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

Great! Yes I’m really excited for movies too :smile:

I obviously don’t want the forums to descend into a political debate platform, so I will have to have guidelines around topics I imagine. There also needs to be guidelines around tone and creating an accepting community (no personal attacks). I do think it’ll be similar to WaniKani’s guidelines.

But no, I’m not about policing specific advice or ideas - that’d be terrible and also way too much work. In general, I think discourse forums do pretty well managing themselves and not descending into hooliganism. Probably because it’s almost entirely long form discussion :slight_smile:

Edit: I’m very much open to ideas around guidelines however. There will be an open discussion thread around them when I come up with the initial policies. It is a difficult topic. Generally, I’ve been very impressed by the WaniKani forums which is why i’ll probably emulate them!

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Jojo gets harder later on (changed the fighting system, moved to a publication for an older audience, etc) but the series is split up on Natively, which is great. The lv 33 one is the first and easiest part. Interestingly, Steel Ball Run (a later part) is only level 26…

I haven’t read that manga and unfortunately Amazon will only show me the first 4 pages with text :sob: Really not enough to go on! I read the first few pages of Tateki too, which seemed fine for me, but I can guess why it’s marked at that level.

I need to read more of the club rated books, those seem to be consistently graded. If only I enjoyed コンビニ人間!

Interestingly, I removed all manga from my account and that childrens book is now only level 25 :smiley:

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While I’d like to claim a victory on that, like I said in my response, I manually updated 人狼サバイバル to lvl 25, which I only do in the rare cases (<10 times) where it seems like the system is internally inconsistent. My level estimator I use for temporary leveling (it guesses the level from the grades via a custom algorithm) indicated it should be at level 25.

But yes, it’s lowered now haha.

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I personally was pretty ‘meh’ about コンビニ人間 but 容疑者Xの献身 was a book club book that I read an enjoyed. かがみの孤城 is also excellent. Entirely incidentally too - I read all 3 before ever joining the WK forums and/or there being book clubs for them :joy: But 世界から猫が消えたなら and 君の膵臓を食べたい are both non-book club books that have a lot of ratings in that general area. I’ve read all 3, though the last one I only got about 1/3 of the way through before dropping (I think I don’t like that author’s writing style).

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Well, at least there are 世界から猫が消えたなら (If cats disappeared from the world) Book Discussion and 君の膵臓をたべたい (I Want to Eat Your Pancreas) Book Discussion - admittedly, they aren’t full-blown book clubs but a certain amount of discussion was going on there nonetheless :wink:

Now I’m curious to hear what the third one might be in that second batch :thinking:

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…I admit this is because I came home tipsy and tried to write online. That is poor editing on my part :sweat_smile: :beers:
Edit: it’s friday night / saturday morning where I am

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Actually, that’s strange, because I can see other non-scheduled book clubs (like Harry Potter or Crayon Shinchan) with the book club mark on Natively :thinking:
1Q84 doesn’t have the WK mark either.

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No worries! Sleep well :slight_smile:

Oh, that’s how @pocketcat came to that conclusion probably! Maybe we should point @sweetbeems to the Master List of Book Clubs and ask them to double-check on all the entries?

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There’s a good chance it only has a WK label because I sent that WK link in a feedback form, so I don’t think there’s necessarily a conscious policy (not) to add particular book clubs; it’s probably just happenstance depending on what WK links people send in the feedback form?

I will definitely give my feedback about retro-active activity adding, btw, but ever since I got covid I’ve been behind on everything and it’s hard to get back on top!

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This is off-topic from the discussion above

I was really pleased with my experience on Natively in the past months that I decided to move my entire wish list (saved as hundreds of Reddit saved posts) to there. To make my life easier I created a tool for it that someone may interested in if they are in the same spot as me. Here’s the link.
Anyway, good work @sweetbeems for what you’ve done there!

I wanted to say my two cents about the level thing, I think that if you were to separate the manga gradings from the novel ones users may then be confused about the difficulty about one or the other as it may not be consistent (I don’t know if my point crossed as well as I thought about it).

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Yes, I’ve been marking book club off-shoots / discussions with the ‘WK’ tag, but perhaps it’d be better to use another one… like WKD (wanikani discussion). In general, I’ve been hoping people submit the feedback forms to keep the WK clubs up to date, but perhaps it does make more sense to monitor that page…

I agree! It’s much simpler the way it is now and it is nice to have cross book type correspondence, but I understand how people are wary of novel to manga comparisons. Those novel-to-manga comparisons do introduce more noise into the grading system, so it is worth considering, even though I lean towards leaving as is.

Oh wow!! That’s amazing! I’m very flattered you built that out :slight_smile:

I also do accept CSVs with the relevant information via email, but this is quite a bit nicer. And you have all the fancy amazon querying!

