📚📚 Read every day challenge - Summer 2021 🏖🏖

Did I mean to write this post a couple days ago, yes I did. Did I temporarily die of exhaustion because I had to start going into the office again, also yes. I’m not sure how I ever did this 5 days a week. Anyway…

:sparkles: Challenge Completed! :sparkles:

During the challenge, I read every day for 76/76 days, finished 21 volumes of manga (2 of which I had started prior to the challenge), and made progress on 2 additional manga volumes + a kid’s book.

A Complete List of Stuff I Read

Finished
不可解なぼくのすべてを (all 5 volumes)
サメーズ -サメとアザラシ-
サメーズ
いつでもサメーズ
よつばと! Vol. 15
ふたりのライオン
レンタルおにいちゃん Vol. 2, 3, and 4
しまなみ誰そ彼 Vol. 1 and 2
ルックバック
君には届かない Vol. 1, 2, and 3
シメジ シミュレーション Vol. 2
地縛少年 花子くん Vol. 1

Partially Read
ねこねこ日本史でよくわかる 日本のお城 (book)
ふらいんぐうぃっち Vol. 10
囀る鳥は羽ばたかない Vol. 1

I read a total of 3546 pages of manga and 16 pages of non-manga over the course of approximately 5305 minutes (88.4 hours). That’s an average of ~47 pages and ~70 minutes of reading per day!
Enough with the random calculations, windupbird

Honestly, I feel very successful looking at those stats, though :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: Going from 0 minutes a day to an average of over an hour a day is pretty freaking awesome.

Wins and Things I Learned from the Read Every Day Challenge

My goal for this challenge was to read something every day, even if it was just a page or two. Before this challenge, I would read (at the most) one day a week; I never read on the weekdays, and honestly, in the months immediately prior to the challenge, I was reading absolutely nothing at all. I didn’t really read outside of the book clubs, either. All of that changed during this challenge :blush: Even if it wasn’t a lot, I did read some every day, and I’m really happy about that. I have never been that consistent with reading in Japanese, like, ever. It’s also proven to me that reading on weekday nights does not need to be “off limits.” I usually have the energy to do something, and even if it’s not much, it can clearly add up. Hopefully that remains the case now that commuting has become something of a factor :sweat_smile:

I think this challenge has also given me more confidence about reading outside of book clubs. Nothing wrong with the book clubs, of course, but I think I’ve been leaning on them or using them as a safety net a little bit too much. With the book clubs, you know that what you’re reading is likely going to be appropriate to your level, and you have those other people reading along with you to ask for help if you need to. With other stuff, it’s pretty much unknown, and there’s nothing more demotivating to me than starting a book and not being able to finish it because it’s too difficult. That’s a big reason why some things have sat on my shelf for as long as they have – I glanced at them when I first got them, went “someday,” and never really reassessed. I’ve had some of these books sitting on my shelf for years, and I think there was a big part of me that felt like I still wasn’t good enough to read them because I hadn’t really advanced my formal grammar studies much at all. But surprise, I was good enough to read them, and I did. (I mean, was I able to read them without looking stuff up, no, but the burden of looking things up never became so great that I felt like giving up, which was how it felt with a lot of them when I first looked at them). I tackled some manga without furigana during the challenge as well, which is something I have been generally hesitant to do because it makes things sooo much more onerous to look up sometimes. But for the most part, it really wasn’t as big of a deal as I made it out to be in my mind.

I’ve also discovered a little bit more about how I prefer to read, or the conditions that make me feel more motivated to read. I think sticking to a book club pace is actually doing me more harm than good at times :sweat_smile: For one thing, I think reading once a week isn’t really the most effective way to make reading a habit, for me. You’d think that a book club schedule would help me stay on track, but it doesn’t really seem to work that way. I just keep getting caught in this cycle where I get behind a week, then binge a couple chapters in one day, then get behind again, binge again, repeat. And that’s not really what I want. I also seem to read way more/way faster when I can go at my own pace, because I don’t put the brakes on myself to keep to a slower schedule. I’m finding it more enjoyable to read at a quicker pace, because I’m more immersed in the story when I consume it over a shorter period of time.

