Reading time management

I was wondering how other people here manage their reading time. Do you read a certain number of pages each day? For a certain amount of time? I have been reading until I add a certain number of Anki cards, however that has been taking longer and longer recently.

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When I studied French, I used to read until a certain time of day, beyond which I probably needed to start my other homework (or risk getting into a lot of trouble). I’m not sure if that was the best strategy though.

I guess the real question is what your objective is. It was vocabulary acquisition initially for me, but when I reached the point when I wasn’t really learning many new words anymore, it turned into working on the finer points of the language and domain-specific words. (That was also the point when I started to look for more specialised articles from sources like research institute press releases.) I’d basically keep going until I got bored or tired, but a more realistic approach would probably be to keep going until you’ve done enough to reach your objective for the day.

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I read as much or as little as I feel like, depending on the quality of the book and how interested I am in the story. I’d guess that it works out to 1-2 hours per day on average, except when the book I’m reading is really boring.

I tend to go back to gather words to study in Kitsun after the fact (relying on Kindle highlights), so I don’t use that as a metric for when to stop reading.

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Initially, vocabulary acquisition was my primary objective, which is why I used the Anki cards as a metric. But as I’ve progressed and especially as I’ve gotten used to an author’s vocabulary, it’s taking longer. I’d say that reading comprehension and speed are the primary objectives now.

My issue is that I’ll just spend all day reading if I get into it. I guess there isn’t a perfect metric, but ideally it would scale with the difficulty of the material. Routine and metrics help me manage the ADD executive disfunction.

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Hm… then maybe you should set goals based on chapter or page numbers? I don’t think reading speed is particularly encouraging to measure, at least initially, so it’s probably easier to just read things and expect to get faster as you practise, while doing your best to read as quickly as you can. If you feel like it, you can write a short summary for each chapter or section you read to see if you can explain what you understood. This might not work as well for books in which chapter lengths are very uneven, but I think it’s one possibility. I personally tend to read news articles, so my goal tends to be set in terms of minima: at least one long article per day, or three short ones. Something like that.

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I read as little or as much as I enjoy. That varies from day to day. I don’t want reading to turn into a chore nor do I want to stop reading because I’ve added x anki cards or read x pages.

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I never thought to write a summary, but that would be a good way to test comprehension. The book I’m reading now, こころ, is divided into passages that are about 1 to 2 pages, so that could work well. The truth here is that I should be timing myself if I’m trying to manage time, but I do better with goal-oriented metrics so maybe X number of passages is the way to go.

It really does turn into a chore sometimes, but I guess I view it as necessary to get the improvement I want. Burnout is something I need to watch out for though.

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What I’ve found myself doing more recently is moving away from tracking certain metrics (i.e., doing a certain number of pages a day, or if I’m reading a visual novel, how many screens I go past, etc.), and moving toward just using a timer for one hour each day. When that hour is done, I then make a little note about how many pages or screens I did, but stop recording any metrics at that point. After that hour, if I feel like reading more, then I do. If I don’t, then I completed my general baseline habit for the day.

What I found happening to myself when purely trying to beat my own metrics was feeling very discouraged. So now I just focus on keeping the reading habit up, and just keeping a note on maintaining my general speed just for that first hour. After that, I don’t put any pressure on myself and just read because I enjoy it, and it really, really helped to restore my enthusiasm when I was starting to get down on myself. I think what tends to make or break whether someone keeps up their language studies is just trying to show up everyday despite how we may be feeling, so I found having super simple goals to meet everyday to be a lot more successful than trying to keep up with a pace that ended up not being sustainable.

Additionally, another thing I want to include for other people who may be starting to feel like I did with what seems like slow progress, is to give yourself time to enjoy whatever medium you’re using for practicing Japanese in your native language. For instance, after my session of reading a visual novel in Japanese, I’ll start reading one in English that I’m not intending to use at all for study purposes. I do this because I was starting to get frustrated at my slow reading speed in enjoying content that I would normally be enthusiastic about. Like, if I was reading a visual novel in Japanese, I was starting to feel a bit burned out on visual novels. So now I include reading time just for a translated visual novel that I have no intention of using for Japanese study (except for maybe some passive listening practice from the voice acting or something like that, but nothing active), and it really helped my attitude so much.

Another thing to consider is switching up what you may be reading. For instance, sometimes I need a break from reading one particular work and will pick up a work of a similar genre just so that I can give my brain some novelty and keep up my enthusiasm. Of course, don’t do this if you feel like you’re having to keep a bunch of different plotlines in your head or something, but I would say it could be helpful to go back and forth between two books or something just to keep things feeling kinda shiny and new. It’s funny how I’ll get frustrated during one reading session with something, then switch to another work, and find the text just fly by compared to whatever I was reading before.

Anyway, none of this is prescriptive at all. Try out whatever you think sounds like it could work for you, and whenever things start to turn sour, take a moment with yourself and see what could need changing in your routine to make you feel happier in your language journey.

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It depends. If I wanna finish quickly, then I try to do a certain number of pages/ sections per day.
Glad for the book club cuz I hadn’t thought of pasting a lil sticky note with a reading schedule just on the inside of the cover before that lol
Otherwise, read until I’m bored or sleepy.

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Until I reach a good stopping point. So a chapter, or reaching an objective or I’m too tired to read more.

I might have some micro breaks before that point.

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