📚📚 Read every day challenge - Winter 2022 ☃❄

Read this week’s assignment of 大聖堂 in two days (yesterday and today). Some parts take a bit of consideration (when the protagonist explains some details about building churches and stuff) but other parts (where the action happens) are pretty easy to read.
Since it’s Monday and I’ve already finished the two “book club” books for this week, of course I did not consider turning to one of my manga that are waiting for me, let alone doing something productive like studying or working, no! Of course I had to pull out a new book from my mile-high 積読 pile :joy_cat: :woman_facepalming:
I chose ifの悲劇 because I wanted to read it for ages, it’s not too long at 240 pages (so maybe I can even finish it during this challenge? :sweat_smile:), and last not least because I hope that a criminal story won’t be too difficult. So far I read the prologue and I’m already intrigued :grin:

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Summary post :bookmark:

January 31

本好きの下剋上 8
Progress: (40% → 41%)


So a whole month has passed by :eyes: Already by the halfway-mark, not bad. It’s great to see so many of you joining in and reading as much as you can and learning new stuff :books::books: Making progress and hopefully having a fun time. I really like the energy in this thread, y’all are amazing :yellow_heart:

To any lurkers out there, it’s not too late to join! :grin:

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Today’s update!

More 世界から猫が消えたなら! 42-52%

This section was SAD :sob::sob::sob::sob::sob: I feel like it’s just going to get more and more sad as we go on. I need the devil to have some long scenes for comic relief

I want to read more but I couldn’t sleep last night and got zero work done today so I really need to sleep tonight. If only my work would just pay me to read novels in Japanese, wouldn’t that just be the dream. Until then I shall have to try to restrain myself!

Haha yeah, I am pondering looking up more articles or bringing the article and relevant section of 世界から猫 to my Japanese teacher to see if she has anymore insight on it but also I kind of feel like it might be just one of those things!

agreed on both counts! It is extremely pretty. I’ve been trying to hold back to the bookclub pace so I’m excited to meet L, I remember him being my fave when I read the series as a teen.

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Thank you all for your recommendations! This made me realize I need to pause and do some research. I guess I’ll collapse my responses so that the post is navigable :joy:

NicoleRauch

Hmm, actually I’d say I found that every chapter had something or other happening. Sometimes it wasn’t in an action-y way, but that’s not what I’m after anyway. The far-fetched part is on point, though, – it required quite some suspension of disbelief at times :slightly_smiling_face:

Totally – that’s exactly what I hope to find :grin:

I checked out the short story from the same author that @pocketcat recommended, and the complexity is tolerable, but barely. I’ll sure look into it again a few books later :slightly_smiling_face:

I checked out the preview on Bookwalker, and the language seems to be ok (although still surprisingly hard for a children’s book – it seemed harder than 時をかける少女). But it also has some nice illustrations, and I (vaguely) remember the story to be quite profound, so I’ll definitely consider it. Thanks! I’ll probably first buy a physical version though.

I don’t have any specific genre inclinations. I guess the thing I care for the most in a book is a deep story that makes you think even when you’re not reading, but of course it’s not a must. Atmosphere and/or interesting characters with a lot of development can compensate for that.

What I don’t care much about is “fact-oriented” narrative, where things take priority over the story itself. E.g. I’ve briefly seen some modern fantasy novels, and often they sound like a description of RPG gameplay rather than a story – that sort of thing is definitely a turn-off. But I haven’t heard any recommendations of this sort around here, so I assume I’m not the only one :joy:

Daisoujou

I don’t mind darker topics, but jpdb says it’s quite a bit harder than anything I’ve read so far, so I guess I’ll save it for later. Thanks!

I’m actually quite interested in VNs, I just never considered them as an easy medium to practice with :sweat_smile: I haven’t played many VNs in any languages (I guess only Steins;Gate and 999/Zero Escape, and I certainly wouldn’t be able to do that in Japanese now), so if you have recommendations, please do share!

