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

I just got my copy and started poking around. Looks a bit tough for my level and time commitment. I think I can read/study a page a day, but am not sure if that will be enough to keep up with the group. The first chapter is 14 pages, so that will take me two weeks. Hopefully, I will get a bit quicker after that.

Anyways, I am going to try and get a head start, starting tomorrow.

ETA: Upon further review, it’s not as bad as I thought, I just read through the first several pages, and understood around 65%. On my official reading, I plan on going slower and trying to get 95% at a rate of one page a day. I should get a good head start on the group and think I’ll be able to keep up.

BTW, the book is actually a collection of three unrelated stories, the first of which is called Autumn Prison.


Actually that’s good to know. I guess we’re in it for the two other unrelated stories as well, then? Hopefully they are good. Perhaps for our next book we need to ensure that the story to book ratio is 1:1, eh?

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I actually think it’s good that there are three stories and each story has several chapters. Easier to digest that way, especially for n00b like me! This will be my first novel, although I’ve read most of Tobira, a few Yotsubato volumes, some NHK Easy News, and the small print on more packaging materials than I care to admit.

I think after reading the first story (Autumn Prison), we’ll have a pretty good gauge of how the club is working out and we can make some half time adjustments (or third time, to be precise).

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My book arrived 2 week later than last estimate date! =D
So late I could have gotten my money back a few days ago, but I waited a few extra days after what they asked =P
I will be good and tell them it arrived though =^_^=

I will do my best to read along, but this is above my skill level so I will probably read comments more than I contribute, and hope that with the feedback and comments given I might be able to understand just enough to get by =P
If nothing else I might learn from the comments alone, even if I struggle with the understanding of the whole.

EDIT: Wow this one was so much easier than the previous one. Without looking up a single thing I was able to understand the first page quite well. Sure, not all of it, but so much more than I expected. I should be able to keep up =)


Huh, really? Interesting. Guess I better give it another look once I get home.

So that the people who are reading Autumn Prison will know how fast we intend on moving through the book, I wanted to get this ball rolling. This was brought up earlier but it hasn’t really been officially settled. So here’s my first stab at making a poll, so if it sucks, meh (at least I tried). Anyway, according to @pgoonghang, Autumn Prison is composed of three separate stories which have their own subdivided chapters. Since I don’t own the printed copy, I have no idea how long each chapter is, nor do I know how long each story is page-wise. However I think it’s wise that we at least decide how we should tackle this book. We have a couple options to go for: pace our progress by each chapter or pace our progress by each story. Depending on which option we go with, I’m sure the pacing goals will vary (which means another poll to decide how fast to go through a chapter or a story). In any rate, I’ll keep this poll up until next week or until everyone on the participant list responds (whichever comes sooner).

  • Pace progress by the completion of each story’s chapters
  • Pace progress by the completion of each story

0 voters

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Thanks for getting the ball rolling.
To help you out later here are the chapter beginnings of my book:

1 - 7
2 -20
3 - 24
4 - 33
5 - 42
6 - 48
7 - 59
8 - 63
9 - 67
finish - 72

1 - 75
2 - 76
3 - 84
4 - 90
5 - 94
6 - 97
7 - 103
8 - 110
9 - 113
10 - 121
finish - 135

1 - 139
2 - 144
3 - 154
4 - 161
5 - 166
6 - 174
7 - 179
8 - 184
9 - 188
10 - 192
12 - 201
13 - 209
finish - 211

Explanations 212 onwards

So as you can see the chapters are really random in lenght with the majority being pretty short and sometimes even only 1 page ^^
EDIT: The listed page numbers are rough estimates because the chapters don’t begin on a fresh page


Wowza, three stories in what looks like just a single novel? What an interesting way to publish them.

I voted that we decide the length by chapter, since I figured some chapters could potentially be a lot longer than others - but I didn’t realize some would be so short! Perhaps we could just group in the significantly shorter chapters with the chapter or two before/after it to make chunks that are roughly the same length.

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Hi guys! I am new to this thread and to the whole discussion thing, so よろしくお願いします basically. I’ve been reading Yotsuba for some time now and since it felt quite easy, I desided to try something harder alongside. I already have Autumn Prison book and tried a few pages. I was able to read 4 pages in an hour time, so I think I have a decent pace.
I’ve been learning Japanese for almost 5 years and it’s only now, that I finaly able to read native material, so I am really excited.

Obviously I don’t have trust level to edit the post with members to add myself. So if anyone be so kind to add me there (with closed book) I would appreciate that.

