Tips for Running a WaniKani Book Club

Hmmm what browser are you using that gives you the dark highlighting? It’s also yellow for me.

Does anybody else have issues seeing the highlighting?


Chrome. Oddly it’s just that part though (maybe a table problem?), because the other parts look fine.


Though it appears fine in your template too, so I don’t know…


That appears fine for me in the template too, so it is weird that it stopped showing when I copied it.

@jhol The template was really helpful btw. Don’t think I would have been happy to start the Orange book club without it. :blush:


I’m so glad to hear it!! That definitely makes all this work worth it. I’ll try to get the next few templates up as soon as I can.


Since I’m not sure where to ask for advice on running a book club, I guess I will here? (Also, this thread should possibly be pinned again.)

So I started the Orange book club for anyone who didn’t notice and I’m trying to poll about most things like start date, how to read (weekly threads/volumes etc.), and now how quickly we’ll read. And so far I’m getting one option that the majority want so it is easy enough to work with.

Honestly this club had so much more interest than I imagined I would. :face_with_spiral_eyes: :partying_face:

But at some point, I just have to make decisions or confirm them at any rate, right? Aka put on a leader hat and execute from the wishes of the participants. Also, is there such a thing as too many polls (not in the poll thread obviously :stuck_out_tongue: )?

Specifically I’ve polled for reading speed and 1 chapter per week seem to be winning, but I also added that we’d potentially start a little slower. Should I now also poll for: (a) split chapter 1 and 2 into two weeks each and then 1 chapter per week, (b) split chapter 1 and then 1ch/week, or (c) 1ch/week from the start? Or should I just make an executive decision? (For example: I looked into chapter one and it happens to have a fairly good place to split it, a time skip.)

I accidentally jumped into the pool with my head first. I’m happy so many are interested but it also makes me afraid I’ll do something stupid. :sweat_smile:


Well, I’ve only been running the one book club, so maybe others with more experience will disagree with me, but I think in your shoes, I would go ahead and make an executive decision about where to put the split, at least initially.

You already mentioned you were likely to start slower, and since you already are aware of a convenient spot to place the split (something that can be hard to come by sometimes :laughing:), I think just putting it there would work fine.

After the first chapter is complete, you could always poll to see if people feel like they can pick up the pace immediately from there, or if you should split Chapter 2 as well. It’ll be easier for people to make an informed decision at that point because they’ll have read the first chapter and have an idea what to expect.


Any experience is appreciated. :slight_smile:

I thought I should look since I’d mentioned it and just went to the middle of chapter 1 and guess what I see: at the bottom of a page, literally the last thing on it “それから 2週間”, I felt very lucky :joy:

Unfortunately chapter 2 didn’t have something that convenient, but I can find something. I guess I could have a poll after the first week or mid second week. Honestly though, it would be nicer for me personally to have that sorted before the club starts.

I guess I could definitely split chapter one and poll for whether to split chapter 2 or not.


Although it’s nice, sometimes things don’t work out so cleanly.

For example, 三ツ星カラーズ in the ABBC started out with chapters split over two weeks, and then a set chapter to switch over to one chapter per week. Enough readers wanted to stick with two weeks per chapter so I extended that for some more chapters.

But I also had to keep in mind that this was the first of two picks for ABBC, and any extension would delay Happiness’s start date. That’s something you won’t have to worry about!

Regarding whether to split for chapter two or not, here are my thoughts on it (which others may disagree with):

If you’re going to be reading over six volumes at one chapter per week, and you want to read in real-time with the club, then you need to be able to read it at that pace. (But reading at a slower pace than the club is always an option.)

With that in mind, the advantage of having split chapters (slower pace) upfront is to give readers a chance to acclimate to the writing style and text density. For that, I think one chapter is typically enough. (Again, just my personal thought.)

It also gives a chance for readers with less grammar knowledge to ask grammar questions, which is why ABBC often starts out with 5–10 pages in the first couple of weeks. But I think that doesn’t really apply for anyone planning to read a BBC-level series (as I expect Orange to be) at one chapter per week.

