Visual Novel Book Club // Next: 徒花異譚

That seems like a really weird design choice by the authors :person_shrugging:


I’m in the camp of going for full VNs. I think the main limiting factor of the club is going to be deciding the pace we want for all and like we’ve discussed before, everyone’s conception of book clubs and what we want out of them: either a more stand-alone-ish weekly commitment, something we can combine with several other clubs, or try to find a middle ground and hope everyone is comfortable with it. It doesn’t have to be a massive commitment either, but at the same time I think we shouldn’t go by other clubs’ standards because it’s a different medium with its own characteristics. For me reading a VN feels much easier than reading a pure novel so far, with all the language repetitions and other assists, but that might also be just Textractor + Yomichan privilege.

Spending more than 3 or 4 months with a work that is not particularly long is not very appealing to me personally; Loopers’ pace wouldn’t work for me any more. Regardless of the medium it gets boring for me after a while and I crave a change, otherwise I’m gradually at the risk of straight drifting off silently from it until the day I don’t open it to play it/read it any more. Maybe even more so with video games as a whole (aside from MMORPGs), I don’t like spending many many months to complete one, would rather play it at a faster pace. With this in mind I’m not particularly interested in offshoot clubs because I don’t want to spend a whole year or more with the same story, I would rather go through an entire VN with the club in a shorter time and then decide on a new one and so on. But I’m aware that this would require a much higher pace than the current one and not everyone is okay with that. If we take a 300k characters VN as reference, it would mean going for about 3300 characters a day (23,1k a week) to finish in 3 months, or 2500 a day (17,5k a week) to finish in 4 months. To me personally, only speaking about myself, none of these commitments sound crazy if I go with the last measurements I took of 9-nine- of about 5000 characters an hour. So again, personally for me, the fastest of these paces would mean a daily commitment of about 40 minutes which I’m very okay with, or a bit more if I skip some days, supposing the difficulty of the VN is similar to 9-nine. But then again, this is the only club I participate in. In the case of VNs longer than 300k, I wouldn’t mind more than 3-4 months if the pace is similar. Of course these numbers are only as reference and not strictly fixed, the pace can always be adjusted as it goes.

This is where the main issue comes in in my opinion: the club hosts a wide range of different language levels and people at different stages of the Japanese journey. For me the highest commitment we’ve had in 9-nine (14.6k / week) takes around 3 hours a week, but to somebody else it might mean 1 hour and to another it might mean 9 hours. It’s very difficult to organise in that sense what everybody wants, it’s like if the beginner, intermediate and advanced book clubs tried to decide on a book to read together and its pace. This is where having the Advanced VN Club would make sense, like we’ve discussed some other times, and I think the issue would lessen greatly: the advanced club with a more aggressive pace for the ones of us who would like to read at a faster pace, and the regular club with a milder one. However it’s also not as easy and convenient as it seems: if there’s an advanced club, I’d guess some people including myself would transfer over (I could only afford participating in one club), and participation being as low as it is for the VN club as a whole (polls so far have been very inaccurate regarding actual participation) I’d think it would hurt both branches equally. I don’t know, I guess it depends on the picks just like this previous nomination. Separating clubs can also potentially bring the issue of wanting to read the same works eventually, and nominations between the two can get messy.

I’m not sure how much of 9-nine we have left, but supposing we end up with tops 3 months, personally I think that’s way too long for 1/4 of a VN, and the same goes for Bustafellows. I certainly would like to read more than one VN a year :smile: . Ideally I’d go for one VN and no offshoot clubs, going forward (though it’s looking a lot like we need two right now). It might be unrealistic to try to keep a group reading together interested in the same thing for such long periods of time. We can keep one club and increase its pace, split clubs and separate paces, or put restrictions on maximum length (which might be just plain impossible, considering the medium, and we’ve talked about this before, there’s not a lot of interest in restricting length because there are many cool VNs outside of that range).

