📚📚 Read every day challenge - Winter 2022 ☃❄

I did stop this challenge at the official end date, but since the thread is still alive I thought I’d share an amusing article I read while trying to wrap my head around the vocab item 周旋屋: 「しゅうせんやさん!」って - さなだやま不動産のブログ

It seems to mean a mix of realtor/broker/employment agency. Kind of a mixed bag of meanings which is why I was having trouble wrapping my head around it. What I found fun though is that in this blog post the author heard it for the first time while dealing with a 不動産屋 and they mistook 周旋(しゅうせん - mediation) for 終戦 (しゅうせん - end of the war). Nice to know I’m not alone in misguessing homonyms in speech :joy:


Day 72!

I started reading Volume 2 of Mitsuboshi Colors with the Offshoot Bookclub today, and read chapter 1.
I found the ending a bit confusing, but it was still a fun read overall :slightly_smiling_face:

(Home Post)


March 13 :snowflake: Home Post

Ohhhh boy, I went absolutely wild today and finished up my second playthrough of 999 and… whew, that was a lot :sweat_smile:

Many 999 feelings

For a while I was just having a good time, lots of cool puzzles and character interactions, ie. 淳平(じゅんぺい) making dumb jokes to make fun of 一宮(いちみや)'s tendency to do so:

And then I was getting close to the end and pushing through to see what happened, and WOW I was not prepared :joy: uhhhh I super don’t think 四葉(よつば) is working with ゼロ anymore for REASONS, my god. Like not that I wasn’t expecting people to die in a bad end, but this one was just so much more brutal

But yeah idk what to think anymore, that really threw out most of my theories, soooo… Idk I still think there’s something going on with 四葉(よつば) and ニルス, there’s a lot that’s weird with them, but maybe only ニルス is working with ゼロ? I’m still not entirely convinced his death isn’t faked, but I’m not sure what to make of that if 四葉(よつば) isn’t involved.

I am realizing that the branch I was talking about yesterday is actually probably the good ending since it would probably prevent the whole ニルス thing from happening, but it’s gonna hurt on the way there :sob: like yeah I know they’re not actually leaving anyone behind, but they don’t yet!!

But yeah my devastation aside, 999 is going great! I’m genuinely getting close to finishing the whole game which is really exciting :grin: I did get to skip a good amount for this playthrough, but I still went WAY faster than I did the first time around; my first playthrough took a bit over a month, and this one (which I’d estimate was around half the content maybe?) took five days, most of which I was like “ugh I didn’t read much today” :joy: so that’s some real progress for sure!

I did also read a little bit of 錆喰(さびく)いビスコ for the first time in ages, I missed them! It definitely still has a lot more words I don’t know than 999 does, but I can feel a difference for sure. It’s still far from what I’d call an easy read, but I’m definitely improving! :blush:

(Anyway since I went feral on 999 it’s late so I’m not dealing with vocab right now, good night :joy:)

Vocab update!

ボケなす - halfwit; faded, dull-colored eggplant (love the energy of calling someone a gross eggplant as an insult :joy:)
ほうほうの(てい) - scuttling (to escape in a panic), scrambling
いかさま() - cheat, swindler
しどろもどろ - confused, disordered
ふて(くさ)れる - to become sulky
(くち)()らない - fast-talking, always having an argument ready, never at a loss for words (this and the sulky one were both about ミロ lmao I love him)
(こころ)ここにあらず - there in body but not in spirit
一縷(いちる)(のぞ)み - sliver of hope
うわ(ごと) - talking in delirium, incoherent muttering


Main Post

I’m about two thirds into Gal & Dino or what I’ll like to call my break lol. Like to prolong it a bit more this week and then find something else to bridge the gap.

vol 1 ch6-10

Anyway this post is mostly an excuse to show more screenshots of dino.


Day 73!

Back to reading Volume 5 of Yotsuba today - Chapter 30, which is the first time I’ve gotten to see Yanda. Which is interesting since he is mentioned in the very first chapter.

In other, less reading related news - I applied to do the JLPT (N4) in July today :slightly_smiling_face:

(Home Post)


Summary post

Winter Challenge: Final Thoughts

Would you look at the time, it’s already half-past March…and I still haven’t done that summary post I was going to do. Whoops (Carrying on my tradition of late summary posts, I guess haha)

What did I accomplish this challenge?
Well, I read every day - that’s one thing I did xD Not that much else, I feel, but I’m not mad about that.
Let’s take a look at the numbers:

  • Finished 5 manga volumes (+ finished up a 6th manga volume that I had previously started), totaling 765 pages. Aaaand I just realized that I still didn’t finish 囀る鳥は羽ばたかない Vol 1, but I did read quite a bit of that also xD
  • Read 100.5 pages in the daily books
  • Spent a total of 53 hours reading - that’s about the same as what I spent in the Fall Challenge, so I’m pleased with that. About half of that was daily books, half other stuff. I read something in addition to the daily books on 51/59 days.

