📚📚 Read every day challenge - Spring 2022 🌸 🌱

May 19 :cherry_blossom: Home Post

I played a good amount of Zero Escape today! It’s nice to be back to it; things continue to be wild. There was a throwback to the AB games but like even more messed up this time, so that was a trip. On to tomorrow!


May 19th (Calendar Post)

隣の席の佐藤さん => 98 Pages (113 min)

Some more fun 佐藤さん panels



One could easily say this manga is 90% close-ups of 佐藤さん’s face :slightly_smiling_face:


Day 49 :heavy_check_mark: :izakaya_lantern:

夜市 ~ 0-16%

I was torn on what to read next after 告白. I really wanted to start 穴, but I still have unread books in my virtual library, one of which I had started and paused before. In the end, a power cut (=no internet) decided for me, as I could only read what I already had available.

I had bought 夜市 - selected because I liked the premise and it was read by the IBC before my time - a bit less than a year ago, when I got overenthusiastic about my newly discovered ability to actually read in Japanese. I had managed to read to about 16%, but it wasn’t exactly effortless, and what with Wanikani and other book clubs, time for extra reading was much more limited than I had calculated. So it got left behind.
When I restarted reading it from the beginning yesteday, just like with 三毛猫ホームズの推理, I got a little disappointed by how I wasn’t exactly breezing through the known parts. I still looked up a lot of the same words, even got stuck on some of the same grammar. So, has nothing really changed in a year of reading? But then I kept reading, and before I knew it I had reached the furthest part I had read before, in just one day (it had taken several back then). Not only that, but I found that some parts I didn’t remember at all (while others I remembered clearly), which leads me to think that maybe my understanding back then wasn’t exactly full.
So apparently, what has changed within a year or so of reading isn’t so much the size of my vocabulary or even the extent of my grammar knowledge (they have grown of course), but rather my intuitive understanding of the language. Reading just flows more easily now, even with all the lookups. There are just much fewer sentences that I need to stop and reread, or even dissect, in order to understand them. There are much fewer places that I find ambiguous. I guess my understanding has become more automatic, and more exact. Not something that is easy to quantify, but important progress nonetheless. :slight_smile:

On the book itself, I’m enjoying (as I was back then) the magical, mysterious atmosphere, and all the strange creatures and products at the night market. Some are creepy, some are just bizarre. And it’s getting more and more apparent that the visit will probably cost to the two main characters in some way (or at least one of them?). This is the first of two short stories in the book, so the resolution will come sooner than the percentages imply. I’m probably about 1/3 of the way into the story at this point (and eager to read more).

That’s true, I expected ホームズ to have an even more central role. I did appreciate that she was portrayed realistically though. Not a magical cat or anything, just a normal, real cat that just so happens to notice and work out more things than the humans around her.
I really enjoyed the book (even bought it in translation for a friend who’s learning Spanish), it had a good balance of humour and complex mystery for me, even if it could do with even more cat. :cat2:

Off topic, but this thread seems to have cost me my Regular status :slightly_frowning_face: While I probably spend even more time on the forum than before, it’s mostly concentrated here and in the book clubs rather than across the forum. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted…


So uh…if that’s a deal breaker, don’t watch the TV adaptation.

Holmes in the TV drama


Also I did end up reading today afterall! 69% → 74% of モテ薬. It continues to be ‘meh’.


:face_with_raised_eyebrow: That…is not…a cat…


:blossom: May 19th :blossom: :house:
Read: 真夜中のパン屋さん 上
Finished: 14%-45%
Finished one of my exams today so I had quite a bit of reading time after, this one’s really interesting so far. Today’s reading wasn’t as hard because I got past some of the more complicated setting establishment to parts that had more dialogue. One of the main characters has a dialect that makes things harder, I’m not sure what it is though. I thought it was Kansai-ben for a while and so did the main character but another character explained it wasn’t but didn’t know the specifics of where it’s from.

Dialect examples

Apparently he’s from somewhere in the Northwest, anyone have any ideas on the specific dialect?
edit: googling a bit I’m thinking it’s maybe 北陸方言 but I’m not sure, I’ll look more in the morning



Story thoughts

I especially liked this line from todays reading


Reading this part was a bit rough in a different way because this part described a lot of how Nozomi is badly bullied at school, mostly ringlead by a childhood friend who turned against her when there were rumors about her dad having an affair with Nozomi’s mom, that’s continued from middle school into high school. This was interspersed with Nozomi adjusting to life at the bread store and starting to get a bit closer to the people there, so it was nice to see her start to have more of a stable support system. This did reach some amount of resolution by the end and established a lot about the protagonist and her personality, it seems like from here is where the story involving the customers at the store is going to begin.

