Introducing Natively - A free community book sharing site with over 9800 popular books graded by difficulty

To be clear, I’m not imagining streaks to be a main focal point here… just a part of a ‘stats’ / ‘activity’ page.

I think there will be a contingent yes. For instance, there’s a read every day thread on the WaniKani forum. Both goodreads and anilist allow you to mark reading updates (bookmeter allows you to tweet). When it takes you a long time to read a book, it can feel rewarding to log your reading sessions for more incremental success.

Throw in potentially cool metrics around reading speed (i’m think i’ll allow you to optionally mark a time for your reading session), I think it could be cool! But yes, not for everyone :slight_smile:

I like how I can retroactively mark days I’ve read in Bookmeter. Then when I finish a book it gives some average data per day; good enough. Marking each day how much I’ve read seems like a chore.

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I did that manually when I started reading. I was doing something like 15-20 minutes a page for my first novel. After awhile there wasn’t much improvement (or varied a lot based on the book I was reading) but when I first started out it was nice to see my speed increasing.

I love data (I track all my books in a spreadsheet… :sweat_smile:) - it’s just streaks that bother me. I think because you can ‘fail’ a streak and you have to start all over whereas with other metrics (page count, book count, reading speed, etc) there’s not really any failure point. It’s alllll forward progress. Or that’s how I feel about it anyways. I do know many people find streaks incredibly motivating.

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Aye, streaks make you focus in the wrong place. If you keep it going for two hundred days straight and then miss a day, you get a feeling of “oh no, I ruined it, all that work was for nothing!”. All your focus is on the single day that you missed, not the two hundred days of actual progress that you made.

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Thanks everyone for the feedback! To be clear, marking ‘reading sessions’ is of course totally optional - I just want to offer tracking of that data if you want to input. I know I do, so perhaps I’m just bias :slight_smile:

I think you all are correct about streaks - they are a bit negative, rather than positive. Perhaps personal challenges that you can set? Maybe those can be structured as less aggressive than streaks, but I’ll think on it. A lot of learners do thrive on goals / achievements and what not… and I do want to support that sort of learner.

Edit: Although I don’t think I’d do challenges this sprint - I’m mostly focusing on reading sessions and building an ‘activity’ section to your profile… which is where I was going to put streaks. Personal challenges would be a bigger feature down the line.

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Instead of streaks you could just do total number of days read. That way it never has that discouraging “resets to zero” situation, but you can still see a number continuously going up.

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I like this idea a lot! In my mind it would make me motivated to reach milestones, like 100 days, 500 days, etc. You would still not want to miss a day, but if you do miss a day it’s not so crushing and demotivating.

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I agree! It’s a super simple solution too :upside_down_face:

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@k_zorori I realized I forgot to address this in the JLPT update. I did think about marking up shin kanzen master a bit like you suggested… but I rarely do that for textbooks. The only cases I can recall are for tobira, where there’s broad consensus it starts slightly harder than the other N3 textbooks, and JLPT practice exams, which I put at the top of the JLPT range.

Generally, I think people should just be comparing the textbooks against one another without really considering ‘difficulty’ outside JLPT level… I’ve even contemplated ditching the ‘level’ entirely for textbooks and simply have a JLPT tag. The only real exception is, like i mentioned, for Tobira, which people seem to think is rough if you’ve only just completed Genki II. However, you could always handle that case with user reviews / book description explaining it’s slightly harder.

I guess you could make the argument that the reading practice books are similar to ‘graded readers’ and should be graded separately… but I honestly think that’s too complicated. Not all textbooks break out the reading into separate books.

All this means is that I kept SKM at lvl 27, but happy to change it if you, @k_zorori, or others feel strongly it needs to be higher! And if people do think difficulty should factor into textbook decisions (more than JLPT level), I’d love to hear it :slight_smile:

@sweetbeems I feel like I might have asked this before, but thoughts on a short story category? Asking because I submitted 2 “novels” recently that are really just short stories under 50 pages. Purchasable as standalones, however. Neither would be appropriate for the children’s book category where that page length would be more common.

I can see the separate category appealing to people wanting to dabble with more difficult content but not ready to take the plunge into full length novels.

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I like that a lot actually… there’s quite a few books which would fall in that category. I’d probably include collections of short stories however, even though they’re a longer book.

As an aside, I really do need to add page counts to the books, which I may be doing this branch with activities & stats… That would allow me to add a ‘filter by page count’ as well, which users could use to find shorter novels.

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I love this :slight_smile: just discovered it and signed up. Thanks for the effort!