I realized as I was summing all this up that I did make significant progress in my reading speed with these daily books, though :o I went from spending ~45 min a day (sometimes closer to an hour) on those at the beginning of the challenge to ~20 min a day near the end - that’s pretty awesome, actually, I’m very happy about that.

Historically, this time of year is the literal worst but I actually didn’t find it as hard to keep reading every day as I thought I would. I also didn’t get too burned out writing posts, which I thought would happen. …One could argue that my time spent writing posts might have been better spent doing the actual reading but I like writing the posts haha, I love to share what I love :stuck_out_tongue: I love showing people stuff, and I love to see other people enjoy the things I love. How many times can I say the word “love” :rofl: …I am essentially the little kid being like “you guys, look at this!!” constantly :rofl: Thank you for letting me (over)share and liking my incredibly long and illustrated posts xD

What have I been doing since the challenge ended?

Well…not reading, I’ll tell you that :joy:

This got long - and bit tangential/philosophical toward the end

I went to a k-pop concert the day after the challenge ended and I’ve been rapidly devolving into some kind of Oneus-obsessed gremlin ever since - that’s it, that’s my excuse for this late post lmao, I’m so very distracted :sweat_smile: It was the best time ever though, wrote about it in the k-pop thread if anyone really wants to read my fan ramblings lol. Then I learned about some k-pop related things I probably should not have learned about but too late now, here we are with a new thing to spend money on

Anyway, I haven’t even been keeping up with my daily books…like at all :sweat_smile: Does anyone else ever feel like they need to just let everything completely go for a while after staying “on track” for some time? Like, aren’t habits supposed to be easier to keep up the longer you do them, not harder? I feel like it doesn’t really work that way for me sometimes. It’s more like carrying a heavy burden that I want to set down (and then, once I set it down, I have trouble motivating myself to pick it back up because I know what it weighs). Like…what is that, brain. What’s that about.

Anyway, I’m not too bothered about it, though. I think someone (I can’t remember who, maybe multiple people ><) in the last challenge said that, you know, the challenge is only a commitment for that period of time. You didn’t say you’d read every day for the rest of your life, you just said you’d read every day for those months. And I did that, so I fulfilled my goal. I’m satisfied with that.

Sometimes I get caught up in those thoughts of, well, you could be doing more when it comes to…well, everything, but Japanese too. But I feel like I’m really beginning to understand that just because I could theoretically be doing something more doesn’t mean I’m obligated to do it if it’s not what I want to be doing more. I can choose to not care about one thing or do less or do some things vs. other things. What I do with my time is my choice. …This might sound very common-sense to people, idk, but it’s a shift for me; I’ve always had this feeling of wanting/having to do the most or the maximum with whatever I’m doing, and if I’m not doing that “most,” I’m…wasting something? Myself? The chance? That time? “Doing it wrong.” Which is sometimes not the worst thing to feel, but for this situation it doesn’t really make sense or apply - after all, this is just supposed to be fun for me (it’s a hobby, not something I need to do), and if I’m pressuring myself to engage beyond what’s enjoyable for me, what am I even doing? What’s the point of fun that’s not very fun? Going to this k-pop concert actually brought me this realization LMAO, like…forget about what you “should” be doing to “maximize” or “make the most” or “do it right” according to someone else’s definition, make it fun for you and what you want or need. Don’t “perform” at the expense of actually having fun. Enjoy the experience without worrying what the “results” afterward will look like to someone else’s eyes. …I’m getting way too deep about this but honestly though, this whole live the moment, love the ride thing was like…:sparkles: brand new to me and I want to try and keep this thought with me - there’s not one way to have a good experience and not one way to make your time/actions worthwhile

Anyway, that was a ramble and a half
tl;dr I’m not reading, but I’m fine with that for now. Will be all rested up and rejuvenated for the next one :slight_smile:


I love all of this! Happy to see you living in the moment and letting go of expectations and having fun! I feel like recently a lot of folks have been rediscovering the joy of spontaneity that you get with not locking yourself into one thing or another … Feels like spring is coming for us all!

Sorry if that got too sappy. 恥ずかしいセリフ禁止❣
(I have been watching a lot of Aria lately.)
(I tried but failed to find a gif because I’m the worst at gifs.)