Do you think we should make polls regarding overall pace, ideal max time limit for an entire VN, opinions on splitting clubs and estimated participation in each of them? So far most of us reading 9-nine have expressed interest in going for a faster pace, but that’s also the ones who have expressed interest somewhat in an advanced club before (and the same concerns). I’m not sure how the ones participating in Bustafellows feel about its pace, but I would be interested in knowing if the people who won’t continue to read with the club is because they want to go faster or because they want to go slower, or perhaps for an entire different reason.


I’ll answer more fully tomorrow, but if you’re interested in seeing how people have felt about the pace of Bustafellows, I have polled that after each part was finished. I don’t know that there is a consensus, because it is a bit spread out, but it gives some idea anyway. Just scroll through the main thread and you’ll find them.


Wow, VN clubs are hard :melting_face:

This is kinda true :joy:

For what it’s worth, that has been more or less our pace for Bustafellows for the main route/first 8 weeks (~18.5k ish, technically). That’s roughly the speed of the Advanced Book Club, so I’d agree that it’s not too crazy, especially because I also agree with this:

Based on my experience with novels vs VNs, I’m pretty sure a weekly section of an average ABC book that doesn’t have an audiobook would take me at least twice as long as Bustafellows :see_no_evil: Voice acting is so nice to have.
Anyway - despite that pace, Bustafellows will take us until July or August at our current pace. Some VNs really aren’t short, huh :face_with_peeking_eye:

I kinda like this, though maybe not in the way you meant :see_no_evil:
If we decide that we definitely don’t want to spend more than X time on a VN, maybe it’d be an option to include the (gu)es(s)timated weekly pace that would be required for that in the poll from the beginning. That way everyone can consider that while voting & that might lower the chances of someone dropping out because the pace for the VN they voted for doesn’t end up working for them (either because it’s too fast or too slow).
And then if it turns out that both a slower and a faster pick have enough votes to justify forming a club (without too much overlap), maybe splitting by level would be worth considering after all :thinking:

There’s also always still the option of doing a more casual unscheduled club kind of thing. Basically what the compulsive readers club (was that the name? :laughing:) is doing with novels every now and then. Seems to be working out fine for them.
I think there’s value in having some flexibility/being able match the amount you read to whatever you feel like reading at a given time (or have time for). Especially for long VNs that you read over a long-ish period of time - personally I know I’m not always equally in the mood for a specific story/don’t always have the same amount of time :see_no_evil:
I don’t know what everyone else’s thoughts are on scheduled vs unscheduled, personally I’d be willing to give it a shot :woman_shrugging:

Or maybe we just need to rope a couple dozen more people of various levels into the VN club(s), that would probably mostly solve our pacing issues :laughing:


Where did you get these numbers? I’m very curious. If you mean we’ve been doing 18.5k each week, meaning each chapter have been roughly 37k. If that is true, then it takes me about 4-5 hours to read. Because each chapter have taken me about 8-10 hours. If instead 18.5k was one chapter, then well… :see_no_evil:

In any case, the fact that I keep being behind on B$ and only very slowly am catching up, shows that that in generally this kind of pace is about the upper limit for me currently. Something I should be able to keep going it, but once I get behind, it gets hard to catch up, and all it takes is one bad week, a trip, etc. to make that happen. (This is why I prefer my weekly commitment to a book club to be on the lower end, so I don’t have a problem if I get behind.)

Anyway, enough about me. Lol.

The way I see it, I guess it is time to poll on future speed, so we can figure it out. And I guess we have to acknowledge that it will be very hard to find a compromise that works for everyone. A rough guess from B$ is that about half of regular readers have found the pace mostly okay, sometimes falling a little behind, but catching up the next week, and then some have found the pace very easy to keep up with. Since I haven’t heard from them specifically about speed though, I don’t know if they’re okay with the speed or if they would prefer for it to speed up. I have some more polls to inflict on my B$ club members before we embark on the next route. xD

For polls, I’m thinking along the lines of having a character count poll, but not only, because some might have no idea how long it (roughly) takes them to read a certain amount of character. Perhaps also have a poll on max length for reading a VN, aka how long is a good amount of time/too long/too short etc.