Stuff I Want to Do in the Next Challenge!

One thing I did not really tackle this time around is a book. Like, a book book. I know that I am a lot slower at reading books, but it would be nice to finish one book during a future challenge. I know just the one I want to read, too :eyes: My biggest “someday” book of them all…

I’d also like to increase my confidence/ability to read without double-checking myself so much. I think I rely too much on looking stuff up in Jisho and “double-checking” my interpretation of events with an English translation (whether that’s the English edition of the book or a DeepL translation of a particular sentence). Honestly, a lot of times I didn’t really need to check that translation. Sometimes I got it wrong, but most of the time I was at least close enough to get the gist, even if I wasn’t exactly on the mark.

Thank you @Redglare for having this genius idea and inviting us all to participate in this challenge with you! ^^ It was really fun, and it actually worked for me, which is a freaking miracle :raised_hands: :sparkles: Thank you also to everyone who read along with the challenge and liked my rambling posts, because, not gonna lie, I’m very motivated by likes :heart: :rofl: Seriously though, knowing that other people are “watching” and following along really helps me keep on track, so you guys were a big part of my success :hugs: I look forward to doing another challenge with you guys in the future!

Summary Post

13 Likes

Indeed we need a new thread.

I stopped reading manga for now I want to focus more on videogames and visual novels. Why? Because there is audio, playing them will not only improve my reading but also my listening skills at the same time. I am reading the visual novel まいてつ right now. That one is rather long, it may take me months to finish it.

7 Likes

Should we start one for September - November Fall everyday reading challenge? Is everyone rested enough for a September start?? Hehehe

10 Likes

Still summer in September for the most part, but if people want a new thread then that’s fine as well.

4 Likes

Definitely! There is still more than a week for September to come so there’s still plenty of time to rest. I’m fine with starting the next challenge on September 1.

I’ve been wondering however, since we would be starting early (meaning still not being Autumn), do you still want to go with the seasonal titles? I’m thinking that perhaps if this is going to be a recurrent thread (personally I think that would be awesome), we could use some kind of ordering similar to the POLLs, i.e. 39th thread, 40th thread, and so on. Perhaps we could call it 2nd Edition, and so on? But on the other hand, this ordering might be less memorable than Autumn/Fall 2021, I’m not sure.

And on the other hand, we have the tiny issue of having New Years in the middle of the challenge, which personally is no issue for me, and it’s even better to be started earlier because we all know most new year resolutions are never accomplished :smile: . Having already started a month before would give people a very good boost to start the year strong. But then, on the other hand, starting on New Years would be perfect ordering for the rest of the year. If we divide it by two months of work and one of rest, we would be done by the beginning of December and then start over again in January.

Perhaps we could also have a “repository” thread with all the previous challenges and for general discussion, maybe even a bigger challenge log for our summary posts, but I don’t know what purpose that could serve ultimately, the discussion will happen in the challenge threads anyway. It could also track when future challenges start, etc.

Just random thoughts, what do you all peeps think? :relaxed:

Sneaky edit: all of this, of course, supposing we have enough people interested to keep the whole thing going for a long time. It can also be halted and resumed anytime.

10 Likes

Main Post

Should also make a post about what I read. Finished reading through Yotsuba volume 13. It was really good. As Yotsuba’s granny stayed a few days and most of the stories revolved around her this volume. You can tell how important she is to Yotsuba. I liked how she has a Kansai accent and I noticed that pretty fast (before Ena mentions it at least). Yotsuba’s dad also acts very differently, it’s quite interesting to see.

Nearing the end of what I have left to read of Yotsuba. I know the next two volumes are very good as well.

10 Likes

we could do a poll? See if people prefer a September or October start/how much interest there is?

I’m up for either, though probs will be sticking to fairly small reading goals as also trying to be more consistent with textbook study (which I’m very bad at haha)

6 Likes

Oh! I love all of your points and ideas.