BTW, Summer Pockets looks appealing (at least atmosphere-wise; and the art is gorgeous), but the language seems to be a bit too hard for me just yet, based on the screenshots you’ve posted so far.

basilsauce

I had the same feeling. Thanks for confirming!

Hmm, I just read your review on Natively, and even though it’s a children’s book, it caught my interest. Thanks!

Now this looks very appealing! Thanks a lot, I’ll definitely try it, and perhaps ボッコちゃん, too!

pocketcat

Thank you! I tried reading the first page, and it was very tough, although I guess I got the general idea (including where this is going, if I deduced correctly from the narration quirks combined with the title). So, I guess it’s a bit early for me to start コンビニ人間…
Also, this was the first time I’ve seen 貴方あなた written in kanji – never realized it was a thing :rofl:


Summary post

January 31 update:
After reading all the great advice, I decided that I wouldn’t read anything specific today, but rather try out a few things. Here’s what I tried:

  • また、同じ夢を見ていた – read a page of it, and it seemed approachable. Regarding its kanji use, I only came across about 5-6 kanji I didn’t know, which may still seem like a lot, but it’s actually less than what I would typically see in 時をかける少女. The amount of unfamiliar vocab was on par (one page is probably not enough to judge this, though). Surprisingly, I didn’t find the lack of furigana that big of an obstacle – although it may change if I start doing more lookups. Overall, from all the books I currently have (I bought it on a whim a month ago), this one definitely seems like something I may be able to read. I’m still a bit uncertain whether I’ll like it, but I’m willing to give it a try.
  • コンビニエンスストア様 – read probably around a page? This story has an interesting style, but feels way too hard right now.
  • 星の王子さま – read a couple pages (including pictures, so not so much text). Seems like a possibility, so I’ll probably buy a physical version to read next.
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Home post

Day 30:

日本語: I read a lot of 伯爵と妖精 31 and finished it! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: Then I read some of DEATH NOTE 1, a bit of 君の名は, and a bit of 機動強襲型令嬢アリシア物語1.

中国語

中国語: I read an intermediate entry on Mandarin Bean.

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Summary Post

January 31
君の名は , 5 pages.

Random Words
  • 反する = はんする to oppose, to be contrary to.
  • 気配 = けはい indication, sign.
  • 直視 = ちょくし looking directly/straight at someone or something.
  • 前触れ = まえぶれ previous notice, herald.
  • 目尻 = めじり outer corner of the eye.

Aaaand finished :tada: . That officially marks the end of my first novel read in Japanese ever :relaxed: . It’s a kind of weird feeling, to think that I’m reading in Japanese, just like that, and it feels like the most normal thing to be doing. But what the heck, it’s not normal at all!! You don’t wake up one day and casually go: oh yeah let me just grab a Japanese book and read it today :joy: :joy: . If younger me saw me right now reading things that I couldn’t back then, I’m sure I’d be super amazed, and yet it somehow feels normal right now. And if anything, that’s the payoff of the work done until now, for this very thing to feel normal after so much struggle. And don’t get me wrong, IT IS a struggle, a constant and frustrating struggle for which I feel forever underprepared. But slowly, unconsciously, you get there a bit more, and a bit more, and a bit more. And it doesn’t stop being painful yet somehow fun and rewarding at the same time. You don’t notice you are improving, but you are. If I have to pick a favourite phrase from this thread, it is undoubtedly: brains are weird :brain: . They do be weird indeed. It’s so painful they sometimes let us know we are improving in certain moments of clarity, just to go missing for weeks or months until you have another one.