So we can figure out if the club is split down the middle on speed, or only a few people are to one side and the majority another, or however the split ends up being. I think once we know how the club looks in general, then we can get down into picking direction.

I will have a think on poll options, and unless something gets away from me, I’ll try to put up some polls this evening (for reference it is 16:30 here right now). If anyone have any suggestions for the poll before then, go ahead and post them.


Remember that transcript for the main route I told you about that I was advised against posting? :see_no_evil:
That makes it fairly easy to count the (relevant) characters.

Yeah, that’s what I meant. The 4 chapters combined are just under 150k.
It’s a bit of an estimate since the text changes a little depending on the choices you make, but it’s probably not too far off. The chapters also vary a bit in length (1 is the longest at ~42.5k, 4 is the shortest at around ~30k, 2 and 3 are roughly 39k and 38k, respectively)


Ah yes, that. Sorry. :woman_facepalming: :see_no_evil:

1 Like

For all these polls, I want you to think about your average week of reading time. Not the great ones were you find loads of reading time, nor the low ones where you find little to none. If your weeks are very swingy, try to figure some kind of average, and I’m sure you’re already used to either reading ahead or catching up regularly to deal with such a thing. :slight_smile:

I also want you to answer from your own preference, not what you might be able to do if necessary, not feel obliged to answer a certain way because it would be better for the club.

If you prefer a faster pace, then pick those options and only go as low a pace as would still feel good to you. Same for if you prefer a slow pace, only pick as high as you’d actually like to do each week. We sometimes stretch, and these numbers will change. The specific VN might play in, but that comes when we vote. So this will be a snapshot.

For the first poll, we’re looking at character counts. If you have no clue at all, I’m sorry. If you’re used to reading manga or novels. There are numbers for average character count per page for novels; for manga, it might depend on the manga you’ve read but there are people we can ask for character counts per volumes, so you can have an idea.

As mentioned, pick all that you’d be happy with. I went both lower and higher than might be a good idea to aim for, but I’d rather have the full range and have options ignored. Remember to figure in if you like to read multiple book clubs or your own reads. Don’t pick the full amount you’d be capable of per week unless you want to put it all into the VN club.

The poll will allow you to pick all options, but maybe don’t do that? :sweat_smile:

(Hopefully I’ve gone high enough, but we haven’t even thrown around 30k numbers before as options, so… I’ll assume that 35k more than high enough… I just added 35k+ just in case, if many people picks that, I guess a new poll will be needed…)

OBS! Answer with your own preference, not what you think is best for the club (let the club figure that out).

Number of characters per week that you’d be happy to read:
  • 2.5k
  • 5k
  • 7.5k
  • 10k
  • 12.5k
  • 15k
  • 17.5k
  • 20k
  • 22.5k
  • 25k
  • 27.5k
  • 30k
  • 32.5k
  • 35k
  • 35k+

0 voters

Answer for the vast majority of VNs, not for the two outlier ones you know of. So if, for example, you think doing only one path of an otome is enough, but mystery ones should be wholly finished, then depends fits (aka it depends on genre or some other large delineator where a lot of VNs fall on both sides). But if you’re just waffling, ignore that option and pick one of the first three (yes/no/either).

The difference between “either” and “depends”. For “either”, you don’t have a problem with either yes or no, meaning maybe you’re okay with offshoot clubs, and therefore you’d be okay with that happening. Or maybe you just don’t have a defined opinion one way or the other. Or some other reason I can’t actually come up with.

While depends as mentioned above is about having different preferences for different genres/other large delineator. So if you picked up 20 random VNs, you’d have a roughly equal amount being yes and no. 13 yeses, 7 noes; 10-10; 15-5. If it starts being 19-1, or 2-18, then it would lean more towards whatever option the higher amount takes.

OBS! Answer with your own preference, not what you think is best for the club (let the club figure that out).

