Thank you! I was able to pick up the book from the library this afternoon so looking forward to diving in tonight!
Yay! Also I totally get where you’re coming from. I have had issues with grading things much easier than the majority of the userbase before, but I think I’ve mostly got a system worked out now that is at least consistent and aligns reasonably well with other users’ ratings:
- The “N2” level books, at the bottom (level 30 I think?) assume the reader should have a firm grasp on all N3 grammar, but not necessarily much N2 yet. As you move up through the N2 levels, that assumption changes. To me N3 is kinda ‘basic, everyday grammar’ with no/little poetic flair.
- I personally don’t rate a single area of vocab throughout a book as more difficult, but a wide variety of vocab I will. For example, 永遠のゼロ is alllllll war stuff, vocab I largely didn’t know, but that’s really all it is, it doesn’t go into other areas. So, I don’t count vocab as difficulty there. Likewise for a crime book, I don’t count words about murder, arrest, weapons, and so on towards difficulty although I might mention it in my written review. However, a crime book with lots of different, unique cases (ex: arson, fraud, murder, embezzling) which dramatically increases the scope of required vocab I will count towards difficulty.
- I also try to be cognizant of how old/unusual vocab is after basilsauce pointed out that I rated a short story with very, very old words as easy…because they were in my default J<>J dictionary. They are not in J<>E dictionaries however…