📚📚 Read every day challenge - Summer 2021 🏖🏖

Summary post
July 17

・Read 冷たい密室と博士たち, ch. 4 and 5. (26% → 40 37%) I forgot what I was going to write xD

edit: whoops, got the last % wrong


This week continued with the good reading streak. Really want the characters in my manga to hurry up and get their shit together i.e. admit that they like each other and they keep not doing it - which I’m fine with but does make me want to read more. I’ve been finding myself reading at the end of the day a lot, and have been experimenting more with doing minimal look-ups. Down to somewhere between 5 and 35 words/chapter, depending how sketchy an understanding I’m willing to go with, and how much I don’t feel like picking up my phone to look the words up. I notice myself using better reading strategies (i.e. reading the whole sentence to get to the verb and figure out some of the context before deciding if I need to look up the unknown word(s)/grammar) - so that’s nice. I think I’ll want to go back and close read a little later to get some more details.

I’ve been reading 1-2 chapters a day (if we don’t count the binge at the start of the week, which was more like 1 volume/day) - it’s pretty doable, even when I go to bed and just read until I’m sleepy. Work has been busy, but not exhausting this week, which made reading much more doable. Grammar study has definitely been put on the back burner with all the reading, but I’m okay with that right now - getting exposed to grammar points, and looking them up a few times, definitely helps when they actually come up in my studies.

Read this weeks chapter of ‘When Will Ayumu Make his Move’ this morning - it was good - I definitely read the book club stuff more closely than what I’m reading on my own, since there are people to bounce ideas off of when I’m not getting something.

Nice to hear about other people’s reading - I can definitely see myself finding some inspiration for next things to read as I make my way through the posts.


Main post

Day 46 :ballot_box_with_check:
Satori Reader: The River Sanzu, Episode 20 (Finale).

Day 47 :ballot_box_with_check:
Satori Reader: Secret, Episode 1.

I didn’t update the other day because I was tired, but I did read! I finished The River Sanzu on Satori Reader, and it was alright, I enjoyed it. Out of the three that I’ve read so far, I think I enjoyed the other two more, but that’s not to say that this one isn’t good, they’ve all been pretty nice so far. I’ve started Secret, which is a long one (98 episodes) and it’s labeled as one of the harder ones. So far, so good. Seems to be a thriller, and the voice acting this time is male, which is a change from the 3 female narrators of the other stories I read. So far, all of the voice acting has been awesome.


Home post

July 17th からかい上手の高木さん started chapter 7 and read 4 non-trivial pages (pages 2, 3, 4, and 5).


Summary post

Day 47: July 17th
What did I read?: 地縛少年花子くん Vol 1
How much did I read?: 32 pages (0.5 chapter)
How long did it take me?: 58 min

Finished the book club reading for the week. This took a somewhat unexpected turn :joy: But I’m guessing this kind of sets the scene the rest of the series. I wonder where things will go from here :thinking:


Wiki post

July 17 Update

Today’s reading was book club based! We’ve finished ハイキュー!! volume 3 in the book club, and are starting volume 4 for next week. This time we’re doing two chapters a week, so tonight I read through chapter 26 and a bit of chapter 27. It took about 2 hours, which seemed excessive to me (compared to the pace I’ve been reading at recently) until I realized that the writing down words really does end up a lot of time (I was filling out the vocab sheet as I went along). I’m glad we’re pushing ourselves to read more every week. I think a little more regular ハイキュー!! exposure will be fun, and since this is a fairly long series, reading faster means getting through it sooner. At this rate, it’ll take us slightly more than 4 years to finish the series (it would have taken 8 years before).


Cool! I didn’t know anything about it, honestly, I picked it up cuz I liked the cover. It’s slow reading (everything is slow reading!) but pretty good so far.

Reading Log

Can’t find my paper reading log but it hasn’t been great. 20 pages for the whole week and several days skipped. Bedtime reading seems to work pretty well, which surprises me, but I’ll try making that the routine rather than “whenever I think of it” which is, uh, never. :sweat_smile:

When you break a streak, you just get back up and keep going, right?