I finally can rewatch the film. I’ve been eager to watch it again ever since I started the book, but I didn’t want to just in case it made the book super easy to follow. I still remembered most of the scenes of course, but it was after reading it, and not before reading it. I haven’t watched the film in years, but it was as if it was playing in my mind as I was reading the book, it’s pretty cool. And even though I still liked the book, the film is still definitely better IMO. It’s just so colourful and the medium works so, so well. There were things I really liked in the book, some descriptions, some internal thoughts of the characters, etc, but overall I still pick the film over the book, it’s just that good. But I still enjoyed it a lot.

So yeah! That was one month of reading and around 500 new words to the SRS. For February, I’ll be starting 星の王子さま tomorrow. Hopefully I can finish it before March, but we’ll see. I’m very satisfied with my current study plan regardless :3

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Response to BadWeather

Ah, yeah, no, sorry for misleading you! I would not consider it a children’s book at all, it’s pretty deep and philosophical - and I just read some background about the author and what the book is probably actually about… I would have never guessed that tbh. (And I’m not giving that away to somebody who has not read it yet :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:)

Hmmm, lemme think…
scrolls through bookmeter list
Hah, found something! If you like medieval fantasy, then you might be interested in reading 狐笛のかなた (Bookmeter). It’s a children’s book, though, aimed at about the same age group as Time Girl, I’d say. I found the language to be fairly easy, once you get past the special fantasy vocab that inevitably crops up here and there. This author generally has a faible for long-winding world-building, but in this book it was not that extreme (as it’s a pretty short book). We read it in a stand-alone book club, so you might find some discussions and can also still ask questions, as with all the book clubs.
Also, did you check out Night Market yet? (Bookmeter) Maybe it’s also too difficult right now, but that was definitely a story that made me think.

Apart from those two, I’m afraid the other books I read were probably a bit harder than Konbini Ningen, so I’ll stop my recommendations list here.

Yeah, that’s really horrible! I once started to read one of those (I just liked the cover as it looked like medieval fantasy) but it was more like an RPG, as you said, with a scorecard for the MC and with references to the modern world and stuff. I’m still contemplating finishing it once I get a bit better (it was still pretty hard for me when I started to read it), but definitely not a second volume :face_with_spiral_eyes:

Yaaaay! Congrats :tada:

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Today I finished Eden Cage volume 3 my eighth manga volume in January. The manga was boring I will stop reading this series. Which manga to read next? Probably the next volume of Domestic Girlfriend it will surely be full of useful words.

Started to read some lines from the No Game No Life light novel it’s pretty hard but I really want to read it. Also read some lines from Melty Blood Actress Again video game lots of N2 grammar points are used, even learnt a N1 grammar point from it までもない there is no need to, unnecessary. Last I read two texts from the Kanzen Master Reading N3 book and got both times the answer right maybe there is still hope for me.

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Day 31 complete :slight_smile:
I’m glad to have made it to a whole month. Feels like an achievement!

I started reading よつばと! today, and read the first chapter.
This was the first manga I bought to try to read in Japanese, over a year ago, and at the time it was much too difficult and I was a little disheartened about it.
Today is the first time I’ve tried to read it again since, and I picked it up and just… read it. I only had to look up one thing. It felt pretty magical. :grin:

(Home Post)

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BadWeather response

Oh yeah, you know, I used jpdb to look up visual novels here and there, then natively became my usual book lookup place, and I kind of forgot jpdb can do that too! I never know what to make of the difficulty spit out by their algorithm, but that’s cool. I think what I’m learning from this thread is Satori Reader might’ve prepared me better than I realized, haha. I will say I sampled the very beginning of コンビニ人間 and Zoo (along with another thing or two) when I was looking for what to read and actually chose Zoo because I thought it seemed easier at the start. But that very beginning of コンビニ人間 looked relatively descriptive, and right now I’m trudging through a bit of a particular story in the last day or two, so maybe Zoo also lulled me into a false sense of security, haha. There are exceptions, but it’s overall fairly straightforward and not descriptive; some of the reviews of the English translation complain about the writing being too minimal, heh. Nonetheless, it may still be more of a step beyond the traditional first books than I realize.