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I don’t think it’s worthwhile to split this up further. There are so many different kinds of book clubs that I (as one of the book club organizers) are already at a loss regarding how to categorize and label them appropriately. There are the four “main” clubs (Absolute Beginner, Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced), and then we have Offshoot Book Clubs (e.g. for subsequent volumes of a manga that was picked in one of the main clubs), book clubs for authors (e.g. Murata Sayaka or Mori Hiroshi), clubs for standalone book series (e.g. 1Q84), and then clubs for standalone books, either scheduled or unscheduled. And of course at times there are overlaps (a book being read twice in two different categories). So I can only recommend you save yourself from the headache by just attaching one tag :sweat_smile:

Well, some of those book clubs are quite a few years old, so you can’t generally expect people to even know about those clubs to begin with. Also, I personally did not know that you label books by WK book clubs, so I wouldn’t have known to submit feedback on that behalf. So I guess if you monitor that thread you should be more or less good! It’s very low traffic as well.
Now I need to make doubly sure to update that thread, heh

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I would not include the ones listed as “non-scheduled” since most of those have virtually no discussion anyway. Everything else has a schedule and I think can just keep the simple “WK” label.

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Makes sense to me. The only one I actually have is Skip Beat! which actually does have significant discussion & vocab sheets… so i’ll probably keep that one. But yes, that seems like a good plan generally.

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I’m not sure if anyone has made this request, and it’s probably a tall order, and possibly not in the spirit of the website itself if we’re focused on novels and manga, BUT:
It would be really convenient for me if the Satori Reader stories could be added with progress tracked by episode (instead of volume). I do most of my Japanese reading and learning via Satori Reader.

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I’ve been thinking about requesting Satori Reader stories too! Right now I track all my Satori progress with a spreadsheet but I’d love to use Natively instead

I’d consider Satori stories to be graded readers, which Natively is also used for

Do you mean tracked by episode instead of pages? Since an episode is about a page long

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Indeed, that’s what I meant. And thanks for the affirmation, I think Satori Reader would be a really great addition. It would also make a lot of sense within this community because you can link your Wani Kani account within Satori Reader to remove furigana from Kanji you’ve learned in WK.

I could reach out to Brian Rak (Human Japanese / Satori Reader creator) and make sure he’s cool with it, but I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t be. You could ask a few Satori Reader users to gather story titles along with total numbers of episodes for stories that are completed (there are a handful that are still ongoing).

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Luckily I already have all of the titles + episode counts written down and up to date :slight_smile: I did not include the grammar lessons since those aren’t graded readers, but everything else is here

Easier (around LV15?)
Story Episodes
Sakura and Suzuki’s Long Distance Relationship 43
Meditation 6
Akiko’s American Foreign Exchange 133
Kiki-Mimi Radio 27
Hole in the Wall 58
The Jam Maker 60*

*Ongoing, episode count listed is how many there will be at the end according to site

I would say these are around level 15? Sakura and Suzuki is the easiest, maybe that would be a bit lower. The other thing to note is that Akiko’s American Foreign Exchange is marked as Easier, but it gradually gets harder, and by the end it’s more of an Intermediate story imo

Intermediate (around LV20?)
Story Episodes
Kona’s Big Adventure 45
The River Sanzu 20
The Neighbor 12
Koibito 52
Oku Nikkou 62

I’d say these are around level 20.

Harder
Story Episodes
Fujiki Consulting Services 41*
Kona’s Big Adventure II: The Journey I Live 88*
Secret 98
My Sweetie is Japanese 28
Streetside Interviews 17
Closeup: Obon Society 9
Closeup: The Zama 9 Murders 11
Closeup: After the Tokyo Subway Attack 11

*Ongoing, episode count listed is how many there will be at the end according to site

I haven’t read any of these, no idea what the level would be

Assorted
Story Episodes
News 60
Dialogues: Restaurant 28
Dialogues: Hotel 10
Dialogues: Train Station 10
Dialogues: Airport 10
Dialogues: Bus Stop 8
Dialogues: Hospital 15

I haven’t read any of the Harder stories b/c I haven’t gotten there yet, so I have no idea what the level would be for those. As for Assorted: I haven’t read any Dialogues, but glancing at them, they look to be pretty easy (around Easier level? i.e., LV15) and they’re pretty short. It’s been a while since I’ve read any of the News episodes, but they’re probably around Intermediate level, i.e., LV20).

Also anyone feel free to chime in with how difficult yall think these are b/c my estimates might be wrong

I hope these are able to be added!

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Uh, hello you absolute legend! That’s amazing. Thanks for putting in the work and for being so organized.

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Hey @Tranquil-Lo & @meagstudies !

Thanks for thinking that all through with regards to the episode as a page count - I had no idea how to handle that. Quite a few users have messaged me about adding Satori Reader stories, so you’re certainly not alone! I didn’t realize until recently that each story does have a publicly accessible url page, which makes it more possible to add them.

Originally, I had thought to bucket Satori Reader into my project to look into “web graded readers”… stuff like Wasabi graded readers. Right now, if something isn’t on amazon it’s a pain for me to add it, which is why Natively only has one non-amazon series: the Tadoku Free Series.

That project, unfortunately, is not terribly high priority as I don’t get too many requests for that content… so I don’t think it’s really desired. Except for Satori Reader.

I still question a little bit how necessary it is to have Satori Reader on platform… as I expect they surface stats, judge difficulty for you, and allow users to write reviews on their stories… all of which are the primary use cases for Natively.

But, I know it’s useful to have things in one place. I’d love to hear a bit more on why you’d love it on platform. You just want your tracking in one place? Better tracking capabilities? Better difficulty ratings? Reviews?

If I were to add, I would think I’d want to group all of Satori into one series, like Tadoku, but perhaps that’s not right.

I definitely plan to add Satori at some point, just not sure where to prioritize.

Thanks! :slight_smile:

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