Longish response

Yeah this is a thing I sometimes have to remind myself of too. When people ask me why I’m learning Japanese my standard response lately is, “for shits and giggles”, because really I don’t have any real need to learn the language. Heck, I basically just replaced watching crime shows in English for watching them in Japanese and saying ~*I'm learning*~. And yet I too will get down on myself at times for not going fast enough…as if I have an end date. All I’m going to do when I reach a happy level of Japanese is start a new language and put myself through the whole thing all over again :joy:

So yeah, this is all to say, you’re not alone in that. I think some of us have perfectionist drives that need to be brought into check from time to time because the needle moves from “motivating” to “stressful”.


Oh yay, me too.
I was asked this recently and I ended up replying “uuhhhmmm to read manga”. But before learning Japanese I’d barely read manga, I started reading more manga to learn Japanese.

My reasons for learning, I think (not that you asked >.>)

I think for me: I wanted to learn another language, the only other language’s content that I regularly consume is Japanese, and the point that kicked this all of was an awesome holiday in Japan where I fell in love with travel.

That’s hhuuuUUUUGGGGGggee!


Yeap, I feel like my life goes in cycles of ups and downs. I can’t have a good up without at some point needing a recovery down.

It’s really hard for me to keep a consistent pace, even now I am still technically reading every day but I feel like I am limping through it most days - reading a minimum viable amount - whereas previously I would read and get lost in the manga and chew through way more pages in less time.

sorry long reply

Yes, this so many times.
Semi-recently I looked at my Japanese and got really self-critical about my lack of speaking ability, I felt crappy because I’ve been working so hard on my Japanese and yet I couldn’t hold a basic conversation.

Eventually I snapped out of this when I remembered that my original goal I set was to be able to read basic Japanese manga in like 5-10 years. A year in I was struggling through manga I wanted to read, goal met and exceeded.
I hadn’t spent anytime working on speaking, as that wasn’t something I wanted to focus on, and yet my inner critique came at me.

After this I actually feel it was a positive experience, because I realised that because I had spent a year focusing on reading manga I was now able to (slowly) read manga.
It made me feel like if I decided that speaking should be my goal and started focusing on it in the same way, that I would get better, which felt empowering?!?.

Nope absolutely not common-sense to me at least.

thoughts on this shift for me (content warning: health stuff, mention of death)

I went through a cancer scare last year, I started reflecting negatively on how I was “wasting my time learning Japanese” and how I’d “likely die before I could even use it”.

This led to a big perspective shift (both in terms of Japanese, but alos more widely work and life).
This and it made me realise that the reason I do things like learn Japanese isn’t (and shouldn’t be) for the end ‘result’, instead I do things because they bring me value as I do them, I find learning Japanese fun and enriching, regardless of if I ever meet some hypothetical “finished” state.

Even if I stop before reaching some ‘finished’ state, my time wasn’t wasted, and I am not a failure.

thoughts on perfectionism

For me at lest I think this is related to perfectionism.

I think we often see a perfectionist mindset in the Japanese learning community. A lot of people (myself included) spend a lot of time researching the best most efficient method of learning Japanese, and there’s a lot of in-fighting with people comparing different approaches and debating which is “the best” and how “X is a waste of time”.

There are a few helpful things I’ve read and which I often repeat to myself:

  1. Owning a toolbox does not make one a carpenter (tools aren’t as important as doing the thing).
  2. Spending time researching a best method is procrastination (time better spent doing the thing).
  3. In the long run, whatever I can stick to will give results (fun > efficiency).

(I hope this doesn’t come across as preachy, this is probably all super obvious)

@windupbird Sorry for long replies, no expectations they’ll actually be read, TL;DR +1 you are not alone.


March 14 :snowflake: Home Post

Ahhh I went wild again, I almost finished another 999 playthrough but it just kept going and I have work tomorrow so :sweat_smile: I’ll talk about it tomorrow! For now, bed :joy:


This is a big thing. It’s part of why I track my hours (but also I’m a spreadsheet person. I :heart: spreadsheets). My speaking is also kind meh. I’ve done 22 hours of conversation practice this year, but I’ve read almost 1900 pages and listened to over 90 hours. Guess which skills are stronger :joy: So yeah, having perspective that you can get better at anything if you dedicate the time is huge.

I love all of these. They all kind of speak to my go-to which is ‘the best method is the one you’ll actually do/the best tool is the one you’ll actually use’ but with more depth into why.


I’d been meaning to ask @windupbird as they also mentioned time. Do you track time using a simple timer or … ?
What do you primarily listen to?

