That’s what I meant. Thanks!
This year I’ve read mostly manga (60 volumes) and 11 books.
Some of the manga:
- ふらいんぐうぃっち, read 6 volumes. Very chill and refreshing series. Cute cats :3
- ハイキュー!!, read the remaining 5 volumes of the series. My first manga series ever. It has come to an end. What a journey it has been ;-;
- ノラガミ, 3 volumes. I feel like there was a lot of archaic language, ancient spells kind of deal. Fantasy setting obviously.
- やがて君になる, all 8 volumes. Great art. I can’t remember much, but I’m sure it was cute.
- この音とまれ！, 20 volumes. Most of the series was available for free, so I binged it over the summer. Enjoyed it a lot.
- ゆるキャン , 5 volumes. Lots of food and great scenery (almost too much food)
- わたしが恋人になれるわけないじゃん、ムリムリ! (※ムリじゃなかった!?), 3 volumes. Cute romcom :3
- 博士の愛した数式, heartwarming but had too many maths and baseball for my liking xD
- コンビニ人間, interesting take on the Japanese society. Favorite meme: joumon jidai.
- すべてがFになる, mysterious mystery, quite the plot twist at the end.
- 冷たい密室と博士たち, more mystery.
- ソードアートオンライン, book 7 and 8.
- 本好きの下剋上, book 2 to 7. Definitely my favorite reading material this year, especially book 7.
Are you satisfied with your progresse on your Japanese learning/reading journey?
I started reading books last year and it was painfully slow. I still have a long way to go in terms of unknown words, but my reading speed has definitely picked up since the start of the year. I’ve still yet to finish a book in less than a week, but I’ll try to make it happen next year. Gotta gather all my inner focus.
I think srs-ing more of the words I come across could be a good idea
Was 2021 a good year for you in terms of reading?
I’d say yes. The Read Every Day Challenge (summer) was a very spontaneous idea and I’m glad I posted it. Going into that summer (just having finished my bachelor degree in Japanese), I really wanted to spend that summer just reading as much as I could, before starting a new semester completely unrelated to Japanese studies. I thought there wasn’t going to be time for Japanese stuffs so I wanted to make the most out of the summer. Fortunately, while this autumn has been a busy semester, there were tiny bits of time where I could devote to reading. Yay! Overall, a good year for reading :3
Wait what, this got a manga? The light novel is legendary. Would recommend
I’m scared of all the similes Ditto has shared with me
Yeah the writing in that series was something else
What and how much did you read in 2021?
I read 17 books in 2021. This was up from 7 books in 2020 and 4 books in 2019. I also read 44 volumes of manga.
What books did you enjoy most? What were your favorite discoveries?
My favorite book by far was かがみの孤城. As of now, this is my favorite Japanese book, with nothing else really coming close. Other than that, I really enjoyed 本好きの下剋上, of which I read volumes 4-12 (having already read volumes 1-3 in 2020). Other than that, volumes 2-3 of 魔法少女育成計画 were pretty good, but still frustratingly difficult.
My favorite discovery was definitely the manga series ひとりぼっちの〇〇生活. I read all 8 volumes in 2021 (series concluded in June) and it’s now one of my favorite manga! Other good discoveries were すわっぷすわっぷ (read all 4 volumes in December) and シャドーハウス (read 5/9 volumes so far, but the series is still ongoing).
Are you satisfied with your progress on your Japanese learning/reading journey?
I would say I’m satisfied overall. 2021 was the year where I went from only being able to read a book with a WaniKani book club (or by struggling for months on my own) to being able to read on my own without too much effort (still using kindle dictionary as a crutch) and much faster. I can now read a book in 2-4 weeks depending on the length and complexity of the book. I mostly have 本好きの下剋上 to thank for that since it was the first longer series I was able to get invested in, which allowed for more consistent reading material.
I would still like to improve on this further in 2022. Partially this comes down to learning more words so I don’t have to look up as much. (I haven’t been doing Kitsun lessons as much as I should.) And the other part is just reading more consistently. My kindle tells me that books I read in three weeks were only 24 hours worth of reading, which tells me I could read them in a week if I was more disciplined and/or more invested in the story.