Should the club always finish the VNs it picks?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Either (yes or no) is fine
  • Depends

0 voters

This next one will in essence decide how many VNs the club can read per year.

Just because there is a max, doesn’t mean each VN has to fill the whole time, only that it will be the max time available for it.

Having a max would give an indication of just how much would need to be read eack week for long VNs. And please pick the option you prefer, irrespective of other polls in this post. We’ll figure out how this all works together when we have all the data.

OBS! Answer with your own preference, not what you think is best for the club (let the club figure that out). (Yes, I’m copy pasting this before each poll, that is how important I think this is.)

What is the max amount of time per VN that you’d be happy with before a new pick has to start? Remember that you might have to wait this long if a VN you have no interest in is picked.
  • 1 month
  • 2 months
  • 3 months
  • 4 months
  • 5 months
  • 6 months
  • 6+ months

0 voters

I think those might be all the polls. If you are now thinking “but but but MissDagger, how about X?”. With X being, for example: a super crazy long VN is picked and the pace per week would be something only the fastest of us can read. Well then, when that nomination comes up, we’ll probably discuss some options, like deviating from an established rule, like possibly we’d read it at two different paces, so the fast people get to read all of it in the max time allotted and the rest can read at a slower pace and have an offshoot.

If your “but but but” is about a poll I missed to do entirely, or an option I should have included. I’m sorry and we’ll redo any poll that is erroneous enough.

Nothing that we decide from this means that exceptions can’t be made. If we want to make exceptions, we can. The point is to see if we can figure out some rules that later could be deviated from. :joy:

Or this might show we have a need for an advanced VN club, and a more regular VN club. Or that we have to actually thinking about the length of VNs and find a good max character count, because anything above that would mean reading at a pace that would leave a significant people behind.

I’m personally hoping that with the polls like this, not only will every club member leave their opinion (by voting)!!! :smiley: , but that we can get more black and white (ish) data to work with.

And that was a couple of hours of my life I won’t ever get back. :joy: Please vote so it was all worth it. xD

If you are unsure how to vote, please ask any questions you have! I tried to answer any obvious ones I could think of, but I’ve probably missed things. ^^


How do I vote if the doctors think I might have leukemia? Uh, that’s… Actually not a question. @rikaiwisdom I won’t be able to read anymore until my hospital stay is over. I’d say something about joining the switch master race, but I don’t even have that with me.

Sorry I pushed the whole pace issue and can’t even participate for a while. Hfhf and read lots for me.


Wow, sorry to hear that :disappointed:

About diseases

I was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago, it’s been fixed since, but there were some dark times. What helped me, is to tell people at some point to stop asking me how it was going. And I tried a therapist, only went for one session (omg :heavy_dollar_sign::heavy_dollar_sign::heavy_dollar_sign:) but it did give me some tools I could use. Good luck to you!


:flushed: OMG stay strong and get better soon!


I’m so sorry to hear that. I hope it turns out to be something less dangerous. No matter what, all the get well wishes and hopes from me to you.


I’m very sorry to hear that.

Many years ago I needed a lot of different types of blood analysis and other things under the suspicion that I could have leukemia too. In the end it turned out to be a different thing: post mononucleosis disease (which I didn’t know I had just had some months prior) my body was doing weird things with lymphocytes numbers until they eventually went back to normal. Everyone’s conditions are unique, but If you don’t have any clear diagnosis yet it might be protocol to rule out different things and hopefully everything turns out fine in the end. In any case the testing period and hospitals can be very stressful so sending you lots of strength and patience. You got this :people_hugging: .


I’m so sorry to hear that. I hope everything turns out okay for you and you’re able to get better soon.


Making a call out on voting in these organizational polls: Visual Novel Book Club // Currently reading BU$TAFELLOWS and 9-nine-! - #328 by MissDagger. I will close them on Wednesday night my time (central European), meaning they’ll stay open for about 48 more hours.

If you are unsure how to answer the character count poll, please let us know and we’ll try to help you figure out what you can currently read weekly.