Turns out my updates come in a somewhat weekly rhythm :rofl: Sorry about that…

Last week, on Saturday, I caught up with the コーヒー book club (i.e. read the previous week’s assignment) and also read that week’s assignment of 殺人出産. On Sunday I started to read that week’s コーヒー assignment, but I realized that I’m in too many book clubs right now :sweat_smile: and so I decided to drop コーヒー as my main reason for reading is that I want to absorb beautiful and well-written Japanese, which this book does not actually deliver. On top of that, I already know the story because I watched the movie. So there is no reason whatsoever that keeps me going with it, if I’m really honest to myself…
So I switched to reading the week’s assignment of 冷たい秘密 every day (not always much, but I did it) until Saturday morning. After that, I caught up with last week’s 人間失格 and started this week’s assignment of 冷たい密室。My plan for today (and the rest of the week) is to finish the weekly assignments of 冷たい密室, 人間失格 and 殺人出産 (in that order). :muscle:


There’s more 1Q84 waiting at the end of all those other book clubs. :sparkles:

No pressure though, haha. I just feel compelled to mention it every now and again.

Reading has been less than stellar this week - I think I have yet to log the fourteenth, so here goes:

I finally read some more 1Q84! It’s been so long I had to re read a bit, haha… Why’d I stop in the middle of a chapter. :sob: In other book club related reading, I also read the the 2nd week’s part of 人間失格.
I also finished reading the first volume of それでも歩は寄せてくる. I like it better than からかい上手の高木さん, but it’s nothing I’d want to pay full prize for.

I went camping! Also, work before and after. I didn’t read at all these three days, but it was mostly a good time.

I’m back to reading today. :sparkles: Great to see everyone kept at it! Over 40 new messages in these few days.


I know :rofl: Just recently I had this itching feeling that I would like to go back to Aomame for a bit…

And it’s not that I’m planning to neglect it altogether, but there is soooo much stuff to read! :grin: I just wanted to take a little break and interleave it with something else, and now everything spiralled out of control :roll_eyes:

The answer is obviously to learn to read faster, to be able to read more!


Yeah I think particularly with stuff in Japanese I’ll be like “well, I’m not really enjoying the plot but I should read it to get the reading practice.” or “oh but it’s a better fit for my reading level than other options so I should stick with it to the end and then I can read X thing that I actually want to read”…which to be honest are both valid reasons but there’s so many options out there that why slog through something you don’t enjoy? It does really help if you’re genuinely having fun :slight_smile:

This is interesting! I feel like someone else (@rikaiwisdom perhaps?) was also saying they weren’t really getting into this one, though I might be wrong) I’ve been recommended the English translation of this book a couple of times by people that I trust the opinion of, which had made me assume that it would be even better in Japanese. But maybe it’s just a really good translation! Was it mainly the writing style that you weren’t enjoying?


I mean, the overall story is really good in my opinion, so if people recommended it, that might maybe be more based on the story itself and not so much on the language?

That’s of course also an option. I haven’t seen the English translation so I cannot really comment on that.

The book was adapted from a stage play and it keeps a lot of the style of a stage play, which was not that uninteresting actually. So for example, person A was talked about for a while, and then the focus shifted to person B, and in between we kept getting little glimpses of person A again (who was still in the same room i.e. on stage), like “Person A is still doing this and that”. It really felt like stage directions or something.
Oh, now that I think about it, one big thing was that we did not get any inside views from anybody (as far as I remember), it was mainly descriptions of actions and situations. So really like on a stage where we are not able to read the actors’ minds, we can only see their actions. I think there is so much depth missing without that.

On top of that, the Japanese that was used was not that rich and expressive either… The first time I got annoyed by that was when the author introduced a new expression (姿を消す - to disappear (into another room)) which I found quite interesting, but the author literally used it five times over the course of three pages! (And small pages, with not too much text on them.) Also, he used quite long-winding descriptions of the characters and repeated them over and over again, e.g. something like “the man who sat in the corner reading a magazine”. Even later, when we got to know his name, he was referred to as “the man called Tom who sat in the corner reading a magazine”.

I know that other authors also have a habit of using long-ish descriptions of their characters (MORI Hiroshi :wave:), and they also tend to repeat words and expressions sometimes, but the frequency just killed me.

So to be fair the writing was not “really, really bad” writing but maybe a bit boring and repetitive?


Just a play play. A stage play.