Thanks, I was worried it was obvious/trivial :slight_smile:
I still find myself slipping into that same negative perspective, but each time it is quicker for me to pull out.

=D for me each serves as a kind of a counter to a specific trap I fall into.

For example I tend to fall into thinking “I’m one more purchase/tool/thing away from having the perfect setup”, so I whip out “owning a toolbox does not make one a carpenter” on myself.
I still fall into the same traps, but I’m slowly getting better.

Lately the ‘next thing’ has been a first book book, so I now have a pile of books. Reading 夜カフェ with the BBC will hopefully shake me out of this.


I have absolutely not been keeping up with my daily book since the challenge ended - I’ll read three entries in a row to get back up to date and then let it slide again for a few days. But that’s fine. I’ve done two of these reading challenges now and each time on the last day I’m like ‘I’m going to keep reading every day!’ and then life gets in the way and I don’t. But I do keep it up for the entire duration of the challenge.

I’m now thinking of it like an extended version of Pomodoro technique - I can keep up with the reading challenge because it’s time limited and because I know I’m going to have a break at the end of it.

Answer hidden as off track from reading

I think Windupbird tracks reading time which I don’t (I did early on, but stopped when the gains became less and less), but I do track my listening hours. I like to enable myself to be lazy, so my spreadsheet is set up like so:

The majority of what I watch for TV will fall into one of those time buckets and if it doesn’t I can just pop it into the Misc category. So I mostly watch TV, listen to a fair amount of audiobooks, dabble in YouTube, and barely watch movies. That will fluctuate over the year, though.


@windupbird Happy birthday!! :tada: :cherry_blossom: :tada:

I get like this too! Feels like I always having to be doing something toward whatever it is I’m working at, be it Japanese or such, or I’m failing in some way. Having downtimes from it all is good though, brain needs rest to let the learnings settle, sometimes we need to remind ourselves just to enjoy that thing we’re doing rather than thinking about what we’re gaining/learning/etc. from it (which is kinda hard, I’m always like “if I had done this instead…”).

Glad to hear you enjoyed the concert! And that it opened a new way of thinking for you!

Hope everyone’s either keeping up with their readings or enjoying the break until the next one!
My daily reading may not exactly be very daily at the moment


Alright it’s no longer almost midnight so I have time to post :joy: I’m absolutely at the point I get to playing games like this in English where I just desperately want to keep playing because I need to know what happens lmao. It’s really cool experiencing that even in Japanese! Staying up late playing a game in a language I’m learning for the sake of the content is a really cool feeling, though my sleep schedule doesn’t appreciate it :joy:

999 chaos

I’ve been having a billion feelings :sob: So much happened yesterday: the サンタ photograph scene but sadder?? 一宮(いちみや) going just completely off the rails?? 四葉(よつば) :pensive: and the whole ニルス situation was completely different than I thought, unless they’re still playing me which is very possible

I’m really at a point where I just don’t know what to do with my theories anymore :joy: Like サンタ’s sister probably got killed in the first nonary game, so maybe he’s ゼロ? That’d be a time for sure, it definitely seems like ゼロ is part of the group in classic spike chunsoft style, but also maybe ゼロ isn’t quite the villain we thought? I can see how most of the participants could be connected to those events and might deserve what’s coming to them, but like… 淳平(じゅんぺい)? (むらさき)? Idk what they could possibly have to do with it so :man_shrugging:

On a lighter note, 淳平(じゅんぺい) was very relatable trying to remember this code:

At this rate I’m aiming to finish up the first game by the end of spring break, so that’s exciting! :blush: Time to play some more lmao


試行錯誤(しこうさくご) - trial and error
空恐(そらおそ)ろしい - having vague fears
()ざらし - weather-beaten
()()める - to determine (a culprit), to pin down
天誅(てんちゅう) - divine punishment, well-deserved punishment
でっち()げ - fabrication, hoax

That’s a really good way to think about it! I definitely feel you, it’s so easy to get lost in your own head and the sense of not doing “enough” to the point where you lose track of how much you’ve already accomplished. Hobby perfectionism is a constant battle, but awareness is the best way to fight it off :muscle: (also happy birthday?? :tada: :tada: :tada:)

But yeah everyone here has accomplished so much! Even if it doesn’t always feel like it, making an effort and participating in things like this in any capacity is something to be proud of, regardless of how much that may be. I’m very glad to have been able to read and grow with all of you, and I hope we can continue to do so at any pace :blush:


Day 74!

Chapter 31 of Yotsuba today - It was about stargazing so I got to learn the names of several constellations.
I wish I had an english copy to see how they translated one of the jokes!

On page 102 Miura-chan says 星座 (せいざ) but Yotsuba thinks she says 正座 (also せいざ) and kneels down. I can’t imagine how they made that make sense in a translation!

(Home Post)


March 15 :snowflake: Home Post

I played more 999 today! It’s basically my entire brain right now, really any free time I have I’m like “zero escape??” so that’s fun :joy: I finished up the route from yesterday and started in on another one, so good progress all around.

999 things!

The Zero Lost ending didn’t mess around, the body count of that ending?? My god, so much went wrong in so many ways, and I still don’t have any real answers :joy: But I got credits?? That threw me a little, since I still have more endings to get, but :man_shrugging: it’s being a little coy:

I don’t know, is it? :eyes: I sure don’t think so, considering I’m still playing lmao.

Sometimes Zero Escape is just goofy (despite everything), 淳平(じゅんぺい) and (むらさき) were talking about taking the elevator to the bottom deck and (むらさき) was scared, and this time I picked the option to be like “oh it’s because you’ll be alone in an elevator with a guy right?” and that spurred just an absolute nightmare of a conversation with 淳平(じゅんぺい) misinterpreting everything (むらさき) said as sexual while she’s just genuinely scared of it being flooded, absolute hot mess of a miscommunication :joy:

I think at this point my best guess is that サンタ is ゼロ, he was unaccounted for in the last ending when ゼロ was talking and he would seem to have motive so :man_shrugging: that makes the black and white Santa conversation hit differently though, ouch

I wanna play more but alas I have work in the morning, so tomorrow it is :grin:

Cool words

()(ぞこ)ない - person who has escaped death
この()(およ)んで - at the last moment, this late in the game
命乞(いのちご)い - begging for one’s life (man you can tell it wasn’t messing around from these words huh)
(みち)(あやま)る - to be misguided, to be led on the wrong path
陰謀説(いんぼうせつ) - conspiracy theory


Lol I feel this, like…because it seemed fun? I was bored? And there’s a very weird part of me that gets joy from decoding foreign scripts? lol

Ohhhhhhh god don’t even get me started on speaking!!! Big same!!! So much same!

I got started

I have been to Japan 3 times but I literally can’t say a word ><
(Anxiety + lack of practice is a killing combo)
My reading is miles ahead of my listening which is mini-miles ahead of my speaking, which makes me feel weird and lopsided as a person sometimes. But it’s like, obviously, I don’t work on speaking, so why would I be good at it lol. I haven’t made that my priority, and that’s my choice to do. I mean, I do want to get better someday, I want to travel there again and really be able to speak because having been there 3 times without being able to talk beyond ありがとうございます is sort of embarrassing (but at the same time those trips were some of the best moments of my life, sooo…there’s that thing I was saying about no one way to have a good experience again haha). But that next trip is obviously not happening in the near future and I really have no need for speaking otherwise, so I’m not motivated to focus on it. And it’s ok to not have that be the priority right now.

:heart: :heart: Best mindset. I need to put this on a plaque or something, I think.

This too…for those times when I feel like a failure because I don’t ever crack open a grammar book and legitimately study :upside_down_face: But reading is a form of learning too. And it’s the form I’ll actually do xD Is it efficient, not at all, but :woman_shrugging: I don’t need (or necessarily even want) it to be efficient if I’m enjoying the process.

Omg no do not apologize, I am the queen of long posts :rofl: I always read them :heart:

Yep, I’m pretty simple :joy: I just use the stopwatch function on my phone and write down the times when I stop. I like tracking time because I’m very much oblivious to time otherwise, so it helps me see more of what I’m doing, if that makes sense? haha. Like I’ll be like, oh, I just read 4 pages, that’s not very much, but then when I look at it from a perspective of time spent, it feels more reflective of the effort that I made.

Oh good, I’m not the only one xD I agree, I think knowing that it’s time-limited makes it easier to complete or stick to somehow.

Thank you!! :heart:

"Let's talk about words!

Hadn’t seen this phrase before so at a glace I read this more literally as “failing to die” :joy: 損なう in my dictionary has several entries but notably:


But it also suggests that it can mean someone is about to die :thinking: Which brings me to the dictionary entry for the phrase as a whole:


Which, oof. Mean! 老人をののしっていう語。= talking shit about an old person

Also 命乞いのちごい reminds me of 命拾い which is actually a similar meaning to 死に損ない but my dictionary phrases this as “getting out a dangerous situation without losing your life” (paraphrasing) but the latter is more like “not dying when you should have”.

:smiley: :skull: :smiley: