📚📚 Read every day challenge - Spring 2022 🌸 🌱

25th of April
Day 25

I didn’t read yesterday. :sweat_smile: But today I spent half an hour reading pages 28 and 29 of かがみの孤城。 Not so much reading but deciphering lol

Surprisingly I’m finding it’s my grammar knowledge more so than my vocabulary that holds me back in this book. Though there’s still a fair number of words I don’t know on each page.


Sorry for not making a formal post this challenge, still trying to minimise computer time so my wrists recover and been on holiday to that end.

Despite that I am still reading along with the challenge… well an earlier challenge as I’ve managed to keep reading a tiny bit each day for about 235 days or so.

Not reading much, some days very very little, but it’s better than nothing and it’s all been despite my health being all over the place.

Maybe next challenge I’ll even make a formal tracking post.

Either way I’m rooting for you all and will be loosely following along!


Aaah, this has been on my list for a while. :eyes: Hope you enjoy it!





About たら and contrasting, the correct phrasing is that たら can be used for counterfactual sentences. The example in aDoBJG is お金があったらこんなうちにはいない。And I thought maybe this would be something similar to that because 坊ちゃん clearly didn’t think this job was all that. But it turns out it was all in the ものか.

The smallest thing in a sentence can really change the whole thing so easily. I love it, and I’m sure that is true (at least sometimes) in Swedish and English, but I don’t remember anything like this when I was learning English (native language acquisition is so different so can’t really compare).

Thanks for deepening my understanding here. So it is more: If you understood so well that that kind of behavior standard is hard to do, then don’t even talk about it to begin with.

I hadn’t even considered that 始めから言わない could be a thing in itself.

April 25
GUYS! I managed to read three pages of this story without even one sentence stumping me. Feels like such a victory for this story. :joy:

Apparently introducing the cast of characters and their nicknames results in relatively simple sentences. Also, now that the pace of the story have slowed a bit (chapter 1 covered the important points of his childhood and chapter 2 is the actual start of the story trying to be told), it is easier to follow along—well, sometimes. :joy:

Some story observations from chapter 1 and 2—yes, I finished chapter 2 today!—below, it will contain spoilers for both chapters but anyone who has read the sentences/grammar breakdowns (thanks so much for all the help so far @Belerith, @NicoleRauch, and @natarin; I think that is everyone who has helped if I forgot someone O_O I’m sorry. m(_ _)m )

Ch 1 + 2 observations

The protagonist, our 坊ちゃん, portrays himself not in a very nice light. :joy: 思ったことはすぐにやる is how he describes himself on the character page. Also, if his friends tells him to jump a cliff, he would. O_O (It was a two story window in the actual story!!!)

The only one he seems to love is the maid 清, and she seems to love him too. (Although it is a bit hard to tell about his mom, since we learned almost nothing about that.) This become clear from him almost crying when leaving her to go to his teacher job in the boondocks and he then wrote her a letter after arriving despite hating to write. He’s not the type of guy to do what he hates.

But he also has quite a bit of humor, which really shows from his nickname of everyone working at the school. Although he forms very quick opinions of people, so… Will see how that goes. :joy:

I’m enjoying the story so far. Honestly, while the voice is taking some getting used to, it is shaping up to be something interesting. (Even if I don’t actually know what the story is about, I have not met the Macguffin yet.)

And from a learning perspective, it is excellent. If annoying. I like easy rides. :joy:

But it is helping with taking my grammar knowledge from “this kinda means something along these lines” to “this is what it means”, so I will have more exact understanding going forward. So more clear, less rough understanding. And this is while not making it overwhelming. I guess because the author/character voice isn’t unambiguous. 坊ちゃん has very strong and clear opinions. :joy:


Ahh! If it helps at all, I think I’m slower with books, haha. Besides how good my yomichan setup is, I think despite the difficulty spikes, the VN has a lot more short simple dialog at times or repetition. And I get a little bump in characters from times it’s more like manga and there will be lines of straight up yelling or otherwise repeating characters, haha.

