Introducing Natively - A free community book sharing site with over 900 popular books graded by difficulty

Woohoo! That’s amazing to hear and it’s what makes working on the site so easy!

Ok - you can now update a book’s date finished and date started! I even went ahead and added a bulk update mechanism for backfilling your data.

Full description of feature

Ok, so this was surprisingly complicated for me, but hopefully not for you :slight_smile:. If you go into your ‘My Resources’ on desktop / tablet, you’ll now see an ‘edit dates’ on every in progress / finished book.

This naturally opens up a little popup where you can edit your dates. Batch editing is a bit more complicated and can only be done on finished books. At the top of ‘My Resources’ you now can go into ‘batch edit’ mode:

This allows you to select a variety of books at a time, even entire series / pages. However, with great power comes great responsibility! I do my best to make sure you don’t accidentally update incorrect books, but do be careful! I am tracking all changes, so if something does go horribly wrong, just let me know and I can probably help you fix it.

Do note that this feature is only available on desktop / tablet. Individual book date editing may be available on mobile at some point, but the bulk updater is too complicated for mobile.

Let me know if you have any feedback or issues! Otherwise, I’ll be spending some time on a few quality of life things this week (book page grading displays, a few search fixes) and then onto community stuff like following! :slight_smile:

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I think I broke the listing for よつばと1.
I tried to change the start date that was autogenerated when I set the book as in progress to not have a month, because I can’t remember when I started reading it.
And now I can’t access “My Resources”, or the page for よつばと1 and suspect it may also not work for other people.

I sent an email using the contact form on the site, but figured you might have a mountain of mail so this might be a better way to inform you!

I’m sorry, I’m basically a human shaped wrecking ball. :sweat_smile:

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Haha, yeah I saw. I already fixed it all up and sent you an email.

Very impressive QA work! I swear everyone, it’s not that buggy… :sweat_smile:

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Yea, I emailed you, and then realised I’d broken よつばと for everybody and not just myself, so thought I’d better try to get hold of you quickly! :sweat_smile:

I’m amazed that you fixed it so fast!

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When よつばと1is broken, you better move heaven and earth to fix it as fast as you can :sweat_smile:

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Thank you so much for creating this! It is so helpful!!! I had made my own difficulty list and was using that to judge new books, but this is way more useful. Can’t wait for more books to be added. I graded everything I’ve read, and then requested more books. :slight_smile:

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Thanks for those kind words! Really happy people are finding it useful! :slight_smile:

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Would be great if this could extend to TV shows and movies as well.

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that’s coming! I’m building some more community tools first, but then onto audiovisual. As you might imagine, it’s heavily requested - for a good reason!

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Hi @sweetbeems you know me as cat – I can say that I’ve already added two books that I “read” as audiobooks. Just as my own 2cents - voice actors shouldn’t make a big difference in difficulty, but it might make sense to break out ratings from people who reviewed it as an audiobook vs. text. That said, I think just having an “available as an audiobook!” flag with a link on where to buy would be a nice improvement. :slight_smile:

I’m positive there is some difference in perceived difficulty when listening vs reading as you don’t have any kanji to help you guess the meaning of unknown words or jog your memory. I’m just not sure if it’s enough to worry about.

Also re: some discussions on lacking higher level content – I have 2 books that I started reading but put aside because they were just too challenging right now to be enjoyable. I try not to add things to the site that I haven’t finished because my rating might not be representative of the whole work. If there’s a preference to just get content up there with a guesstimate though I’m happy to add them.

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Hey cat! Glad you came on over!

Yes I’ve noticed you mentioned that in your reviews, but haven’t been terribly concerned for the reasons you mentioned :slightly_smiling_face:. I think for Natively it’d be pretty beneficial to at least have you mark if you did read it as an audiobook alone vs a book. Like you said, it probably doesn’t make that big of difference, but at least having the data so that I could analyze later if it needs to be broken out would be good. I probably should do that sooner rather than later, as more people will continue to come on to the platform. Out of curiosity, do you simply listen to the audiobook without a transcript? Or with one?

I agree that I should add that audiobook option, but it will require Amazon integration which I’m still waiting on. Should be soon though and in the meantime, I say don’t worry about it. Continue marking as read, we need more grades!