I think I let my local weather influence my idea of what “Autumn” is, since Dec/Jan/Feb are deep winter months and March/April/May are the start of spring where I’m from. (bonus info… it sometimes snows in October where I was raised). Thanks for reminding me that different parts of the world have different seasons :sweat_smile::sweat_drops:

This is really appealing! Maybe even if the poll does vote for a September start, we could take this December off, just for the sake of :sparkles:New Years new-ness :sparkles:?

Though opinions on what season starts when seem to be varied (this was an early point of critical thinking at the start of the challenge too haha)… I have to admit I’m a fan of seasonal titles. “Edition” does have a nice, bookish ring to it though :notes:

I’m also good with either September or October start! I’m just very excited to try this again :kissing_smiling_eyes:

7 Likes

I’m okay with going with the meteorlogical seasons as a guideline. Would not call it Autumn myself until the astronomical date even if the weather feels closer to it… Anyway having 3 months per thread is a bit easier to work with.

2 Likes

Well you just gave me a better idea!

Read every day challenge, Chapter 2 :sparkles:

5 Likes

I think the numbers are nicer idea than seasons (because everybody’s associations with seasons is so different, btw for me September is totally autumn), but I agree that the best way would be to just check what the majority opinion is by polling, the same with thread duration/should we try to begin a new thread on January 1st, 2022, etc.

And anyway, I’m going for my 100-day streak across challenges anyway, and then I’m taking a break, so I’m not staying within the rules either way :wink:


Summary post

Days 54-55
August 18-19

  • 生命式 (22% → 24% → 27%) (short story 2/12)

Days 56-57-58
August 20-21-22

  • 授乳 (4% → 7% → 8% → 9%) (book club week 2)
12 Likes

Personally, I’m up for a September start - I got kind of excited thinking/talking about the thing I want to read for the next challenge, so all the better to take advantage of that enthusiasm haha. But October would be fine too! ^^

I kinda like them too…to be honest I’ve never in my life thought of September as Summer, but I suppose that’s mainly a function of the school calendar I had growing up xD I have to admit that I also don’t love the idea of numbering them like a series because I just like not having ordinal numbers on things (doing things in a numbered series creates this expectation of “continuing” and “maintaining” and “keeping up with all of it” in my brain, which becomes mentally burdensome for me the longer it continues). But that’s purely a personal mental hang up so I won’t be offended in the slightest if it’s disregarded and we go for numbers xD

Another thought I had would be to do a title along the lines of “Read Every Day Challenge - September to November 2021,” to remove the specific seasonality but still clearly indicate when the challenge was/is running (we could add like “2nd Edition” or something to the title as well, like “Read Every Day Challenge, 2nd Edition - September to November 2021”, if people prefer numbering the challenges).

I sort of like the idea of having December off, even if we start in September, because I’m generally travelling and doing holiday stuff near the end of that month so I’m sure I would miss some days. A new year’s start also has a nice clean ring to it :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: (I like how we’re already talking about the scheduling of the next next challenge haha)


Let’s poll!
I hope these polls make sense. Also I hope I didn’t miss anyone’s suggestions, feel free to yell at me if I did :sweat_smile:

Assuming the “official” challenge structure will continue to be similar to this one, with a 2-month challenge period and a 1-month break being “standard” (of course, people will still be free to continue longer or start later if they want):

What are your preferred dates for the next challenge thread?
  • September 2021 - December 2021 (official challenge runs in September and October - start new thread/challenge in January 2022)
  • September 2021 - November 2021 (official challenge runs in September and October - start new thread/challenge in December 2021)
  • October 2021 - December 2021 (official challenge runs in October and November - start new thread/challenge in January 2022)
  • Other (please specify!)
  • No preference
  • I’m not planning to participate in the next challenge

0 voters

How should we name/title the challenge threads?
  • With seasons (eg, Spring, Summer, Fall/Autumn, Winter)
  • With dates (eg, September to November 2021)
  • With numbers (“Chapter 2”, etc)
  • With numbers (“2nd edition”, etc)
  • With dates AND numbers (“Chapter 2 - September to November 2021”)
  • With dates AND numbers (“2nd edition - September to November 2021”)
  • Other (please specify!)
  • No preference

0 voters

6 Likes

I’m actually really curious which book it is, so I’m all ears if you want to share even now :purple_heart:

And thank you for creating polls :blush:

7 Likes

You actually bring up a good point. I would agree that it somehow creates the illusion of having something continuing and never really ending, whereas if you have “Summer 2021”, it has a definite beginning and end, and that’s it, you’ve completed it, congratulations. But considering this, I feel like having for example “Read Every Day Challenge - September to November” in the title creates much of the same. Even if not numbered, it’s somewhat “numbered” with words if that makes any sense :joy: . If we go with this route, I think either Autumn or Fall 2021 would be a much better choice.