Still yeah I get you, nice to know :sweat_smile: . In my defense all I have to go off is I remember hearing native reading speed was very roughly 20k+ if I recall correctly, and I’ve seen a few posts in the past from people talking about learning from visual novels who mentioned beginner reading speed being something like 2000-5000 characters an hour. Their words, not mine! Of course, as much as I appreciate some things I’ve learned from them, if anyone downplays the difficulty of this task, it’s a lot of the heavy immersion crowd, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I slipped in the “to this sort of task” to try to imply like… you know, I remember the days of spending an hour painstakingly going through each individual character of a chapter of a manga and still not understanding most of it, haha.

But yeah I might have a tendency to estimate my skills that way. Thanks for the help. cause I just kinda go at it and I don’t have much of an outside view on where I am… so I think I always feel like where I am can’t be that far, heh. Catch me sometime in the future posting like “I’m only a beginner at being fluent” :stuck_out_tongue:


:tiger2: :books: Tanuki Den (aka Homepost): Date 20220425 :cherry_blossom: :raccoon:

Tanuki Scroll XXV: ネコの恩返し :cat2:

Read today’s folktale about a priest who has an old calico cat, one night he comes back to the temple late and finds his cat wearing his clothes and dancing with lots of other cats. When he goes to bed he’s awakened by his cat - who now talks! - and the cat tells him that when a cat has been owned for so long it becomes a wise ghost cat. It turns out that his cat has been a ghost cat for the past three years, but now that the priest has learnt the truth it is time for calico cat to pass on :crying_cat_face:

But it’s okay, because calico cat returns to help the priest and he lives happily thereon.

:seedling: Japanese found in the tall grass :seedling:

New Things

三毛ネコ「みけねこ」ー Calico cat!
ボンヤリ「ぼんやり」ー Absentmindedly; vacantly


Day 25 / Calendar

Today I’ve finished this week’s BBC reading. Kinda way faster than my usual speed, so I gave the whole rest of the week to fill with other reading it seems. I’m not complaining, felt really nice to be done this quickly.


Ah, I see. I only saw you throw N2- and N1- grammar points around so I had nothing to relate to. (And of course, I mean, why would you mention the simple and straightforward passages? Totally relatable.) On the other hand, books have that as well :woman_shrugging: I think it’s very hard to assess and compare difficulties.

In my defense, I’m a very slow reader in any language. I once took a test that measured reading speed in English, and the test also measured the comprehension rate. They then explained that the average comprehension rate is about 60%. You know, wow, if my comprehension rate were that low on average, I would rather not read at all :exploding_head: I’m aiming for 100%. Which is of course lowered by the fact that I still misunderstand things (ofc more in Japanese, not so much in English although it still happens) but I would not be fond of lowering it further on purpose by reading faster and skipping things :woman_shrugging:

Sounds plausible to me. I have a video of somebody reading ~25 pages of a book out loud in 50 minutes (i.e. ~12k chars per hour), now imagine they wouldn’t read out loud, that would probably put them at 20k per hour. (I must confess I tried to read along just to see what it’s like, but at 12k per hour I can’t even take in and recognize the kanji any more :joy:)

Yeah, if you study on your own and don’t have others to compare yourself to, then I guess that it can be pretty hard to notice (the existence and level of your) improvements… If you were interested you could e.g. take some JLPT sample tests and stick to the specified time frames - and although you won’t know your exact results (because the grading scheme depends on the submissions of the test-takers at that time) you can still get a good impression, I’d think.


Oh for sure, it does run the gamut. I’ve kinda mentioned this before but I think at least compared to the couple books I’ve read, VN writing seems to have more variance. Books aren’t without that but I feel more able to holistically pin them down. This is all over the place.

I feel you on all of that. I think I can read quickly and when I was younger I did that, but over time when reading casually in English I’ve really started to slow down and do my best to appreciate every bit of it. I’m still trying to understand everything I can in Japanese of course, but knowing that I do want to be substantially faster than I am right now, I’m kind of in a mixed state of wanting to push that as much as I can while not losing much. But yeah, nothing wrong with being a slower reader if you’re enjoying what you’re reading. The only reason I’m focused on it at all in Japanese is because I know by getting faster I’ll be able to read a lot more.

I appreciate the link to where to find good ones! When I get a little more curious I might try a proper test in the future. Not too long ago I did a little online N3 test but it was a very truncated rough approximation and had no timing element. Tests are a drag even as practice so it’s hard to have the patience for the whole thing. While I don’t put a ton of stock in that, I did quite well on what they asked. I’ve also actually recently watched a couple N2 practice question streams as listening practice from 日本語の森 , and knew the answers to most of that too. They weren’t the listening section, but I mean just listening to the hosts explain the answers and all. I don’t at all intend to say I’m actually N2; these were mostly the sections I’d expect to be easier, and there was no element of timing, and etc. But it felt super good from a motivation side to see what could ostensibly be asked at N2 level and usually be able to go “it’s that word, I remember it from Summer Pockets / Ace Attorney/”


I finished 夜カフェ! And to celebrate I created a study log! I think I’ll write a little review and summary of my reading experience over there a little later. (I have a long to do list waiting for me right now.) I was just too excited about finishing to wait before telling you all!

Oh, @windupbird, I believe I’m the one who recommended that manga! So glad to see you’re enjoying it! And the pictures you’re sharing are so cute!! :blush:


Hm now that you mention that… when I was a teen I remember that I read three books in one afternoon - slim ones, maybe 120-150 pages each or so? But still. Maybe reading so much non-fiction hurt my ability to go fast? Or maybe my brain aged just like the rest :woman_shrugging:

sigh That’s definitely what irks me the most with my slow reading speed.

I do that too at times, it’s quite nice! I also like Sambonjuku if you’re looking for more stuff like that.

That’s really cool! Of course when you learn from native material your knowledge will be a bit “uneven” but it’s great to know the general ballpark of where you stand. I must say for the JLPT tests what I struggle with the most is the reading section… I don’t know how this happens, but I find those texts soooo much harder than books - I sometimes don’t understand them even when I look up all the words. I don’t really know why - maybe because they are so short and there is no context? I really wish I knew a few books that would allow me to practice this level of difficulty in the setting of a longer story. (I mean, I do practice with the Shinkanzen Reading book, but it would be nice if some of my casual reading could act as good study practice at the same time. One can dream, eh? :sweat_smile:)

A few more responses that came to mind; I'll collapse this time

I think I know exactly what you mean, because yeah, even in those N3 practice questions I took with relatively simple passages, I took a moment to be like… what am I even looking at? I lean on context hard. Which is fine enough cause we’re usually gonna have it, but it definitely makes tests harder. Along those lines, I see people talk about practicing by looking at Twitter, and I do have an account following some Japanese people, but at this level everything feels like an isolated scary puzzle and I’d much rather just have a book for that sweet context.

It also just occurred to me, while I totally take your overall point (and appreciate the sort of confidence boost yet again!) what really slipped my mind was voice acting! I make an effort to keep doing my best to individually read things to strengthen my knowledge of the kanji, but the fact that I have a reading guide for half my lines speaking at a pace faster than I’d probably manage alone definitely speeds me up a bit.

Thanks for looking into that! That definitely might be it. It was literally EVERY line so it was clearly not being used properly, there were even a couple moments where the kid clearly paused and just awkwardly stuck it at the end, haha.

Congrats!! Enormous milestone.


Summary post :bookmark:

April 25th :cherry_blossom:

・薬屋のひとりごと (58% → 61%)

Finished chapter 21. I’m conflicted. I want to write about what I’ve read, but I also want to fix my sleep schedule…

I choose sleep this time :zzz:


I finally had some significant time for reading today, so I read 20 pages to finish this week’s part for かがみの孤城 🪞 Week 22 and stuff happened. That did mean that there was a lot of unfamiliar vocabulary, though, so it did go a little slow…

Ended on a pretty good cliffhanger as well: Will Kokoro be able to get back to the castle? What will happen to the other kids? :smile:

Collapsing is a good idea

Yeah, that. :joy:

:exploding_head: No context combined with casual language - hahaha, nice try…


Oh, that’s interesting! I had mixed experiences with something like that so far because what I struggle with most is missing or forgotten vocab, so I don’t know how much it would speed me up on average, but if you know most of the words, then it will probably give you a speed boost because it’s easier just to listen than to read yourself, I guess.

For the pirates, I’m making good progress. In chapter 2, I was getting quite the “Famous Five” vibes somehow - big adventure, big excitement, and we get a lot of education about British history for free because one person asks a lot of questions about it, and another provides smart-ass explanations :joy: So right now it feels pretty much like a history book about Britain. Which is not bad in itself, just - unexpected :sweat_smile: I think I’m getting closer to the point where the theory turns into practice, and we might get a bit more action, but first I need to sleep.
Oh, and yesterday I also read this week’s part of がばいばあちゃん - this went by really quickly! I guess this is the most lightweight Intermediate Club pick ever…


Interestingly, that story started a lot of debates in the book club about how right or wrong the premise is, so I remember it fairly well. Let me know if there’s anything unclear :slight_smile:

There are no original stories in this book (and probably series in general). They are all adaptations or translations of stories from other languages (usually English).


Yeah it’s definitely mixed for me in a sense too. I hit unknown words and get all mixed up pretty easily. But it fairly regularly helps to either urge me along in speed if it’s a line that is simple enough, or it’ll feed me the kanji readings I somewhat know but would have to spend a few seconds recalling for those kanji I still need to see a lot more.

Summary post

Of course, following discussions of my speed, I was a lot slower today, haha. It’s partially my own fault for doing that thing you shouldn’t where some grammar bit stuck out as odd to me and I ended up spending way more time on a sentence I already understood than it warranted, haha. All to mostly come to the conclusion that my brain just had one of those times it flags something as off when in other contexts I wouldn’t even think twice about it. Still, I learned, maybe :stuck_out_tongue: In the end I pushed myself to not stop until I hit a little over 6000 characters, giving increasing my goal a shot, and I think it was a good idea. Still a solid day of reading.

What can I say besides what I say every day? This route continues to be a fun adventure. Today I learned, from an offhand reference, about the オオサンショウウオ (Japanese giant salamander). They’re indeed giant, but kinda weirdly cute. Also when I was starting Summer Pockets I talked about not knowing what a Boston Bag was until learning about it in Japanese… well today, the new bag to learn about is a ポシェット, a pochette. I mean… I’ve certainly seem them; they’re just small bags on a cord. But cultured enough to differentiate bags like that? Couldn’t be me.

The kid flashbacks are pretty cute. That’s about all I’ve got for now! Hoping I’ll wrap it up in a few days at this rate, but its larger scale pacing/structure is rather unlike the others so it’s harder to have a feel for it.


April 25th!

I read chapter 55 of Yotsuba, which is the final chapter of Volume 8.
The page of her trying to get tabasco sauce out of the bottle was very relatable. :smile:
I’m trying to decide whether to start the next volume straight away, or finish off one of the other non-bookclub books that I’m part way through first since I’m reading quite a lot of different things at the same time right now!

(Home Post)


Summary Post

April 25
Final Fantasy VII

  • 論理的 = ろんりてき logical.
  • 失態 = しったい mismanagement, failure.
  • 通報 = つうほう report, notification.
  • 発進 = はっしん departure, take-off.


Summary Post

Day 25: April 25th
What did I read?: クマとたぬき
How much did I read?: 25 pages
How long did it take me?: 26 min

It’s winter time in the forest~
Which means:

Christmas presents!

Look at how happy this tiny deer is :pleading_face:

Good words
  • 冒す (おかす) - to brave; to risk; to face; to venture
  • 冬眠 (とうみん) - hibernation; winter sleep; torpor
  • 霜柱 (しもばしら) - frost columns; ice needles
  • つるべ落とし - sinking quickly
  • 犬ぞり (いぬぞり) - dog sled
  • 冬ごもり (ふゆごもり) - hibernation; staying indoors during winter
  • くつろぎ - ease; relaxation; comfort; unwinding

Aha! I knew it had to have been a member of the Tanuki Cuteness Brigade xD I am enjoying it, thank you for the rec! :smile: