📚📚 Read every day challenge - Spring 2022 🌸 🌱

I finished reading volume 6 of はなにあらし today. This (and the last volume) had some more drama in it compared to the beginning of the series but by the end I think everything concluded pretty well. Some plot beats aren’t finished yet, so I’ll look forward to seeing how that goes when I start the next volume tomorrow.
Poor Nanoha having a breakdown while eating her ice cream :smiling_face_with_tear:


It does indeed. Thanks! :+1:

It is so weird when I have a whole sentence where I know every word and I don’t think I’m missing any grammar points and yet I feel like I’m unsure of the meaning. :joy:


Day 24 :heavy_check_mark: :candy:

Candy and Cigarettes ~55 pages

(and with another 23 pages this morning I finished the first volume) :tada:

I already have the next two volumes from when it was free on Bookwalker, and I definitely plan to continue the story.

Our girl dressed up for the opera:
Opera and a car chase shootout - all in all, a good night out.

Fun words

道を開ける - to make way for, to get out of the way, to pave the way
主食 - staple food
発信機 - transmitter, homing device (発信器 in the manga)
貧乏性 - tendency to be frugal, also tendency to worry over trivial things
物乞い - beggar
可及的速やかに - asap
お役所言葉 - bureaucratic jargon
猫糞 - embezzlement
着包み - cartoon-character costume
工作員 - spy, covert operative
法定速度 - national speed limit
命拾い - narrow escape from death
内部告発 - whistleblowing
女女しい - effeminate, unmanly, cowardly

The ABBC Tagagi-san book club started on the 1st of May, a year ago, and it marked the start of my Japanese reading journey. I started reading a little before that, as I was very worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up, so at some point this week it will be exactly one year :birthday: of reading native Japanese content for me. During this time, I have completed 6 manga volumes (からかい上手の高木さん (1 and 2), 三ツ星カラーズ (1), デスノート (1), ハピネス (1) and Candy and Cigarettes (1)) and 4 books (3 novels and one short story collection: コーヒーが冷めないうちに, 小川未明童話集, 地球星人 and 三毛猫ホームズの推理). When I look at this list now it doesn’t seem like a lot, but when I remember myself a year ago, unsure of being able to read and comprehend even a single manga chapter, I guess I’ve come a long way. :slight_smile:




Yes, that’s it. :slight_smile: He didn’t cry, but it was a very near thing, As for your conjecture - possible, but can’t be read from this sentence.

I’m not sure what you mean about the contrasting - the first half of the sentence is plain ‘if …’. ‘If I could do such a thing’. The second half of the sentence details what would be ‘if’ - ooh, I see the contrasting now I think. Do you mean the contrast from the ものか? The contrast doesn’t extend to the if clause before the comma, it is just about the statement after. ‘As if I would come for such a low salary!’
Combined, ‘As if I would come to the boondocks for such a low salary if I could do that!’ So basically what you thought it meant. :smiley:

I agree with your take one 言えばいい - I’m not sure I ever consciously made that differentiation between the two use cases. Criticizing someone’s behavior is pretty to close to being disappointed about things not happening as wished - in this case the desired behavios would be ‘the principal not saying’ what he said. (言わなければいい - it would have been good not to say)
Protag doesn’t want the principal to say this earlier, protag wants the principal to not say it at all to begin with if he (the principal) understands it’s not possible for protag to do anyway.

Trying to find something online about this use of 初めから言わない, I found this blog about stuff it might be better not to say at all - if you ctrl+f search for はじめ its’s the second result.
About halfway down this site

「でも…」「まっ いいや」


Happy late birthday to everyone~ :joy:


It’s been almost a week since my last update. It didn’t feel like it during it, but looking back at it in numbers, I actually read a lot!

Notable: I finished the questions/quizzes at the end of Le petit Nicolas. There were a couple excerpt from other books about and for children, of which I read one of. But they all seem to be translations into French, so I decided I’m not interested in actually reading the rest and am now completey finished with the book. :heavy_check_mark: :partying_face:

Yesterday (the 24th) I somehow completely forgot to read anything in French. When I noticed in the evening, I didn’t have the brain capacity left for anything actually difficult (like La quête d’ewilan definitely is for me), so I quickly read a short story from my graded reader and even stared brain-dead-ly at the vocab spreadsheet that follows each story for a minute or two. :joy: I’ll make an effort to read La quête d’ewilan earlier in the day today, haha.

My progress since last time

Le petit Nicolas (163→169/148p) :heavy_check_mark:
La quête d’ewilan: d’un monde à l’autre :headphones: (79→108/334m) :open_book: (21→32%)
A1 5 Minuten-Lektüren Où est le thym (2→3/20 stories)


Weekly update~
Short daily updates are in my home post.

I lied. I didn’t finish the book. I managed to fit only short reading sessions last week and 探偵チームKZ事件ノート wasn’t a huge part of it.

Other than book clubs, I read two short stories in 5分後に以外な結末 ①赤い悪夢: 「父の時給」 and 「幸せグラフ」.

Some no spoiler thoughts on 父の時給

I’ve seen this story in English being circulated around social media before, albeit a shorter version of it. Now I wonder if the story originated from this book or?

But anyway, I knew that twist was coming but it still made me tear a little bit, ugh. Hit a little bit differently reading it in Japanese too.

Some no spoiler thoughts on 幸せグラフ

I honestly had no idea what I read. Had a lot of difficulty comprehending this story for some reason so I’d probably have to reread it.


Ok let me translate that for you. A “standard” page in a Japanese book is said to have 400 characters. So even if it took you 3 hours, that would mean 10 pages per hour. As you said, there likely was some downtime, so maybe you’re more at 12 - 15 pages here.

I incidentally timed my reading speed in Flesh&Blood yesterday, and I read 8 pages in one hour. No downtime, no distractions, just me and the book and Jisho.
The fastest I’ve measured myself at was with the Saikawa&Moe series, at about 12 pages per hour.

Just sayin’ :upside_down_face:


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, @NicoleIsEnough, 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: