Intermediate Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: 佐賀のがばいばあちゃん・Next: Spy x Family

I flaked out on the Beginner Club because I read the book too fast and so stopped caring about the discussion, sorry about that everyone.

I picked Kino as one of my choices because it was the first book I attempted to read in Japanese…but then I abandoned it in favor of 時をかける少女 (and also because I got bored of it after the first three stories. So maybe I shouldn’t have picked it after all?)

I think it would be good for previous participants to pick the next book. If there is going to have a Discord discussion, why not just have the poll there? Or else, when this book is finished, have a finale poll of the people who finished. And from that you can pick who picks the next book.

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Kinan and Kaydo xD both male. Both giant dummies, but super cute :wink:

And to add to the discussion about the book polls, I get the reasoning behind letting “veterans” choose, but I’m fairly new and I know I’d hate not being able to vote for what I want to read.
I think it might turn people off of joining, I know it would me if i wasn’t already on this thread.

While I get the idea, it just means that serious, “non-veteran” readers are disadvantaged because of random voters and I don’t think that’s fair tbh.

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As someone that’s both new, and likely to stick with you guys long term, I’d just like to give my ideas on getting to choose books.

I think that it basically boils down to a question of whether you are more interested in retaining veteran readers or attracting new readers. If you allow everyone to vote, it generates a lot of interest and hype around starting the next session. People also feel more personally invested if they helped choose the book that ends up winning.

On the other hand, I don’t doubt that half the people that vote for a given book are going to disappear by the time March rolls around. It’s inevitable with a group of this size. This causes a problem where the group of people that do end up reading might be stuck with a popular book that they are personally not very interested in.

I don’t know which is better, but my intuition tells me that getting more people involved is probably better in the long run. Otherwise, I think it would be a good idea to run it as an “exit poll”, and poll the people who finished the last book. I think it would be easy to regulate that way.

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I think it might also be worth considering to just give it a grave period of a three of four weeks and if people seem disinterested we ca decide to drop the book officially and choose another one or simply read the runner up.

And for the few that might have liked continuing, we can let them run their own thread, kind of like the aria spin off thread.

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It’s my only soapbox issue I have really. I have thought about a variation of this issue. But for me it’s a respect to others in the group. There will be times when you’ll read books that you won’t like very much but it’s for the benefit of everyone in the club. If you continue to be active a book you’ll want to read will get chosen. Essentially give and take type of thing. But some of the others make good points too: we don’t want to scare future members away and save establishing a group that’s independent of the forums, there’s not much we can do to prevent this from happening.
Honestly, I’m sure we all know that this happens because offenders miscalculate the scale of time commitment due to variety of reasons, not because they wanted to inconvenience the group on purpose. Alas, sorry for the negativity from my part.

Thank you for always being the voice of reason.

Even if we could, the last thing I want to do is humiliate people who are fellow learners. Although it’s not ideal, I think maybe adding a little blurb in the book selection poll and the OP stating that we desire only people who have seriously plan on participating not joining on a whim. If it’s a whim, refrain from voting, audit the group once to see how it goes for them.

Well we’ll see how things go this time around.

We can’t say that for sure. Though, I won’t be reading along. If there are questions people have regarding grammar or sentence structure, I’ll still plan on popping in to provide support. I’m sure others will be the same.

I think you’re right. Plus I found the new suggestions helped to bring new people to this thread that haven’t seen it before.

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I feel your pain. OTOH, I still believe in the good in people :wink: and so I hope that everybody who votes is interested in participating. Maybe some people then discover that it is actually harder than they thought, or maybe life gets in the way - that’s just what happens, I guess. (I’m not free from that, either - I dropped out of both Yotsuba and Kiki because it was just too hard for me at the time.) So maybe with the separate threads and the entry polls, we have a chance to monitor who is still reading along, and if we are of the impression that only people with a meh feeling about the book are still reading, we should definitely address this and maybe even drop the book at some point.

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As a newcomer, this seems to be a good idea that will make the book club function more sustainably. I would actually take it a step further and make it so only people that actively participate in discussion can vote. The reasoning being that the book club only exists through the discussion that happens so it is imperative that the active members are the ones most eager to read the chosen book.

I dont view it as exclusionary as new people are free to join and participate in the discussion. Active members would then be able to vote in the next round. Also, for readers of this level, there is always the option of starting a new thread with a specific book. Mass open voting for the lower level groups is more appropriate since the support system of the book club to help people transition to native material is more important.

Imo anyways

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Well, I would personally disagree on two counts. First being that I think it is very hard to decide what the criteria is for activity, and causes that kind of elitism problem that we were talking about earlier, but on a more micro scale. Second is that I think you’ll end up creating retention problems if you force people to actively participate in the discussions in order to vote on the next book. It’ll cause people to either feel pressured into being more active, and losing members due to that feeling, or you’ll have someone read along who decides not to read the next time as they feel that they got gypped.

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Just to put the idea out there…

At present there are 24-25 voters for each of the two front runners, and not a lot of overlap as far as I can tell. Why not have both books running in parallel?
This strikes me as a good way to allow people with strong views on the other book to avoid feeling forced to read it.

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I like the idea… until I realised I voted for both :joy::joy:
That being said, I’d probably still try to keep up :joy::sob::joy:

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I was thinking something along these lines as well.

I suppose after the result of this poll it might be worth it to have a second poll for a parallel book?

Or if someone decides to read some other book they can just be like “who wants to join me?”

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I think the Beginner Book Club gets a much higher proportion of “people I’ve never seen before” voting. It’s hard not to feel a bit miffed that people who won’t actually join in are influencing the vote, but (a) we generally seem to pick something that’s popular with previous readers anyway and (b) some of those people always end up throwing themselves into the book and becoming awesome new members of the club.

I’d understand either way, but guess we’ll see what happens with this one.

I’m not totally sold on the idea of running two books in parallel, because quite a number of people might have tried to read either, but in a more focused group like this I guess it could work :thinking:

Having a big bold suggestion in the home thread / OP / whatever gets made that people should try to read at the pace of the club rather than reading ahead might be helpful??? It seems to be a common problem that people do so and then lose interest.

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Well, some people indicated they won’t read one of those, and @Kyasurin is right that there’s not too much overlap between the two books. It also solves the timeline problem of doing one then the other while maximizing the number of happy people.

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I mean, “active” can also be as simple as the entry/status poll in the weekly thread. The point being that there is a periodic opt in so its obvious what the reading population is.

I understand what youre saying but I guess I am
looking at it from a different angle. Unless everybody is binded by voting, nobody is binded by voting. Lets say Book X wins but a large group of people prefer to read Book Y so they do and they sit out Book X. If the people that voted Book X mainly consist of the two groups of people you mentioned, then even if everybody is reading but no one is saying anything does the Book Club still exist?

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Oh yeah, I see that there’s a good lack of overlap. But not everyone who only voted for one has stated whether they’d read the other :wink: I was thinking in terms of max numbers rather than max happiness but that’s a good point :stuck_out_tongue:

I do agree it seems like a nice solution, and some of the double readers might be capable of reading both anyway. I was thinking ahead to what we might read with the Beginners’ Club this year and it’s frustrating how few picks you can get through in a year :joy: so it would be satisfying to tick two off!

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@SoraR I see what you’re saying. If it’s based on the poll of people who are actively reading along, then we are in agreement, I think those are the people that should have a voice, if we were to go that route. On the point of your hypothetical, I would say that the book club still exists, because at its heart, the purpose of the book club is to collectively provide us motivation to read something in Japanese and improve. In your hypothetical that there is no discussion despite people reading, I think that it still fulfills that purpose.

@Naphthalene I think that what’s probably going to be best is to run a poll when this is over to see whether we want to split the group or not (we do still have about a month before we start reading after all). Since there’s not a lot of overlap, it would be good to gauge whether people who picked one are more interested in reading the one they picked, or would be willing to read the one that wins.

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I think the discussion about who could or could not participate in the poll to pick a book is moot since books were always picked in good faith in this club so far, or at least were satisfying (as in, people who read them were, initially at least, happy with the pick)
Changing the voting system would be addressing a problem that I do not think needs fixing.
If there’s proof of wrongdoing in the future, I’m open to having a discussion about it, but so far, I don’t think it solves the problem of people not participating.

I actually like the flexibility that was present in the beginner book club, where people chose to change the schedule of (someone?)Natsume’s book of friends as people were struggling with the pace. I think we should similarly be careful about stuff like that. I think we lost a lot of people while reading Red Nightmares due both to the pace and the fact that the stories weren’t so fun to read, in the end. We could not have predicted that, but we could have reacted to it. Next time, if activity starts to drop, we should see what we can do about it.

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:joy: :green_heart:

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I’m writing in a rush :eyes: I’m sure people know what I mean.

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Sure. I think it would be good to ask people about it. We could have three options: only the winner (poll again as normal), winner then runner up, or read in parallel.
That being said, I think it would be better to have the “dual voters” opinion first, as they are the one who would be most affected by the parallel reading. @Kyayna already mentioned being up for the challenge (頑張って!). What about @NicoleRauch, @alineiwane, @Myria, @infinitia, @hardlycore and @halfriver?

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