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

That’s an interesting idea, I like it. I can’t say I see it being implemented soon, as there are quite a few things ahead of it in priority (reviews / lists / audiovisual), but it would be very cool and i’ll keep it in mind xD


Found a possible bug on the stats page. It says I have read 1 book this year, which is correct:
But for pages it says >700, which I definitely haven’t. The completed book is 303 pages by the site’s count and I’m at 92, 64, and 28 pages of the books in flight which makes 487, so I don’t know where the missing 200+ pages are coming from.


Ah, good catch! After investigating a bit there is indeed a bug here with regards to stopped books & pages read calculation. The extra 200+ pages were coming from 黄金仮面 and #ある朝殺人犯になってい, which you stopped in December.

I’ll fix it up :slight_smile:


@pocketcat all fixed up - your activity now correctly says 487 pgs for this year :+1:


FYI, This question mark indicator doesn’t do anything on hover or on click.


How does the site handle rereads? On Goodreads it gives you a second set of start-finish dates, does that happen here too if I mark an already-read book again as currently reading?


Fixed thanks!

Unfortunately there’s no real support for rereads yet. The site only allows one set of date started / date finished dates per book. If you do move back to ‘in progress’ it will wipe the previous date started / date finished. And for stats, your pages read for the most previous read will be the only ones counted.

Eventually I’d love to support it better, but I don’t think it will be coming very soon… I’ll mark you down as a vote for it though :slight_smile:

As an aside for anyone who’s curious… I am still working on reviews overhaul. It’s taking me quite a bit longer than I intended as I am also updating the branding/styles on the book page. Coming soon hopefully!


Good to know, thanks for the response! Am enjoying using the site nonetheless :slight_smile:


On a user profile page, if you click one of the profile tabs (e.g. Activity) the browser Alt+Left and Alt+Right behavior stops working because the left/right arrow keys are captured to switch profile tabs instead.



This sprint ended up taking longer than anticipated… it’s hard to keep them short! But I’m excited about what’s been updated :slight_smile:

Style Updates

I’m sure you’ve already noticed this, but the site design and styles are in the process of being overhauled. I’ve been working with a designer the past few months and I think it looks a lot better!

So far, I’ve updated the homepage, dashboard, browse pages and book page. Next up - public profile page!

New Book Review Displays With Gradings & Full Page reviews

You can now view a user’s gradings along with their book review! I think this is very interesting and informative context.

You can view a review as a solo page! This allows you to write really long reviews with no concern about taking up too much of the book page (I hide part of the review on the book page if it goes on too long).

You can quickly copy the review link so you can easily share your review.

Reviews now handle markdown!

You can now use markdown in your review… even hide spoilers! You’ll also note that I now ask for an optional ‘headline’ for the review too.

Do note that while the markdown I use is standard markdown, I don’t offer everything. You can’t upload images or link. I may add more of those things in the future, not sure.

You’ll also notice that the markdown parser likes to have new lines around things. So if you want to make a list for example, be sure to have an empty new line around it. Using the formatting buttons above the input should make these things work well.

Personal Update - Moving to Seoul!

For the past couple of years, it’s been a dream of mine to move to another country and become fluent in a second language. After a trip a few years ago to Japan, I wanted that country to be Japan.

Of course, separate from moving to Japan, I’ve been loving learning Japanese and it’s what inspired me to start the site! Japanese is something I’ll always keep and try to continue to improve.

However, due to Japan’s strict border policy, I’ve finally given up being able to go to Japan. I’ve had an approved application since last May, but there’s still no prospect of Japan opening up.

This lead me to change my plans to Korea - I’m moving next month! I’ve also started learning Korean. Now, this won’t have much impact on the site - I’ll still be focusing on Japanese for the forseeable future. However, for those of you learning Korean, Korean WILL be the second language offered. Hopefully, I can add Korean later this year!

In any case, I’m very excited about all this and just wanted to share!


For this sprint, I’ll be focusing on finishing off stat and overhauling the profile styles. I really do hope I get this done within a month!

  • Update styles on public profile page / my library
  • Add some graphs for the stats page / better stats
  • Add ‘liking’ to reviews, showcase ‘likes’ on profile

Thanks! :slight_smile:


Oh I forgot to mention this! Obviously, the recent book review improvements is a part of an attempt to get more book reviews on Natively. As an addendtum to that, I am also personally reaching out to individuals who have written lots of reviews elsewhere and helping them port their reviews onto Natively.

So, if you or someone you know loves to write reviews of Japanese books, please let me know!! I will port your reviews from Bookmeter / Goodreads / wanikani forums… etc. Even if the books aren’t on Natively yet, that’s ok! I’ll add them.

It’s really valuable having a lot of book reviews all in one place, so if you are interested, I really appreciate it! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


I think the changes are good overall, but there are some problems specifically with the book pages. I find the tan/pink background on the book pages in particular to be really jarring. Also, most of the content feels like it’s “floating” if that makes sense. I think the home page looks much better.

Home page

Book page

I think the book pages need those same boxes with a contrasting color just like the home page has. Right now, the background on the book pages seems to match the boxes on the home page. I would add the boxes to the book pages and then get the colors in sync with the home page (making the darker color the background and using the lighter color for the boxes). The darker tan that the home page uses for the background is better anyway.

