Intermediate Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: Spy x Family・Next: TUGUMI

I doubt I will be able to keep up either! Especially once I go back to uni at the end of July.

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yeah, summer is our busy season at work, so finding time is will be the hardest part. But the book is interesting enough that I think its worth the challenge.

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I’m new here, and this is my first time reading a light novel, so I have no idea what my speed might be! It would’ve been nice to have small discussions after each chapter, but it looks like most people are too busy for that frequency?

I don’t really understand the reason, but last book discussion slowly dried out.
It can be that people are too busy, it can be that the book itself was boring…

But anyway, discussion will still be possible anytime, especially to ask for help, etc.
Discussion about the story itself will happen at the end of each “chapter”/episode. There are only three in the book, so once every four weeks or so.

I’ve observed this phenomenon with every book we’ve done so far. I’ve even noticed this with the Beginning Book Club for Kiki’s Delivery Service. I think for each book it’s a different reason for the sharp decrease in activity. Also depending on the individual, it could’ve been a combination of interest in the book, struggling to keep up, having nothing to say, among other things. One thing is for sure is that activity near the beginning of a book is higher than near the ending of a book.


I guess I’m still a bit confused hahaha sorry! :joy:

I’d prefer more regular discussion… just in case I don’t make it to the bitter end! :joy:

With the last two books we had designated discussion leaders whose responsibility included putting together questions to gauge reading comprehension and to flush out questions from participants. This was supposed to occur weekly. At least, from my perspective, the task which was meant to encourage activity turned more into a chore as people who were available to take over dwindled during the progression of the book. Couple this with the reality that the members of this club tend to not ask as many questions about grammar on the thread either.

My proposal was to release that pressure of doing the chore of creating discussion questions for the sake of creating discussion questions and reserve the discussion of book as a whole to the end.

Although I understand the concern that people’s motivation may be tied to the activity on the thread, I personally am not going to obligate myself to doing the discussion leader thing again. Having to do it so many times because there wasn’t anyone available affected my motivation to continue. Not to mention near the end, there weren’t many responses to these discussion questions, which again made me wonder why I even bothered. To be clear, I would’ve finished the book regardless, but having the obligation week after week made participating a chore rather than a treat.

So if there’s activity that happens naturally on the thread, I’ll be happy to participate. What I wrote was meant to say the discussion obligation really exists after we’ve completed the book.


My vote shouldn’t count for much though. I have the book and will TRY to read along, but it does feel way above my level, so I can already tell I will probably not participate much if at all. But I will try read along, and if I fall of I’ll return later and read it on my own and follow along with the comments =P


As per usual now would be a good time to start suggesting books for the upcoming poll. I’ll pitch some books later.


I’m only going with the 9th because I get back from a trip on the 2nd and won’t have the full week for the first chapter. I should be able to catch up, though; I’ll just be behind on the thread until chapter 2.

Wow, a weekly discussion with prepared questions seems really hard to organize! Props to you guys for having kept it up for so long. I can definitely imagine it becoming a chore for people as time went on.

I don’t think it’s necessary to have a discussion leader weekly like that again, but I do feel like it would be beneficial to have at least an official discussion per chapter. It seems like there would only be one discussion per month at the pace you suggested. It just feels very long to have to wait until the very end of the book.


I’m trying to find some cool recommendations, but everything I came up with so far was too long, or too hard, or too weird… I feel a lot more self-conscious about recommending books than I would be about just buying them/reading them for myself :sweat_smile:
(Well, that makes sense I guess).

Hey folks! I missed a lot of posts so, just to clarify:

  1. Glancing up at the poll, shall we go ahead and set the official start date to June 3rd?
  2. Did we decide an official schedule for the next book, as well as how often we would have discussion questions, if any?

Just go for it. :blush: Just make sure you let us know if it’s super hard/ and or long and we can decide what to do from there.

I’d say so

Not sure,I think we’re doing discussions in big chunks however.

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Title: ちびまる子ちゃん

Japanese level: ☆☆☆ (my personal opinion, gets easier at the end)

Genre: slice of life, shoujo (Wikipedia)
Also, this is so called essay-manga (ウィキペディア) so it contains quite a lot of text comparing to the regular manga.

Synopsis: The title character, Maruko, is a nine-year-old third-grade student. She is lazy, disorganized and usually late for school, in strong contrast with her neat and tidy older sister who must share her room with her. Maruko, like many kids, tries to avoid homework and chores, takes advantage of her doting grandfather and squabbles with her sister. Nevertheless, she is a well-meaning child who tries to do good. (from here)

Why it might be a good choice:
• It is a popular series
• It is a manga, so in some places pictures might help to understand
• Pretty light-hearted
• Has English translation (if someone gets completely lost)

Why it might not be a good choice:
• Some people don’t like manga (or maybe don’t want it to be a part of a book club)
• Some people don’t like slice of life genre
• Has a peculiar drawing style and quite a lot of “hand-written” text
• It is old (in the manga it is 1974), some references may be lost for us

Availability (
Physical book

My personal opinion:
I’ve just finished reading this book and I enjoyed it a lot. It is actually funny, contains lots of interesting spoken vocab, expressions and even proverbs.
It’s a little bit short (172 pages). It took me about 3 weeks of quite intensive reading to finish it and I think comfortable pace will be around 1,5 months.
If we choose this book I am willing to reread it with everybody and understand some places better

First pages

I just realized that first chapter isn’t very “text-loaded” but eh


At the end of most of the chapters there is a short story called “おまけ”


I was curious how quickly you’d have to read to finish 新世界より in half a year… And at a whopping 1496 pages, the answer is 57 pages a week or 8 pages a day. Who here thinks they could do that?

Well… I can… When reading a book, I usually go 20-30 pages a day…

But length is also why I refrained to pitch 騎士団長殺し… :confused:

Hey, that’s a pretty good pace. I can read that in about a week. :sweat_smile:


That sounds pretty reasonable, especially at the intermediate level :slight_smile:
I tried to read a light novel aimed at ~12 years old when I was N3, and just gave up after a few pages.

Fun story (for me at least), upon getting the N1, I went back and read it in a week. I felt more accomplished than reading all the grownup stuff I was usually reading at the time.