Was 2021 a good year for you in terms of reading?
Yep! Had lots of fun and learned a lot!
31 books of varying sophistication. 247 Manga volumes.
For manga, I was very surprised to find how much I liked 黒執事. It had always had a certain image in my head that didn’t really fit. I’d read a bit of it in English or German many years ago, I don’t fully remember. Thanks to it being free to read at the beginning of 2021, I continued past that point and came to really like the series. I am caught up with the 31 volumes released so far.
Another one I enjoyed a lot is 雪花の虎. It is set in the 戦国時代, the people and scenery both are beautifully drawn and surprisingly approachable considering the setting. 3/12 volumes read, the I ordered the set on ebay to read on paper. Plans for 2022.
Other ones I enjoyed a lot are 違国日記 and オハナホロホロ, of which I have read 2 volumes each. I plan to continue with both. They’re both slice of life, with the first having a coming of age and coming together as family in difficult times vibe.
夢喰いメリー・珈琲が冷めない・ルックバック deserve a mention as well. I seem to have read a lot of things I really enjoyed this year.
For books, the ones I enjoyed most, or that I enjoyed discovering the most, are 容疑者xの献身, 妖怪の子預かります and ログホライズン. I’m about 80 pages away from finishing the last, but I think the writing and plot development so far is top notch. It’s similar to ソードアートオンライン in setting, but I didn’t enjoy that one much.
I am more than satisfied with my Japanese reading - I went far beyond both my book and manga reading goals for the year. With 黒執事 being free to read for a month, and later in the year 90 volumes of One Piece becoming availble to read for free, especially my manga count is a bit ridiculous. I was planning to read only 56, and ended up reading almost 200 more. I’d exceeded that number at 85 in 2019 as well, so manga really wasn’t supposed to be my focus this year.
The only thing that didn’t go so well is that I read 0/4 of the magazines I planned to read over the year. Magazine language takes a bit of getting used to, maybe because there’s a lot of thematic vocabulary used. I ended up taking the easy way with a novel or manga every time. So, that’s something I want to tackle this year.
I’m not really satisfied with my Japanese learning this year, though, I was planning to take the JLPT1, which I missed the application window for, both times (due to Covid, there was a much lower number of applicants allowed than before). I ended up not studying any of the grammar I had intended to for the test. Or really, not studying at all. I guess I got a lot of praactice reading. .
You read more volumes of manga this year than I’ve read ever.
Good thing you got so many of those volumes for free. Sounds like it would cost a fortune otherwise!
Oh yes, for sure. There’s bound to be a bias somewhere, but I think I didn’t pay full price for more than maybe 10% of those, and probably 60-70% were free. A lot of the manga I really liked were also free… or the first volume(s) were.
I’m going to work on my backlog this year.
I totaled 47 novels and 81 volumes of manga. I read 26 of those volumes aloud: a bit of ハイキュー (one of which I forgot to log until just now) with Bri and @tiny_river_otter, a bunch of 7SEEDS with Bri, and the first five volumes of ふしぎの国のバード with @rodan.
Obviously my favorite thing this year was 伯爵と妖精, of which I read 28 books. After that in terms of novels I probably enjoyed 乳と卵, はめふら, and 獣の奏者 the most. For manga I reread the 27 read-aloud volumes, which was time-consuming, productive, and a delight, and then had periods of being hooked on スキップ・ビート, ミステリと言う勿れ, and 鋼の錬金術師, all of which I love and intend to read more of. Also a fair amount of 魔王城でおやすみ, which always makes me laugh.
I’m looking forward to reading a mixed bag of stuff in 2022!
I read 11 books and 10 manga.