I also would like to suggest the division into chunks.
So, I ended up with two options for division:

First option (smaller chunks)
Nomber of the chunk. - Nombers of the chapters - (nomber of pages)


  1. 1 (13)
  2. 2, 3 (13)
  3. 4, 5 (15)
  4. 6 (11)
  5. 7, 8, 9 (13)


  1. 1, 2, 3 (15)
  2. 4, 5, 6 (13)
  3. 7, 8 (10)
  4. 9 (8)
  5. 10 (14)


  1. 1, 2 (15)
  2. 3, 4 (12)
  3. 5, 6 (13)
  4. 7, 8 (9)
  5. 9, 10, 11 (13)
  6. 12, 13 (10)

Second option (bigger chunks)


  1. 1, 2, 3 (26)
  2. 4, 5, 6 (26)
  3. 7, 8, 9 (13) smaller chunk for the ending of the story


  1. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (22)
  2. 6, 7, 8, 9 (24)
  3. 10 (14) same as previous


  1. 1, 2, 3 (22)
  2. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 (27)
  3. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 (23)

Hope it could be useful. Thanks to downtimes for page numbers.


A version somewhat easier to read

First option

Chunk # Chapter # # Pages
1 1 13
2 2, 3 13
3 4, 5 15
4 6 11
5 7, 8, 9 13
1 1, 2, 3 15
2 4, 5, 6 13
3 7, 8 10
4 9 8
5 10 14
1 1, 2 15
2 3, 4 12
3 5, 6 13
4 7, 8 9
5 9, 10, 11 13
6 12, 13 10

Second option

Chunk # Chapter # # Pages
1 1,2, 3 26
2 4, 5, 6 26
3 7, 8, 9 13
1 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 22
2 6, 7, 8, 9 24
3 10 14
1 1, 2, 3 22
2 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 27
3 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 23

Hi everyone! I will be starting college the next weeks so I decided to join the club to keep me motivated.

Would someone please add me to the list? I’ve already ordered the book and it’s supposed to arrive the next week or so…

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Yeah, I had noticed the other titles and had assumed they were different parts of the book…like Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, like in Lord of the Rings and other things.

I like that idea… The 3 page chapter grouped with a 10-17 page chapter… 20 pages or so at a time, maybe?

Oooh, I like option 1 chunks! : )

I like the first option- smaller chunks.

@NickNickovich and @anon11137065 have been added to the list.

Thank you @downtimes, @NickNickovich, and @Kumirei for putting together the pages so that everyone knows how big each chunk is.

Just to provide more information about those chunks. For the smaller option, if one were to read every day for a week, they would average 2 pages a day for the for the largest chunk (15 pages). Averaging all the chunks is about 12 pages a chunk, amounting to almost 2 pages a day. For the larger option, if one were to read every day for a week, they would average almost 4 pages a day for the for the largest chunk (27 pages). Averaging all the chunks is about 22 pages a chunk, amounting to 3 pages a day. To provide a bit of context, this book is less challenging than NO. 6 so it may not be as labor intensive once you get past the first chapter.

Thank you to those who’ve already responded to the poll!

@NickNickovich and @anon11137065: I’m not sure if can even vote in the polls as basic users but if you can please do!

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I personally would prefer the smaller chunks, as I don’t know how much time I’ll have per day for reading…


I like the second option (bigger chunks). It’s just a few more pages a day than the smaller option.

That’s part of why I would prefer the smaller chunks as well… So that if I only have 4 days in which I have time to work on it a week, that’s 3 pages for each of those four days (4x3 = 12 pages)… The other part is that this will be my first (serious) attempt at reading anything (other than the odd NHK Easy article and some of Yotsuba vol 1), and I don’t know how difficult it will be for me (even though I easily understood the first sentence on my own). But I’d be willing to adjust the speed after the first chunk.

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Maybe I’m being a bit selfish, but I prefer smaller chunks for several reasons:

  • I’m not that great at reading Japanese, and would rather understand everything really well over finishing quickly.
  • We’ll probably be able to retain more active readers with a slower pace.
  • People can always read ahead when they have time, or re-read parts they have read before, reinforcing the words and grammar points they had to look up.
  • Holidays like Thanksgiving in the US, and individual members getting sick, having things come up at work and/or school, etc.
  • We could reassess the speed after the first story and perhaps speed up the pace.
  • I think the whole point of having a book club as opposed to reading individually, is to help each other learn and understand. If the whole group learns and improves together, the pace of the book club will slowly increase accordingly.
  • Did I mention that I’m not that great at reading Japanese?
  • I realize it’s a bit off topic, but does anyone have a couple bucks I can borrow?