If max time length for a VN keeps being a three way tie, my thinking was to pick the average of the three, aka the middle option, as the best compromise. If someone have another idea for what to do with it, let me know. Or maybe someone else will vote and the tie will end.


The voting ends soon (I think) but we only had 9 people vote in the polls (and only 7 regarding the pace). Is the club even smaller that I thought? :open_mouth: Usually our nomination polls get a lot more votes so I was expecting more


I’ve stayed quiet regarding pacing because I’ve been coming in behind and doing the reading since I stretched myself too thin with life and other book clubs, so I don’t have strong feelings about the pacing as it stands. :joy:


Somehow I forgot I was doing this tonight, lol on me. Anyway, I closed the polls and these are the results we got.

  1. Weekly reading of 22.5k-25k, that hits everyone’s sweet spot except mine. :joy: So I guess that will be the aim. I would suggest if possible for the first 2 weeks to do a lower count to give people a little time to get used to the style and such, but those kinds of things can be decided in individual picks.

  2. Everyone either wanted to finish each VN or was fine with either, so I think we’ll go in with the attitude to finish all of them. Doesn’t mean we can’t break from this if wanted, but this will be the general attitude. Also VNs like 9-nine- will be discussed and decided on at the nomination phase. Like would just doing the first game count as the whole, or would doing all. Sometimes we might learn we picked the wrong option, but we’ll figure it out at that time. :slight_smile:

  3. With a three way tie on how long a VN can max take, I think the average makes since, so 5 months. Remember however that if we aim for 22.5k-25k per week and that would have us finish after 3 months, that is when we’ll finish. However, if a VN will need to up the weekly word count above our picked one, this will be used as a sign that maybe a VN is too long for the club. :slight_smile:

The one “problem” with all of this, is that we won’t always have character counts. So we won’t always know. But we’ll figure it out. Maybe use finish times from VNs we know the length of to compare with ones we don’t (I know this will be inexact, it is the nature of this club overall :joy:).

So I will in the next week do my best to look through each nomination we already have and try to figure out how they hold up when it comes to pace and such. Actually, anyone who knows how to find character counts (if they exist) and such, please let me know. Either by telling me the character count for a specific nomination or places I can look.

In fact, anyone who has current nominations, please look them over. For example, do we have another like 9-nine- that is currently only part of a whole, how long would doing the whole be instead, could that work, if not, does it still feel like a good nomination? Also look for character count and figure out how many weeks it would take using our weekly span 22.5k-25k, and/or figure out how much would be read each week to hit the 5 month limit (5 months is 22ish weeks).

I will go into the template for nominations and add a field somewhere for expected time to complete. Also note our new guidelines.

So lastly:

Nomination Period is Here! Please nominate new VNs, next Wednesday (Mar 8th) is when the next vote will be set up, so anything nominated before then will be on the poll! (Except if we somehow race past 20 nominations before I can say the list is full, but we’re currently at 9/20, so we’re fine!)


Could a regular please change the title to:

Visual Novel Book Club // Currently Seeking Nominations // Currently reading BU$TAFELLOWS and 9-nine-!

Thanks, @MrGeneric!


jpdb is the best place to look to find character counts. If the VN isn’t listed on there then I think the best we can do is look at VNDB or (NSFW stuff on this site so I spoiled it) ErogameScape for playtime. With that said, playtime has been far less accurate in my experience. I’ve seen some VNs with 340k character count and 510k count have the exact same playtime on VNDB.

Character counts for previous nominations

終のステラ - 164,529
ATRI -My Dear Moments- - 235,206
マルコと銀河竜 - 80,000
百花百狼 戦国忍法帖 (Nightshade) - not on jpdb; vndb says 30hrs
月影のシミュラクル - 285,345
D.M.L.C.-デスマッチラブコメ- - not on jpdb; vndb says 26hr54m
fault - milestone one - 106,506
キラキラモンスターズ - not on jpdb; vndb says 6hr15m