I’m not sure what kind of setup you have for books, if you’re reading them on a PC or something it might be similar, but I just love visual novels because of how well you can set up the text hooking for instant lookups, Anki integration, etc. Plus with a variety of narration, spoken dialog, voice acting, etc, it’s kind of a well-rounded practice experience. But you’re kind of right that there is no… super easy entry point. VNs with furigana borderline don’t exist and I guess the simpler ones are on the easyish light novel end of the scale, allegedly? They can get very hard though.

Stuff like the Key visual novels that are more slice of life are probably some of the easier ones you can get while still having them be generally considered pretty good. And I know a lot of things more or less around this difficulty level, though the few significantly easier ones have bad reputations, heh. Been eying Flowers as something people recommend for around entry level too, though I’m hoping that maybe by the end of Summer Pockets I’ll feel like ratcheting the difficulty up a little and reading Musicus! or something. I’d say some of the images I’ve posted are on the upper end of Summer Pockets’ writing complexity, but if it looks like too much of a headache then yeah, might be best to read a little more before diving into VNs.

That aside, I don’t think this is an easy one, but whether in Japanese one day or just in English, I have to very highly recommend The House in Fata Morgana if you ever get the chance. That VN is phenomenal.

That’s incredible, congrats! :partying_face:

Congrats on the results! And I remember that grammar point from Ace Attorney again, haha. My scattered random learning pays off again :slight_smile: I’ve always thought it’s really cool how learning from native material like this leads to everyone having their own personalized set of knowledge. I know it’s kind of self-evident but I dunno, building your own language understanding subset is neat. Glad to hear you’re seeing results.

While I’m at it, I have to congratulate you too. Sounds amazing


Summary post

I hate that inbetween zone where sometimes it feels like “wow, I finally get it,” then other times I wonder if I have learned a single thing this entire time. I’m sure you all know what I mean cause I hear this described as pretty much how life will be from now on with Japanese unfortunately, heh. I dunno, doesn’t help that I feel a little ill today. Probably not actually sick? My body just isn’t behaving too well. Still read about the usual amount. Right now I’m doing my best not to get at annoyed at wildly specific words you’d need a sentence to describe in English and how I seem to come across them constantly. There are, it turns out, many words.

Wow I love this background; it’s triggering my desires to go climb a mountain in Japan pretty hard. I’ve been living vicariously through this mountain climbing Youtube channel while pretending I understand more than a few words in most sentences, haha.

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I feel these so much. I sometimes have to remind myself that past-me would be very pleased that I’m reading books and holding conversations (even if said conservations are still stilted :sob:).
A win today was a friend saying they’re planning a trip to Japan (assuming borders open. Big if) and feeling confident in replying, “Yeah hit me up with any questions you have about buses or hotels or whatever. I should be able to read the sites for you if they’re not in English” and that was :star_struck: about my own growth for the first time in a long while.
And then I go try to read the article on 敵性語 てきせいご - term from WWII, language of the enemy (generally English) that a language exchange partner sent me and I’m back to despair. :joy:

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Summary post

Day 31: January 31st

365日にっぽんのいろ図鑑
Time spent: 20 min
Today’s color: 紫紺 (しこん) - bluish purple

This is a very pretty color :3

Good words
  • 補色 (ほしょく) - complementary color
  • 引き立て役 (ひきたてやく) - person who makes someone else appear better; foil
  • 即位 (そくい) - accession to the throne; enthronement
  • 由緒ある (ゆいしょある) - venerable; prestigious; with a long history
  • 旛 (ばん) - an obscure kanji for flag, it seems
  • 授ける (さずける) - to grant; to give; to confer; to award
  • 単色 (たんしょく) - single color; monochrome
  • 反対色 (はんたいしょく) - clashing colors