Also a book order came in today! I never realized how tiny bunkobon are

Size comparison

Perfectly hand sized

Compared to the only other non kids book non manga Japanese book I own (think it’s tankobon size)


ooooh! NO.6 & かがみの孤城🥰 some top picks there, hope you enjoy them!


yeah they tiny.


May 20th!

Just a tiny bit of reading today, as I had a call with my tutor during my lunchbreak, and I’m going out this evening.
But I found time to read a chapter of Shirokuma Cafe :slight_smile:

(Home Post)


8 pages today! Have to get ready for work now!

Also: I realized (earlier) that I hadn’t uploaded the pictures I said I would (like weeks ago? :thinking:)

Please enjoy a tiny ministory from ブナの森のアリア


:tiger2: :books: Tanuki Den (aka Homepost): Date 20220520 :cherry_blossom: :raccoon:

Tanuki Scroll L: 杉(スギ)~日本一の木 :evergreen_tree:

Today I read all about 杉「すぎ」- Japanese Cedar trees.

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

New Things

分布「ぶんぷ」ー Distribution; allocation
樹高「じゅこう」ー Tree height
しかも「然も」ー Moreover; furthermore
固有種「こゆうしゅ」ー Endemic species
学名「がくめい」ー Scientific/Latin name
財産「ざいさん」ー Property; assets; fortune
利用価値「りようかち」ー Utility value
広葉「こうよう」ー Broad leaf with 広葉樹「こうようじゅ」being broad leaf tree
円錐形「えんすいけい」ー Cone shape
球果「きゅうか」ー Pinecone (though not just the classic pinecone, can mean all kinds of conifer-cones)
異国風「いこくふう」ー exotic / exotic style
人工林「じんこうりん」ー A forest that has been planted artificially
温室効果「おんしつこうか」ー the greenhouse effect
二酸化窒素「にさんかちっそ」ー Nitrogen dioxide


Thank you both! Crazy that I’ve been here for three years now.

:hushed: it’s so tiny!


uncharacteristically for me updating two days in a row haha :sweat_smile:

I finished 三毛猫ホームズ :cat2::tada::tada::tada: There were indeed a lot of twists at the end, only one of which I’d seen coming at all, which was fun! I came out mainly enjoying the book, the mystery was well done and it had a nice, almost farcical at times humour. I did feel at some times that it felt very dated particularly when it came to the romance (spoilers for things revealed right at the end) like, right from the start we get the 森崎&雪子 romance between a lecturer/member of university staff and a student. Then we get 片山&雪子 - our lead police officer dating a key person involved with the crime which no one seems to have any issues with (I though it was a bit weird that 三田村 was so on board with it but I guess he had other things on his mind). And then at the end we have the reveal of 春美&三田村….a guy who throughout the book has been positioned as a father figure to her and her brother. Like, every single relationship in this book had some kind of inappropriate power dynamic, which isn’t super unexpected but just a bit :man_shrugging:. It felt very 60s bond story view of relationships & women…which maybe was an intentional thing and part of the farcical/light satire? idk, I wouldn’t say it bothered too much but I did have a bit of an eye roll at the last reveal

Also my reaction….is she sometimes a cat? Do people treat her like a cat? So many questions.

Next thing I’m picking up is the 2nd book in the Saikawa & Moe series, 冷たい密室と博士たち :smoking::computer:. The audiobook has been released for it too which is always a plus. I’ve got a week to see how I’m finding it and to decide whether I think I can juggle it and 海辺のカフカ :thinking: (also realising that I complained about the treatment of relationships and women in 三毛猫ホ-ムズ and then am deciding to read two more things that are unlikely to be much better haha, whoops)


So not a spoiler as this happens pretty quick into episode one - Holmes turns into the person seen above to deliver vague advice and scolding verbally to 片山 but most of the clues are still presented while in cat-form. 片山 is the only person who can see Holmes’ human form.
Also 片山 randomly has a brother who also lives with them. And 雪子 was cast with an actress who looked to be in her mid-30s. The TV show more vaguely takes inspiration from the series than follows it loyally.

Written 1978 :sweat_smile: Also the relationship dynamics you mention are pretty common in his books overall, although not always present.


Lol, so I was only 18 years off with my 60s comment haha. I knew it was quite old but I’d forgotten it was that old. That said, I feel like even in 1978 you probably shouldn’t date potential suspects when you are the police officer investigating a crime. Then again, ホームズ is the brains behind the operation.