The books I enjoyed most this year were 1Q84, Book 1 上 (technically I started it in 2019 but dropped out because it was still too hard kanji-wise, and picked it back up after it was released as ebook), and MORI Hiroshi’s Saikawa&Moe series. Regarding manga, I still find it difficult to read them, but it’s slowly getting easier. I encountered a few series I might really like, especially 鬼滅の刃 (just hoping that it doesn’t get too repetitive after a while) and 台所のドラゴン.
My biggest discovery was how much easier even high-quality thrillers are written compared to “proper” literature. In hindsight this looks pretty obvious but I had never really thought about it. I guess it’s because they are geared towards a mass-market, so they are required to be an easier read compared to literature.
In the second half of the year I focused on grammar and vocab and did not read much. So from that point of view I am not satisfied with my progress. On the other hand, I learned N2 grammar and a lot of important words, and after picking up reading again, I can already feel that my general understanding has deepened. And I’m surprised how many grammar points I can now identify that I just glossed over before, “because they are just made up of words” so I didn’t even realize they were grammar points
Looking back now, I think it was a valuable interruption and therefore I am overall very satisfied with my progress.
In terms of numbers of books that I read, it was not a particularly exciting year. But I am starting to figure out which books I like and how I can find more of them, and that’s a discovery that made this year a really good one
Oh boy, you make me worry that I’m missing a lot of nuance since I also don’t know a lot of the N2 grammar points. Honestly, there’s probably still some gaps in my N3 grammar…
If you’re reading stuff like 1Q84, number of books looks a bit misleading compared to the actual amount of reading in there, haha. Nicely done!
Thanks! Yes, it’s always a bit tricky to just look at book numbers, and 1Q84 was not the fattest one in the list (I think two of them were 500+ pages and one was 400 pages, but tbf there was also a short story of <20 pages that I also counted as a book )
If you’d like a more precise number, my bookmeter stats says I read 4970 pages altogether. 10 manga are probably around 1800-2000 pages? So 3000+ pages of books, that’s not too bad actually!
Luckily many of the grammar points are actually just what the words mean by themselves, so you should be covered for those. But some are of course unintuitive or even surprising…
If you’re interested in quizzing yourself a little bit, you could go to the Ogawa Mimei book club that took place last year in the Beginner book club. In the earlier weeks I wrote a grammar summary post each week (should be pretty early in the threads), where I’d point out a handful of grammar that stood out to me. I quoted the respective sentence and then linked to an explanation of the grammar point in question. N2 grammar was freshest in my mind at that time so I guess most of the grammar points I listed were actually N2 or so. You could have a look at the sentences and see whether you can figure out the meaning of the grammar points on your own. (Dunno how practical this is though, as the sentences are of course not geared towards being understandable in a stand-alone fashion. Just an idea )
I’m looking through them a bit now.
I knew the four you listed in week 1. The 教わりましてから one is funny, because while using て form of ます doesn’t seem to be used much these days, I noticed the same thing when I was reading 銀河鉄道の夜.
I looked through a few more weeks and knew most of the ones you listed. I even knew 致しまする because we saw a similar thing when reading 狐笛のかなた. Granted, many of them were older forms which I’m relatively familiar with because I read fantasy books and manga and they tend to show up there. I generally have more trouble with the に + word in て form set phrases like について・につれて and so on because I often can’t keep them straight. It would help if I knew the underlying verbs better and was also better at thinking about the meanings of those verbs more abstractly.
Thanks for the suggestion. It was really interesting looking through those.
Nice That’s what I was expecting, give or take.
Yeah, there are a few funny and confusing ones among these If you happen to come across the Shinkanzen Master grammar book at some point, they first explain all the grammar points and then explain their origin or group them by their common main word, which I found very interesting. Here is the page that deals with those words you mentioned:
I do have the N4, N3, and N2 grammar books, but I’ve only actually gone through the N4 book. Also, that page you posted is terrifying. I see many that I’ve encountered before, but I probably only know about 3-5 of them.
I’m not going to show you the pages that list the 20 grammar points that contain もの and the 25 grammar points that contain こと Those were the most terrifying ones of the whole book
Which of the grammar books has that by the way? N2?
Yes, Shinkanzen Master Grammar N2.