まいにち暦生活 日本の暮らしを楽しむ365のコツ
Time spent: 16 min

Today’s reading talked about 雪明り (ゆきあかり) - brightness of snow; reflected light of snow; (by) snow light. Apparently there’s a saying or word, 蛍雪の功 (けいせつのこう) which means “the fruit of diligent study” - the kanji in 蛍雪 (diligent study) are meant to symbolize, like, even if you only have the light of the fireflies or the light reflecting off the snow, you’re still using that light to study.
There were also some nice proverbs in the reading today:
冬来たりなば春遠からじ - when winter comes, spring isn’t far behind​
柳に雪折れなし - literally, willow trees don’t break under the weight of snow (meaning those who are flexible can endure hardships better)

What else did I read?
おでかけ子ザメ
Amount read: 67 pages
Time spent: 29 min

Small shaaaaark~ :heart: :musical_note: I finished the manga already lol - solid 11/10 in the cuteness department, I love it so much :3 I love how friendly everyone is to the small shark (I mean, how could you not be friendly to him, really, but it’s still cute how all the humans are like, helping him and playing with him and showing him cool stuff) Sometimes you want a manga that’s just friendly and happy and cute, and this is it, this is that manga. Should it have really counted for reading practice, maybe not xD But am I counting it anyway, yes

Today the shark made some really adorable animal friends

First, a duck family, who helped him get out of the rain :duck: :heart:

Then this tiny frog :heart:

And then this cute little traveling bird :dove:

And did some adorable things

Like do some ラジオ体操

And enjoy some かき氷

And take a smol nap :pleading_face:

A couple good words
  • 来場者 (らいじょうしゃ) - visitor; attendee; spectator; guest; audience
  • 特典 (とくてん) - privilege; special favor; special favour; benefit; prerogative; perk; amenity

Can’t believe it’s been a month already :o I feel like I’ve…accomplished very little tbh xD Though I have managed to read every day so far! That’s something, at least. The 365-day books kind of threw a wrench in things, more so than I thought they were going to - I have been enjoying them, and learning some interesting stuff from them (both language-wise and culture-wise), but they are definitely taking up a lot more time than I thought :sweat_smile: I’m a bit torn, but I think I’ll keep going with them, and just accept that I probably won’t finish as many things as I have in past challenges. After all, it’s not really about numbers, anyway.

頑張って、みなさん!:sparkles:

:tada: :tada: :tada: Congratulations! :smile:

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Summary Post

Day 31: Whoo! One month doneee :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: today I read chapter 19 of ハイキュー!! aloud

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Update January 29/30/31

  • 23 pgs Death Note. Completed first chapter with book club. (29th)
  • 12 pgs 極主夫道 (30th)
  • 22 pgs One Punch Man (31st) Had to re-read chapter 5 to get back into the book.
  • Animal Crossing

Can’t give enough likes for this.

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January 31 :snowflake: Home Post

And one month down! :tada: Today started out pretty normal; I read a bit of (かぜ)つよ between classes, they’re all still freaking out about secretly being on the track and field team this whole time, all is good.

And then this happened:

I’d totally forgotten about 999; someone recommended it to me a while back as just like a game I’d like, completely unrelated to Japanese. So I decided to take a peek, see if it was even available in Japanese (yes), and then the whole trilogy was on sale for like $15 :eyes: sooo obviously I have no self control and I bought it and tried it out, and honestly? Not so bad! Like yeah I’m looking up plenty of stuff, but it really doesn’t feel any rougher than any of the nonsense I’ve been doing lmao. I got an ocr set up so if anything this is a luxury compared to all the physical books I’ve been reading :joy:

Granted I’m not very far at all so who knows, it could end up completely impossible, but I won’t know unless I try! (channeling my inner ハイジ there haha, he’s rooting for me :muscle:)

Words!!

