Show me your books!

My history with Japanese textbooks is that, in my case, they’ve been pretty much wasted money since I can’t keep up with them for too long - though that is a lesson that took me a while to learn and just accept. I actually got Genki 1 in early 2019 when I did my second attempt at learning Japanese which failed after maybe two weeks. In 2020, I decided to give learning Japanese another shot, but this time I would try out different methods. That’s when I ultimately stuck with WaniKani and Bunpro. I basically used Bunpro + their many linked resources to study grammar

Since I did hear many good things about Tobira here on WaniKani and I was still interested in reading the main texts and their grammar explanations, I eventually decided to purchase this textbook as well. At that point I had maybe finished N5 and N4 grammar on Bunpro, I’m not entirely sure. But yeah, I didn’t jump from Genki 1 to Tobira. I think there were even quite a few people who struggle at first with the jump from Genki 2 to Tobira since the level in Tobira is a bit higher (but I can’t judge it myself since I never used Genki 2)


Tobira is roughly designed to follow directly on from Genki (and Nakama) 2 - even to the extent that the Tobira website specifically gives a list of the ten or so kanji which are assumed knowedge for Tobira but which aren’t taught in Genki (or Nakama). Since Tobira is entirely in Japanese outside of the explanations of grammar points, it does feel like a significant jump in difficulty, though it’s also the case that if you were paying attention in Genki (or Nakama), you ought to be able to follow along reasonably well.


((Hello I’m necro’ing this because it was requested in the other thread I made))

Ooh! Is that 新完全マスター N1 文法? The color’s a bit off but

Do you like kinda old/traditional Japanese things? I get that impression from which books you have (although むらさきのスカートの女 is more recent from a Google search)

That really is a lot!
I spy a lot of like books with lgbtq+ themes?
At least one thing on pro wrestling, possibly many
Really a variety of books in general
Do you have any particular favorites?

I feel like I would have to play a guessing game here? The titles are hard to read. I can definitely spot よつばと and Orange. Maybe Assassination Classroom? And Noragami and Attack on Titan. Definitely a couple volumes of Not Lives (has a very recognizable color scheme). Skull Eater and Usagi Drop?

Lol it’s not of Beethoven, but I still have the biography of Mary Cassatt that I wrote in 3rd grade


Also for anyone interested, this is what my bookshelf looks like:

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My Japan shelf. If I was buying things now, there would be a lot less CDs and paper dictionaries, but when I first took an interest in the language, those how it was done. The blade on top is a WWII bayonet, made by Toyota.


It is a lot, huh! I think at some point I just accepted 積ん読 into my heart indefinitely - I heard about bookwalker and got into ebooks after that post though so the rate of increase probably slowed volume-wise at least…

Did you mention lgbtq+ themes and pro wrestling out of particular interest for those things?
If so, probably my favorite things I’ve read so far in Japanese related to lgbtq+ themes are:

  • 不可解なぼくのすべてを, a warm and pretty easy to read manga about a maid cafe that’s a haven for trans/non-binary/questioning people.(there was a book club for this)
  • しまなみ誰そ彼, a very airy and pretty manga set in Onomichi about a boy questioning his sexuality finding potential solace in a sort of like, safe house run by a mysterious stranger.
  • ストップ!! ひばりくん! and らんま1/2 I guess? but both are definitely much much more like, lgbtq+ adjacent in a chaotic maybe accidental 80s comedy sort of way not actually by way of directly being about that or handling gender or sexuality at all well necessarily. (but I do like them a lot)
  • (うちの息子はたぶんゲイ and 弟の夫 aren’t necessarily my favorites but they’re beginner friendly so I though I’d mention them just in case they strike a chord with somebody! They’re fun!)

(there’s stuff on the shelves in the picture that I still haven’t read – like Banana Fish – so not mentioning something shouldn’t be interpreted as a slight against it by the way…)

Somewhat embarrassingly the only one (almost) of the wrestling books I’ve actually read so far is Mayu Iwatani’s 引きこもりでポンコツだった私が女子プロレスのアイコンになるまで, which I did enjoy! I’ve kept decent pace with the weekly magazines since then though and still post long-windedly about them in the wrestling thread.

If you were asking about general favorites, I suppose my favorite novel (so far) has been the atmospheric and highly detailed mystery novel 獄門島 by Seishi Yokomizo (which there was a book club for too), and my favorite manga has been ドンジョン飯, an RPG-tinged (but non-isekai) fantasy series about eating monsters that develops seamlessly in a cool way from goofy comedy to full-on adventure (that still has cooking and goofy comedy), which compelled me to start following the magazine it’s published in, ハルタ, which has itself truly been a highlight for me and I post about it frequently in the extensive reading thread.

Really in the grand scheme of things I still haven’t read very much though! Lots to look forward to!


Hello! I’m a book hoarder who can’t read Japanese (yet! :laughing:)

I’ve collected my books over nearly two decades. Long before I decided to study Japanese, I chose books with interesting layouts and visuals. Topics range from travel to cooking to crafts (miniatures, embroidery) to design to photography to Japanese culture to… ojisan?

As far as study aids go, I have Genki I and II, a vintage reading guide, and a couple of books from my Japan trip in Jan 2020.
Screen Shot 2022-05-02 at 7.36.14 PM

Thanks for restarting this topic. I’m excited to learn about more books and broaden my knowledge of what’s out there.


These I bought last year when I started learning. I’m still not good enough to comprehend but I do like cracking one open to motivate me every now and then.

I also have a collection in boxes that I bought over the course of a couple decades that includes various BL manga, the entirety of Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl manga, and lotsss of idol magazines (Potato,WinkUp, Myojo, etc).


Nah just noticed! Although I do tend to like the first one

Hey that one’s nice I agree! I think I read some of it ages ago in English

What a transformation!

Lol there are so many book clubs!

Isn’t that life? I think you’ve read a lot personally


Oh my gosh, you have the library editions of 満月を探して :heart_eyes:
I love that series so much. As well as 種村先生s other work.
That edition was one of my first purchases my first time in japan (since then i also bought the normal versions at bookoff :see_no_evil:, and i already had the german version).

Since you are into BL have you ever thought about reading 美しい彼?
I loved the tv series and bought the light novel, but i’m a bit intimidated. I was thinking about suggesting a bookclub, but it is 18+ so i think it might not be something for the forum. :sweat_smile:


Hello! :blush: I have seen the drama but I didn’t know there was a novel. Might have to find it. Ty :two_hearts:

Have you heard that there will be a movie? No date yet, but i’m excited :laughing: though for movies the time till it will be viewable outside of japan is longer than for dramas :weary:

Oh great! Maybe the platform that got the license out of Japan will get it sometime. Still waiting on the Cherry Magic movie too. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Is it? :hushed: It’s still showing up for me on booklive, even though I am supposed to block everything above R15.
(That being said, there are no strict regulations for books in Japan, so maybe the flag was just not set)

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Well i think i remember seeing a sticker on the plastic wrapping, but i already took that of and having flipped through it at least one of the pictures was serious bl, but since i haven’t read it and i don’t know how they determine the rating :woman_shrugging:

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Just reorganized my bookshelf, so I thought I’d show an update.


You bookshelf makes me want to visit you. :smiley: :smiley:

I have to ask: How many languages are you speaking/studying?!
Clearly Japanese and English, but I can see Chinese, Korean and German?
Thats soooo impressive!! :open_mouth:
Are those all? Or is english not even your native language?


I’m just studying Japanese and Korean at the moment actually. The couple of French books were given to me by my high school French teacher super long ago; French and Spanish were the only language options at my high school. The Chinese books were from a university class. The German was a project I was going to do with my friend a few years ago, but we actually never got around to opening the books. :sweat_smile: It took me a long time to settle on which languages I really wanted to focus on.
And yeah, English is my native language.


I finally got my Amazon account working on my 11 year old Kindle, so I can start reading on that. I hate reading on screens, but Kindle is a good compromise. The issue now is the cost compared to buying books used. Some books I’m just not ready for but like that I have the physical copy if I go on a trip or something, but the Kindle battery is so long and theres the dictionary so if I don’t know something its far easier to look up on the fly. I’m torn on selling my physical books. どうする!?!?!


What about selling the ones you have digitally?

Personally, I’d be reluctant to sell my physical books but that’s mostly because I’ve heard horror stories from friends who sudden lost their digital libraries because companies didn’t announce their closure properly. It’s probably less of a concern with Amazon, but could happen.