Summary post :bookmark:

May 20th :seedling:

・薬屋のひとりごと 2 (31% → 32%)

Another tiny read.

Book vs manga

@omk3 While I think manga gives quite a bit of context (especially facial expressions and other characters’ reactions to what was said), I agree with a lot of what you said. Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

Manga is mostly spoken language, and it can be extremely casual, slangy, and full of contractions. Although I think it depends a lot on the manga. If I remember correctly, some people recommend Aria over Yotsuba& because characters speak with less casual language in Aria, so it is easier to understand from the get go. (In general, adult characters are easier to understand too, and Yotsuba& is about a child after all.)

For me, one of the big reasons to learn Japanese was to be able to read manga in the original language. In some ways, I’d say that was probably half my reason, the other half was to be able to read about Japanese history and my Japanese related interests (Japanese gardening, historical architecture, ikebana/flower arrangement, and more) in depth which is easier in Japanese than trying to find translated works.

From there, a desire to read historical fiction have risen, as well as other genres because I keep seeing interesting books talked about here, and I’ve always preferred to read in the original language if I know it.

So in that way, being able to read manga is kinda important to me. I never read much of it as a teen because it was so expensive to buy imported English-translated manga, and the amount of translated to Swedish manga that existed at that time was very small. (And was mostly the famous shounen series like Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, those kinds.)

And right now, I have more experience with reading manga than I have books (in Japanese); so books are far more intimidating. A product of what I have done so far. ^^

Again, thanks for sharing your experience and opinions. I certainly hope to grow in confidence with books and to read many over the next few years. But maybe first… I need to reduce my 積読 manga pile. :sweat_smile:

Might just be how much experience you have reading manga vs books. My stepmother doesn’t read much and she’s said many times that reading tires her out, so she always falls asleep if she tries to read in the evening; while I can read all night, and only when my energy for the day literally runs out and my eyes refuses to stay open and my mind is falling asleep away from me, do I need to stop (or you know, I fall asleep with the book open). I don’t get tired from reading itself.

(Well… one school textbook begs to differ, but then it was written densely and boringly, like the author(s) wanted no one to read it. I would nod off to after only 1.5 page or so; I gave up reading that textbook. :joy: Never had that experience before or since.)

Stamina in reading is a thing after all. But maybe you’ve been reading manga for quite a while now, so it doesn’t apply anymore, and then I have no idea why that would be. :thinking:

Continued Yotsuba& today and finished chapter one because honestly I couldn’t stop reading.

I didn’t laugh until I cried, but I laughed until my throat became dry. Does that count? :joy:

Funny moments (all the spoilers for chapter 1): Yotsuba and swinging on a swing. That jump! And Ena-san’s facial expressions. And then Yotsuba running from poor Fuuka-san. I was dying. Poor Ena-san again too. :hugs: Also Asagi punching Fuuka.

Slowly getting used to the casual speech, but also almost completely misunderstood something, however I found answers in the book club thread. I guess I should probably add my questions there if I have them.

I think I read about 30-40ish pages, since I think I read ~13 pages yesterday but the volume is not beside me so I can’t check. I expect I will read half a chapter to a whole chapter a day, as long as I have time.


ハチ 話

I’m reading “Hachi’s Story”. This is the dog who waited for his master every day, even when her master died and didn’t come back. I’m only on page 7, but I already know the story. It’s good to read it in Japanese.


Summary Post

Day 50: May 20th
What did I read?: クマとたぬき Vol 2
How much did I read?: 17 pages
How long did it take me?: 16 min

For today’s daily dose of cuteness, we have this squishy tanuki couple :3

And Tanuki being a whole entire mood

Bear and Tanuki playing with leaves xD

As a side note, I’ve been kind of debating how I want to end my challenge…I’m going to be away on vacation for the last few days of it, and idk if I’ll be taking any Japanese reading materials with me :grimacing: I feel kind of weird just ending it early for myself, but I feel like realistically I won’t be able to keep to the daily schedule and that will bum me out. Tbd.

Omg yes, this surprised me so much the first time I ordered a smol book xD I think I literally exclaimed, “oh, it’s small!!” when I opened the package :rofl: They’re so cute though


You are making me want to read tanuki stories! I love the pictures.


I finished モテ薬. Ending was meh. All of it was meh. I have nothing but meh feelings about this book. It somehow straddled the line of being just interesting enough that I kept going, but not interesting enough for me to ever care about literally any of the characters.
Edit: I wrote a more formal review if anyone wants one

I will leave it to the winds of fate (re: my mood) what I read next. I have a few unfinished books but also :sparkles: new :sparkles: murder mystery and the always tempting 青空文庫 short stories.