In the end, it comes down to making those executive decisions, but being open to reaching out to readers if you’re unsure, or if you feel it’s a decision that should be made as a community.


Yea, well, … basically yes.

What I observed is that you will (usually) get fewer participants with each subsequent poll, so while it’s nice for you to be able to get the participants‘ opinions bit-by-bit, each subsequent decision will have less power, until it becomes really hard to read. This of course depends on the initial participants base, but if I start out with around 20 people, the third poll will already feel rather meaningless because of the reduced numbers. Therefore I try to fit everything into one (or at most two) polls by working out a few schedules beforehand and just letting the participants decide between them.
But basically, it means that I put on the leader‘s hat and preselect things for the participants in order to make this a swift process.


It matters to people in some regions. Otherwise, if people (like me) got affected because of being in such regions, I would change the font (without permission), anyway.

afaik, Google Sheets is just like Discourse – cannot specific the preferred language.

This is a good point. If I use Google Sheets in a browser that I haven’t specifically set to Japanese, I get a Chinese font. By specifically setting a Japanese font for the column, that issue goes away for everyone viewing it:


Time for me to go update all the vocabulary spreadsheets for book clubs I’ve run!


Thanks for the typo fix! I actually got called out for that a while ago but then must have gone and copied an older version when I made the template… oops :upside_down_face:.

Also I’m sorry for being so slow to get the rest of the templates up! After I made the first one life took off at the rate of an aircraft carrier catapult launch, and it’s been all I can manage just to hang on in the few clubs I’m currently in. I’ll certainly aim to finish up the templates within the next month or so, but any help would certainly be welcome!


It looks like we’re down to just @Phryne to ping about correcting ネトバレ to ネタバレ in some book club threads. (Aside from @jhol’s threads.)


It’s done!


Fixed my threads! Now that I’m scrutinizing it there was also an insidious grammatical error in rule 3… I changed it in the template. Not sure if it warrants a full sanitization of the old threads though.

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I think the main aim going forward will be if someone is running a book club for the first time, and if they can get all the templates they need here, that this thread gets mentioned to them. That way they’re not copying an older template from a random club thread. (Then again, I often did the same thing before starting to assemble my own book club thread builder in Google Sheets.)


That’s how I’ve been doing it lol. But I’ll copy-paste from this thread for whatever book club I run next. I want to be sure I benefit from this mysterious ‘insidious grammatical error’ fix :wink:


We should maybe ask to get this thread pinned again? It would be nice if it was easier to find. ^^

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I think we should wait until we get the missing templates up before officially pinning it again (I ended up not having enough time yesterday, but will work on it today), but I agree that it ought to be once it’s ready.


Okay, I’ve added a (very) rough draft for the Weekly Thread template, if somebody wants to go through that and correct my errors, add anything I missed during this initial pass, or just generally spruce it up to be more readable, please do!

A couple of things in particular:

For some reason, the poll will not cooperate with me. I type just a regular slash to end the poll, and it does, well, what it’s doing. If somebody else wants to correct that (and then tell me what they did!), please do!

A better section name than “Useful Information”. It works, but it feels clunky to me. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve also added a Schedule Template and a Vocabulary Sheet Template.

For the vocab sheet, I currently have it set to view only, but that’s on purpose. The hope is that people can just save a copy of that and host their own sheets on their own drives. I worry that making that open to be edited will result in some mistake where somebody will start editing the template as if it were for their book club, and then we don’t have a blank template. :stuck_out_tongue: If someone has a better idea, or if it’s not possible to save a copy of a view-only document, let me know, so we can work out what needs to be done regarding that. If I need to make it editable in order to allow folks to save copies, I will, and just put in a warning that they need to not edit the original template. (Although if there is something that needs to be added to the template as it stands, please let me know, and I’ll open it up for editing for those purposes, and then close it back up after we are happy with the final result).