Though it was also a screenplay at some point along the way. :slightly_smiling_face:


Oh thanks for pointing this out! I actually knew this but clearly picked the wrong English word :woman_facepalming:

EDIT: Fixed :sweat_smile:


Must have been a different person :slight_smile: I’m actually enjoying it, though I don’t love it, and I’ve been already slacking for two weeks. It’s the second time it happens with book clubs, perhaps I find the almost-daily commitment too suffocating, and if I don’t have a great interest in what I’m reading it feels like a bit of a chore. I think I will keep reading it though, but it will have to be behind schedule, at least for now. I just enjoy Satori Reader much more overall these days. I have yet to find a novel that makes me go “wow I really want to read this”, I generally get that feeling only with video games, but most of them are still rather hard to comprehend to enjoy at a comfortable pace. I’ve talked before about how much I love Final Fantasy XIV; unfortunately that one is really hard ;-; I keep swapping back and forth to grab glimpses here and there but I tire easily.

Truth be told, I haven’t really dug into Japanese novels and the like, so that’s definitely a limiting factor.


Oh interesting - yeah, I can see why this would feel like quite an ‘un-novel’ like experience as that’s usually a big plus for the form in that you often do get those inside glimpses or clear viewpoints. Also makes sense that the story being known to you would make it less exciting if it’s written that way as you’re not really getting any “more” (as in a closer look at characters thoughts and motivations) from the novel version than watching it.

Haha - I remembered that you’d mentioned it but not much more than that! I can have similar issues with some bookclubs - I do really love readalongs (the ハイキュー one in particular is real fun) and like that they generally push me to go a bit more in depth with my understanding when reading - but keeping to the set pace can be hard.

Are there any games that you would recommend that you’ve found more manageable? I would love to start playing more games in Japanese but, as you say, many of them are very challenging and harder to do lookups etc which means I keep putting it off.


Main Post

Finished reading Polar Bear Cafe volume 2 today, so it’s a good time to look back on it. Definitely gotten more used to reading this manga and it has become an even more enjoyable read. There’s also more variety and new characters appearing that make it more fun. Especially liked the panda mom and childhood grizzly chapters. The pun usage is also less frequent, but when they have them they do keep going a while longer.

Luckily was able to get a copy of volume 3, so I can keep on reading. Also got the today’s special volumes the other day to get up to date with the series.


I’ve read 12 pages of Forbidden Scrollery(2). Also it was the first time I almost didn’t rely on a dictionary for so many pages, though it was mostly due to necessity: I was reading from phone while taking a bath and switching to a different app looked like a hassle. I looked only 梯子はしご and even that in google images as from context no children were involved.

My favorite phrase was “信じるも信じないも構わない” as similar structure with Xても/Xなくても was in Bunpro N3 and 構う I met on WK recently, rare bubble that covers both recent bunpro and WK at the same time and nothing more.


Actually it is a very recent thing for me too, so I don’t have recommendations, sorry! But other than FFXIV, I really want to play NieR: Automata, I’ve been holding off on buying it because I want to see if any juicy sales come :joy: . I was playing Final Fantasy III out of nostalgia, and I didn’t find it hard at all, it was quite manageable. I haven’t touched it for a couple of weeks but I will resume it eventually.

Perhaps anything Nintendo could be more manageable, as they tend to target a more younger audience. If you happen to have a Switch, many games can be changed to Japanese just changing the console language, and that’s great. I should probably dig around a bit to see if I find anything cool and manageable. So far I know Animal Crossing is great, I played it in Japanese for a while, and also Zelda Breath of the Wild could be great too, although I can probably already see the archaic language… But vocabulary wise, perhaps it’s accessible!

I tend to check if there’s JP language checked in the games I buy from Steam, and it’s a plus if they do because I can replay them in JP some time after. I tried Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun, and I didn’t find it too difficult, so if you like stealth games that’s an interesting one.

But other than that, I’m still pretty much a baby when it comes to doing things fully in Japanese ^^’.


I just finished 魔女の宅急便その6! I also broke my perfect streak (fell asleep right after work on Thursday), but that’s okay.

This volume was probably my favorite in the series as it was quite different by taking three different viewpoints. Very satisfying ending, too. The first book was the very first full-length novel I’d ever read in Japanese (in late 2017), so for me, too, it feels like the end of a small journey.

Next up? The latest Akutagawa prize winner, 貝に続く場所にて (one of them, anyway). Already bought and prepared the digital edition and will read it within the next 10 days or so.