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It’s interesting, because I feel the idea that SKM is “hard” comes from the way people perceive some of the Sou Matome books as “easy”. There’s a reason why Sou Matome’s grammar and reading books are easier than others. It’s stated on the first page of the grammar/reading books:

You will study without much difficulty because you will start with relatively easy spoken language and then move up to N3 level reading.

There is very little N2, or beyond N2 level vocabulary in this book, this you will be able to improved without many difficulties, even if you have just finished the intermediate level.

So the books are intended for someone who has completed the previous level, not as a revision tool for someone at the titled level. This is also why the books have furigana, so you can focus on the grammar or reading strategy. So the books are going to be easier than SKM which mixes in N2 vocab, doesn’t use as much furigana, etc.

Just looking at the new ratings, N3 is 20-26. From that, I’d see level 20 as “starting N3 study” and 26 as “passed”, could pass a past paper under exam conditions today, etc.

So going from that:

  • Past papers, mock test books being level 26 is perfect.
  • Vocab books could probably be 20 (base level), since well… they are just word lists! You can start those immediately after Genki 2, etc.
  • Sou Matome reading/grammar could be ~20, since - as stated above - that’s what they are intended for.
  • Tobira being 22 makes sense, it needs a little work after Genki to make a start on.
  • SKM reading/grammar I feel you would use to revise after Tobira, but you could do them instead so 22 makes sense.
  • I think to keep things simple, I think most non-vocab text books could also be put at ~22.

Or in short:

  • Vocab books = base level
  • Sou Matome grammar/reading = base level
  • Other JLPT books = base level + 2 (or +3 if you want them to be in the middle :sweat_smile:)
  • Mock tests = max level
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Wow, thanks for all that information! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: I had no idea that SKM and others mixed in N2 vocab, interesting. It seems that I probably should move it up to lvl 22 then, if I’m putting Tobira there.

I can see where you’re coming from, but I’m guessing there’s quite a few in the ‘Sou Matome’ camp, like Quartet. I’ll think on that proposal and take a look. I’m still a bit suspicious of depending too much on a specific level number here as I’m not sure people would know what to make of them. I’d probably prefer to switch to a tag system describing who it’s intended for (post N4 exam, intermediate N3 student… etc). However, any large system change like that wouldn’t be for a while, so the level changes you propose would work in the intermediary.

Again, really appreciate you laying all that out - there’s been very little feedback on the textbook handling so far.

@sweetbeems is there any way for me to add links to YouTube readings/朗読 for out-of-copyright books myself? I know you’ve added them for me in the past, but trying to add some just now for 少年探偵団 I can’t submit any links that aren’t places to buy/read the text.
I imagine this might be something you’d want more control over (to keep spam and/or malicious links out) but some field to submit them in would still be handy.

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First off, just want to say thanks for adding those links… they’re great! You can simply use the ‘feedback’ mechansim on the book page:

Screen Shot 2021-10-29 at 9.42.43 PM

If anyone else has links too (or mark books for wanikani books clubs), just use that mechanism. Some people have been using that mechanism for that purpose and it’s been working well.

Eventually you’re right… I’d love to allow users to help out more with content / link management, but yes it takes a bit of work to get those systems up and running. The ‘where to find’ mechanism was a test somewhat to see how much desire there was to contribute towards content management. So far, outside yourself and a few others, there’s not much desire, which has led me to downgrade other sorts of initiatives around that for the time being. I think there needs to be more community on platform before it makes sense.

That’s a long of saying that yes, I’d love to and will in the future, but for the time being, the ‘feedback’ mechanism I think works well enough. Happy to hear other opinions though! :slight_smile:

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@sweetbeems That works for me, thanks! Bigger feature-fish to fry for sure.

While I’m poking around though, I did find a small bug in an author name search. 江戸川乱歩’s name is entered with no space in his name for one book (see here) and with a space for the rest (here). I’m not sure if this is impacting any other authors.
Quick edit: I found this by clicking on his name and being surprised at only one volume. The same volume does show up on the spaced search though.

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Ugh yes I know but thanks for pointing out. I pull a lot of these from amazon and amazon unfortunately has bugs too :sweat_smile: Of course, I do a lot of manually checking and cleaning book information too, but the author issues do normally slip by.

Will fix at some point (should be doable to do an automatic clean for most of them), but yes, not a huge issue now as the spaced search & romaji search should work :slight_smile:

Just clicking on the non-spaced author links don’t work.

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It’s even worse on Bookmeter. They also pull the author names from Amazon without cleaning up the inconsistent spaces, so on the stats pages they consider them separate authors. It’s super annoying since it becomes difficult to see how many books you’ve read from a given author.

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Oh no! That’s like one of their two graphs too :laughing:

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