So that leaves me with the final thought: we can bend a bit the seasons, and leave it at that.


As for the polls, I chose September-December just for the sake of making it easier when the new year comes:

Winter: January, February, March
Spring: April, May, June
Summer: July, August, September
Autumn: October, November, December

Personally I don’t consider December being Autumn, or mid September being Summer, but it’s the closest to the actual seasons, it would just start 10 days after, ish.

We would have both November and December as rest months, so we could maybe do a small “spin off” thread in between? :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

And lastly, I wonder if we do have indeed southern hemisphere participants. I would bet the vast majority of us are from northern hemisphere countries, and it’s probably the most convenient overall, but I’m not sure how we could name it while avoiding numbering it (Q1, Q2, etc, wouldn’t work either, or would it? :thinking: ).

Ultimately however, I really don’t mind how we name it, the important part is actually doing the reading :slightly_smiling_face: ,

5 Likes

Haha, oh well. Was planning to have another summer challenge next year, but now schedules aren’t matching. I don’t want to be the one deciding everything by myself though, so I don’t mind :slight_smile: I mean, I don’t even know the schedule of my exams yet, so I have no idea when I’ll have time to read :eyes: :sweat_drops:

6 Likes

That feeling when one’s children grow up much faster than expected and suddenly start making their own decisions :rofl:

11 Likes

Last time we brought up doing this challenge every season, Some people mentioned the importance of having a break between the challenges. This could be up to everyone individually to decide, but maybe it’s a good idea to let the challenge run from 1st September to 15th of November (2,5 months) with half a month of recovery time.

I’m looking forward to actively join the challenge again next time! :blush:

3 Likes

we don’t really have to make future decisions about timing of sessions other than the next one now, but I can see that lining up the summer reading session with university summer holiday period probably does make sense if possible in terms of allowing the greatest participation. Though it’s possible that holidays are not at all consistent in different locations in which case maybe not.

6 Likes

Yeah, everyone have different schedules so it’s hard to say what time periods allow the greatest participation :caught_durtling: From what I’ve observed during this thread, some were reading even if their daily life were busy, some started a bit later when they were not as busy anymore.

Even if future decisions are made now, those decisions do not have to be carved in stone (if people want a change, that is), so I wouldn’t worry too much about it :slight_smile: As readers build habits and greater stamina, even the time period could be extended if people are up for that. Doesn’t have to be restricted to just two months.

(My summer vacation just happened to be almost all of June and July which is why I wanted to do this for two months. I probably won’t participate in a challenge while I’m busy with irl stuff, that would be too many stuffs for me to juggle at once :sweat_smile: )

9 Likes

Oh no, I accidentally created hype oops :rofl:

You're going to be disappointed if you're expecting it to be some great work of literature xD

The book I want to read is called ハイ☆スピード!, it’s the light novel that the anime Free! is (kind of) based on xD It’s not the deepest or most literary choice, but it’s kind of special/meaningful for me because Free! pretty much set off/inspired my Japanese learning journey – I was deeply, deeply obsessed with it when the first two seasons aired, and an eventual side effect/outgrowth of that obsession was the rekindling of a long-dormant interest in Japanese language/culture as a whole. This light novel and its sequel were some of the first Japanese-language books I bought. (That was years ago…I clearly overestimated how quickly I would progress, by, like…a lot :sweat_smile:) But anyway, it’s something that’s sat on my shelf for a looong time and I’d like to finally give it a try ^^ I still have a lot of nostalgia and fondness for those characters in my heart, so I’m hoping that will give me extra motivation to carry through the hard parts.

7 Likes