幽霊部員(ゆうれいぶいん) - member of a club who never participates (what a good term :joy:)
偉大(いだい) - greatness
強豪(きょうごう) - overwhelming strength, powerhouse
我関(われかん)せず - no concern of mine
()() - doorknob (I love this for some reason, it’s just very correct and feels like a play on words)
びくともしない - unperturbed, unyielding

Ahhh congrats, that’s so exciting!! Great job :tada: hope to be there with you soon-ish (if I can stop picking up new projects lmao)

Omg congrats to you too, that’s such a good feeling! (not that I’m super well-versed but) It’s so nice actually feeling progress like that, we’ve all come so far :’)

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Home Post


January 31st
Various Readings

I’ve actually spent most of my reading time today looking through this thread at various other books and things that people have been reading. Notably, the mention of “まだ、同じ夢を見ていた” by @BadWeather really caught my eye. I looked around at various reviews and descriptions (a lot of random Japanese library posts that chose it as their book of the month), and reading through the preview on Amazon, it seems much more approachable than other readings.

Admittedly, Shirokuma Cafe may be a bit more than I could chew; I’ve only recently really started to push myself into learning grammar through Genki 1 and Bunpro, meaning that I’m hovering around a very shaky N5 level.


Congratulations! Have fun watching the movie again, it’s one of my favorites : )

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Hey that’s awesome! Best of luck; I played in English and totally loved that series. Another thing I’d love to replay someday once my reading speed doesn’t make everything a huge undertaking. If you keep playing it, you’ll have to keep us updated with your thoughts!

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Summary post

Thought I’d make a check-in post, since we’re halfway through! January was a success!

Jan
Week 00
Week 01
Week 02
Week 03
Week 04
Week 05

= Japanese
= Japanese and Spanish

I was planning on waiting until after I finished 大海原と大海原 to start reading in Spanish, but there was enough interest for a spin-off book club for the third book (which is both way longer than the other volumes, and is much darker and aimed at an older audience, so there’s not much furigana and it’s much harder :sweat_smile:), and I ended up committing to that one as well because I wanted to get the full story. The club starts on February 5, but I’ve already started reading because I know I’m going to fall behind.

I guess at that point, I decided I might as well pick up the novel in Spanish I just bought, so that is also happening now! I will probably be much spottier with this, but it’ll be some good practice trying to read with a monolingual dictionary.

Here’s everything I read in Japanese this month:

  • The picture books I already shared in this thread
  • Finished 大海原と大海原 volume 2
  • Read a good 10 or so NHK Easy articles
  • Translated 3 DDT show recaps (posts about them are here, here, and here), as well as starting on a fourth

I learned over 200 new words from my reading (in addition to WK and my textbook vocab)! And 3 new kanji that aren’t in WK.

All in all, a pretty productive month! I’m happy with the work that I’ve put in over the past several weeks.

February plans:

Summary

Once again, my main priority is the DDT recaps. Everything else will sort of just have to fit around that.

My second priority is volume 3 of 大海原と大海原, which is definitely above my level :sweat_smile:. I think I’ll be able to get by, but I might struggle to keep up with the book club. Then again, I did manage to catch up by the end of the last one, so maybe I’ll do better than I thought.

I think I’ll have my hands pretty full with just those two things, so I’m not currently planning on reading anything else in Japanese.

With Spanish, if I have the time/energy, I hope to read more of Tempestad by Lucía Vázquez de Prada. There’s absolutely no way I’m finishing this anytime soon, though, because it is over 800 pages and is also beyond my skill :sweat_smile:.

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I read through mostly random satori reader bits this month, but I also read through my first novel :slight_smile: It was from the MCU (minna-no-nihongo cinematic universe): Shosetsu Miraa-san - Minna no Nihongo Shokyu Shiriizu - | スリーエーネットワーク . I would recommend it as a good reading source for those who are late N4 to early/mid N3 (e.g. finished minna 1&2 or genki 1&2 or equivalent grammar).

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I had to let you know that “the MCU” made me laugh out loud, haha

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