuck_out_tongue: but yes, I’ve not read many books translated into English which I enjoyed; it always feels like something got lost in translation.


Can I just butt in to say I’d love to read キノの旅 :stuck_out_tongue: Already bought it while I was in Japan.


I’m thinking of (re) nominating キノの旅, actually :thinking:


I didn’t even know that!!! :joy::joy: omg I feel stupid now xD
But I agree, I’d much rather read a Japanese original. Just picked it up when I was in Japan 5 years ago xD

I also own that book and would love to read it too. I do think it’s in the poll for the beginners club at the moment. I will be voting for that one but judging from the thread it probably won’t win.
That being said, should we read it here I’d be more than happy too xD


We had that issue with the collection of short stories we read around this time last year. Quite a few of them weren’t even originally written by Japanese authors, which made the experience not as appealing.

Interesting. I hadn’t even realized some were translations from hearing all of you talk about the book.

@neicul @Kyayna I’ll also be voting for キノの旅 in beginner book club, along with 放浪息子. If anything but those two win, I’ll probably skip it.

There is some appeal in doing a manga in intermediate book club to kind of ease into things. Especially considering reading a manga should take like 4-7 weeks as opposed to much longer. Or maybe I’m just being lazy. :man_shrugging:


Reason I mentioned it here is because I think it might be a bit too much for beginners and I already saw it mentioned here a few times.

I don’t particularly care which bookclub is reading it, as long as one is.

Or we could make our own for kino specifically as it seems like there’s quite some people who’d want to read it anyways?

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I agree, it could be too difficult for the beginner book club. I’m also fine with just deciding to read it and letting anyone interested join us. Doesn’t matter much to me. But my head might explode if I don’t get a small break between books. :sweat_smile:


I’ll probably die from exhaustion after the first chapter or so, but I’m totally up to at least giving it a try!