A couple related comments while I’m here:

  • The books pages now have links to jump to “About”, "Reviews, etc. Have you considered making those act as separate tabs (replacing the content displayed) instead of just jumping to a lower part of the page?
  • Also, what’s going on with the horizontal scrollbar underneath those section headers? It’s disabled for me (see the above screenshot), but I honestly have no idea what would need to be scrolled.
  • On mobile (iPhone at least), when I go from the home page to a specific book (following a link) the book page appears to be slightly zoomed in by default. This isn’t a problem visually, but it means that when I try to scroll (swipe) down to a lower part of the page, it can actually move left and right instead of just up and down, which is really weird.

Thanks for this feedback as always @seanblue :upside_down_face:

So I think I see what you’re saying. Is it possible that you find it jarring going from your library → a book? As the profile page is still white, it is quite jarring to go to a tan background. However, I do find that if i’m coming from the gallery / dashboard → book page, it’s not jarring to me. Do you think that’s the case for you?

That’s fair… but I guess I do think it looks nice without the boxes! It looks clean and simple to me, which I like. And for context, that is how it was before too with the white background and not an uncommon style these days (AniList, for instance, has many elements float on their gray background). But I’ll keep that in mind. If anyone else has a similar opinion, please let me know!

Ugh, you’re asking the question that keeps me up at night! I know… having the tabs hide the other sections would look much cleaner. However, I’m worried that people would miss the reviews then. I often find myself missing content hidden in other tabs. Again, on AniList, I always find myself missing reviews and what not.

Seeing as how I don’t have summaries and lack content on a lot of books, I couldn’t convince myself it made sense to hide the content. I’ll keep thinking though… it really does look cleaner!

Well I think that’s a personal setting you have to always show scrollbars, but I’ve hidden them for when they’re not necessary. Only used on the smallest phone size.

Huh. Thanks for letting me know! I can reproduce the issue. Will figure out what’s going on.


First off: SO glad for mark down on reviews! :tada: :pray: I have a few books I’ll go back to edit the reviews on after I’m back home (visiting family at the moment) and poke around a bit more.

For now though, just a small bug I noticed:
I have reviewed 少年探偵団 (second most recent review for me right now) but looking at the book page for that book there is no written review for me while I’m logged in. I can however see it using incognito and can view my review of 君の膵臓を食べたい but not この嘘がバレないうちに. I can give other examples if helpful, but it does not seem to be consistent.

I see this on my laptop screen FWIW. Using Chrome, I don’t see any settings come up when I search ‘scroll’ or ‘scrollbar’ in settings.


Ah, it’s actually an OSX setting in ‘General’. I don’t know if it’s on PC too.

Ah I’ll investigate, thanks!

but really @pocketcat you should’ve linked the exact review!!

Edit: FWIW, if you have a ‘headline’ for your review, that appears in the one box as well


Ah, I’m on a Windows machine at the moment. This is what I have set:

But I definitely still see the scrollbar @seanblue mentioned:

Ha, whoops. :sweat_smile:


I don’t think so. In either case, the background changes color. Is there a reason the home page and book pages use a different background color? Looking more, I see that the home page is the odd one out, but I still think the darker tan looks better. It’s just not often that I see a pink-ish background, so I find it quite strange. Maybe I’ll get used to it.

For the search page perhaps, but most of their pages follow this box design. I think the reason I like the box design more is that it tells me where to focus my eyes and what things belong together.

AniList pages with boxes

Yeah, perhaps it makes sense in the long run, but not yet. One option (if there’s enough content per page) is to show snippets on the main page but with dedicated tabs for full content. For example, show some gradings on the main tab but show all of them in a separate tab. It’s also fine as is though. Just wanted to mention it.

You say they are hidden when not necessary, but is it necessary here? I didn’t even see the scroll bar on my tiny iPhone 8 screen, but I see it on my 13" laptop. I didn’t know there was a windows setting, but I have that set to automatically hide them as well.

I think it’s happening because you have CSS overflow-x: scroll. It looks like changing this to overflow-x: auto fixes the issue. With that, the scroll bar still appears when it’s needed, but otherwise it doesn’t. This happens on multiple pages by the way, at least the book page and the home page.

(It also looks like maybe you tried to fix this once because I see overflow-x: none on the book page CSS, but that’s apparently not valid CSS.)


Oh wow, thanks for catching that! I’ve fixed it for that page. And yeah I didn’t know about the ‘auto’ value for overflow-x, perhaps I’ve been doing that wrong. In any case, I’ll be on the lookout for it now. I’ve enabled ‘always’ for the scrollbar, so I think i’ll see what you see now.

Fair enough. I guess I think that design you’re showing there is pretty close to what I’m doing - headers are on the background, content in boxes (I use gray boxes for gradings/reviews/etc). However, you are right that I print the main book information at the top of the page on the background, something AniList doesn’t seem to do.

I’ll think on it though and keep that feedback in mind. I do have a lighter background on the book page because I print more information on the background.

Hopefully you do grow to like the tan background more!

Edit: I’ve fixed that bad overflow-x value btw


Yeah, you might need to do a pass to find all of them. I see it on the home page (Reading section), the profile (top menu), the library page (below the page numbers), and the popular books page (for that one the scroll bar is often needed, but might as well still let the browser remove it when it’s not needed). That was just from a quick search, so there might be more.

Hopefully. Seeing light red text on grey on pink-tan is a bit rough though. :sweat_smile:


Yeah, that’s just wrong haha. I’ll fix that one. I also want to fix the ‘blank’ stars for the star ratings… they also fade away.

And just to give a little bit more context on the pinkish tan. I do like warmer colors and warm tans tend towards a little pink. A lot of websites have very cool colors (like grays, whites) which I don’t particularly love. I like warmer… but contrasts are a bit harder to do with the warmer tan. At least I think that’s the case.

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