As of right now, I do slightly prefer this approach. I will add things if requested as I want to encourage people to request things, however if you haven’t read it, aren’t actively reading it or aren’t planning on reading it soon, it is somewhat time intensive for me to add books. This will be changing soon though and then I’ll make a public announcement to have at it! :upside_down_face:

Again, thanks for all your contributions to the platform, it really has made a huge difference!

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Some books I read along with the audiobook, some I don’t. It’s often hard to find physical copies of books that have audiobooks or vice versa. I don’t particularly enjoy reading ebooks so that limits my selection a bit. :sweat_smile:

You mention an Amazon integration which will probably work well with Audible as they’re owned by Amazon, but throwing it out there that I buy most of my audiobooks from audiobook.jp. They even have previews of some of the audiobooks on YouTube which is super helpful when checking books out, ex: 鏡の孤城

And happy to be of help! I’m not the fastest reader but I’ll keep adding 'em as I finish 'em :slight_smile:

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Oh that’s good to know. Well then perhaps I simply need someway to let you mark it as read as an audiobook without transcript, independent of audible. If you read it with a transcript, I’m thinking that essentially the same thing as ‘read’, but I’ll have to think on it. Do people think comparing difficulty between reading a book & an audiobook with transcript is reasonable? Or perhaps even extending that further, comparing a written manga with watching an anime with subs? Does the only real difference come once you take away the written word?

Regardless, I probably should try to track as much as I can rather than rely on impressions, but if anyone has strong thoughts on this, certainly welcome! I would expect anime / movies to be much more difficult and variable when doing audio only than audiobooks… the latter tries to be very clearly spoken i think? Personally, I know a lot of movies in English are difficult to understand these days, whereas podcasts / audiobooks are always clear and generally equivalent from one to the next. :slight_smile:

I don’t think comparing those is a good idea. I think generally if you are listening to an audiobook or watching an anime, it’s primarily to listen. If you have a transcript or Japanese subs, it’s an aid, but it still naturally faster paced than reading a book or manga.

Unfortunately if you keep audiobooks separate from anime/TV/movies separate from manga/books it will be harder to get good difficulty comparisons with the less-used mediums. But I think the alternative of allowing them to be compared won’t be very helpful, and could in fact become very confusing. If you told me “watching anime X with subtitles is easier than reading manga Y” that would mean literally nothing to me since the comparative difficulty could simply come down to whether someone has focused more on reading or listening skills.

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Right, that makes sense. In general, I think people would simply just compare the grammar / vocabulary, but it probably would be confusing. And we do want the listening difficulty to be factored into your difficulty rating for anime / movies / tv shows, so comparing those things to the written word seems wrong after thinking more on it.

But audiobooks still seem like a weird case. I could be convinced that we don’t particularly care about the listening difficulty as it could be very standard and uninteresting. I agree that asking you to compare an audiobook to another book you’ve only read could be confusing and generate noisy data. However, comparing two audiobooks may map quite closely to comparing the same books read, which makes me want to not break it out.

I at least should be tracking it!

Right, audiobooks might just be a strange one. I could see it falling in with podcasts because the production style is similar (audio only, very clear speaking style), but it really does have its own quirks since it’s tied closely with books.

Working through the different mediums will take a lot thought, so as always thanks for that input :slight_smile:

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Some more updates were just released! Mostly just a rework of search and browse following @d-hermit’s feedback. I think it’s a lot more intuitive, but if you have any feedback, let me know!

Updates

  • The search page has been totally rejiggered. You no longer have a search form above the content… rather on desktop have a lefthand sidebar and mobile has a ‘filters’ button.
  • You now see tags for all filters that are currently applied to the search results.
  • The site navigation has also been overhauled, linking to many more useful search results.
  • (NON SEARCH ITEM) For personal libraries, I now always default to uncollapsed series. I think this is more intuitive, but happy to hear other’s thoughts.

Overall, I’m hopeful these search & navigation updates makes finding the books you’re looking for way easier and also makes linking to search results more intuitive. :slight_smile:

I do still have a few more quality of life things I need to touch on, but after that, I really do want to dig into community features. I’ll eventually get there! :sweat_smile:

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I like the new search interface! I think I’d really like it if the “Book type” were multi-select as well, though. I’d like to be able to look at novels + light novels, but no manga, etc, which I can’t with the current options.

Then you could also get rid of the “native content only” button as well.

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Oh that’s good to hear!

Yeah, that’s one of the few QoL things I had in mind… should be done this weekend, just wanted to get out the current version first!

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@Myria done!

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