Thread for Tadoku Sept '21 (Month-Long Round)

A thread for the latest round of Tadoku! Let us know what it is you’re reading and what your methods are - do you keep a highlighter handy for new words or complex phrases? Or are you using an e-reader? Do you look up words as you go? Read pages more than once? Let’s compare notes!

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:wave:

Good idea for a thread.

After reading just under half of キノの旅 I decided to drop down a level and do some extensive reading. I found on books aimed for 中学校 and above (12-15 year olds), I have to look up a lot more words and thus progress slowly. I’ve heard this referred to as reading pain – when your comprehension is below 90%

So I moved back to graded readers and try not to look things up. I’ll highlight them and move on, later I’ll check what I highlighted and add a flashcards for the words. With キノの旅 I only added the most frequent words (there’s a lot of gun related words, that I probably won’t see for some time outside of that book!)

Ah, I read on an iPad mini and very rarely on my phone. Trying to keep my current streak going (29 days of at least 10 minutes!)

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Right now, just started reading the Magic Tree House series. I live in japan, so i check out all the books from a local library. They have everything there i need to immerse myself in tadoku. My method is just to read and not look up words. I try to guess from the context of the story.

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I’m currently reading AX by ISAKA Kotaro (hard copy, not kindle). I either look up words on my phone with imiwa or I use jisho.org. Also, I have the Yomichan plugin with Anki integration setup, so if I want to add a word to my vocabulary deck, it’s super easy. I used to use Epwing2Anki, but can’t use it since I switched to MacOS.

One method that I used to do is read a chapter of a book in Japanese, and then read the same chapter in an English translation.

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I finished 小説ミラーさん2, a ~N3 graded reader. I believe a Minna no Nihongo student is meant meant to read the book after their “intermediate” / 中級 series.

It was pretty easy for me, with just a few unknowns so perfect for extensive reading. I didn’t find the story compelling, but it was a “must read” since graded readers at this level are few and far between. It was much better than the first book, but you can’t expect much from a book limited to ~N4 / Genki II grammar and vocab!

I’ve picked up きまぐれロボット as my short stories book and started another children’s book: 科学探偵vs学校不思議 for a longer read. Both seem to be at a similar level so I am hoping to keep up a good pace this month!

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Interesting to read that people are using hard copies and not ebooks. I thought the benefits of ebooks made them preferable for language learning, but I get that the “real book feeling” is nice :smiley:

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Interesting to read that people are using hard copies and not ebooks. I thought the benefits of ebooks made them preferable for language learning, but I get that the “real book feeling” is nice :smiley:

I prefer hard copy to digital copy for books where I’m trying to learn things. This applies for Japanese books and also for technical books related to my work. My gut feeling was that I retained the information better when it was a hard copy vs. digital copy. I think some studies came out that supported this.

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Just finished my first full book of this round: 隠し剣孤影抄 by 藤沢周平. It’s a book of samurai short stories; the linking theme is ‘secret sword techniques’. I really like Fujisawa’s stories – he tends to focus on low-ranking samurai struggling to get by (and often failing – he’s not big on happy endings, especially in his earlier books like this one).

(If you want a recommendation, I’d start with 用心棒日月抄 which is really good and also has more humour and is less relentlessly downbeat. Fujisawa is not the easiest historical fiction author to read for the language student, but he’s a long way from the hardest I’ve encountered.)

I read books in paper form – this is mostly a preference from long habit but also partly that I think it’s easier to be distracted when reading on an electronic device. I have an old-school electronic dictionary (a Casio Ex-Word) which lets me look up words both by keyboard and by writing kanji with the stylus. I try to be sparing with dictionary lookups, saving them for when I fail to understand the gist of something or when the same word crops up several times.

I think I’ll read some Akagawa Jirou next, as a change of pace to something easy.

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Now you mention it, I remember reading that too… I can’t find it though, just a bunch of random blog posts, etc about it.

That’s is way above my level :laughing: I’d like to be able to read 三毛猫ホームス at some point, but it’s beyond my current level. I could read it, but I’d be looking up words all the time and it wouldn’t be enjoyable.

Happy to have already reached over 200 points – I don’t think I am far off my best Tadoku score (250?). Seeing as my original goal was 300 points, I wonder how far I can push it…

I started reading 科学探偵vs学校の七不思議. It’s another 小学生 level book, but that’s what I have to read to keep lookups at a minimum right now.

Just made it to over 1000 pages and 3 complete books finished (for a total of 10 so far this year). Time to go see what I like the look of from my to-read pile…

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I finished listening to 転生したらスライムだった件 1-10 on Audible earlier this month. So last weekend I went out to the bookstore and picked up volume 11 and 12 of the light novel because volume 11+ of the audiobook won’t be out for quite a while.

I was quite surprised with how dense they are. One page contains about double the amount of characters as an average novel in Japanese (700~800 vs 400). Also a bit frustrating that reading is so much slower than listening. The audiobooks I can speed up to about 1.5x speed without getting tired and/or impacting my comprehension. I can’t read as fast and it takes more mental energy. Getting caught up (volume 18) is gonna take quite a while.

Apart from that I’ve also read Hiro Mashima’s new (maybe old by now?) series, EDEN ZERO. I started with the anime and then switched to the manga. I’ll probably wait for a while before I pick it up again. Waiting for a new chapter every week is too much effort for me nowadays. It was entertaining but also not the most interesting manga out there either.

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Just finished 科学探偵vs学校の七不思議, which is another book for 小学生. Either I randomly picked an easier one or after 3 similar books this year these are getting easier. :tada:

Sticking to books (no manga!) in this contest, so I’ll move on to another book at the same level. I am tempted to try 怪人二十面相 at some point as it’s a little harder (probably 6th graders, so the final level of 小学生 :laughing:) I still own some easier books though…

Apart from that I’ve also read Hiro Mashima’s new (maybe old by now?) series, EDEN ZERO. I started with the anime and then switched to the manga. I’ll probably wait for a while before I pick it up again.

Interesting, I picked up the first 3 volumes for free on Apple Books. I haven’t got round to reading them though…

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Well, I just about managed to hang on to a top-10 placing this round, and I got past the 2500-pages mark, so I’m pretty happy with how well I did. Here’s what I read during the month:

  • 笑う警官 (佐々木譲) – Police drama/murder investigation: a policeman is framed for a murder, and one of his mates runs an unofficial investigation to clear him. Set against a background apparently based on real events involving corruption in the Hokkaido police. I had already read most of this, so just the last 50 pages or so were on Tadoku time.
  • 隠し剣孤影抄 (藤沢周平) – Samurai short stories; I talked about this book upthread.
  • 鼠、夜に賭ける (赤川次郎) – Akagawa Jirou is always an easy and fun read. This book is a collection of short stories about an Edo-era thief with a strong Robin Hood streak: he steals only from rich daimyo, and is easily persuaded into helping out townspeople who’ve got into trouble of one kind or another.
  • いつもが消えた日 (西條奈加) – 2nd book in a light-novel series. Book 1 was firmly in the “cosy neighbourhood mystery” genre, with mystery-solving being done by the middle-school protagonist and his used-to-be-a-geisha grandmother. Book 2 takes a slightly darker turn as it involves a murder and disappearance.
  • 幻想古書店で珈琲を 青薔薇の庭園へ (蒼月海里) – another “2nd book in a light novel sequence of mystery solving”; here the main character works in a coffee-and-bookshop run by a demon who’s been exiled from hell. I liked book 1 more than this one.
  • 風の海 迷宮の岸 (小野不由美) – 2nd or 3rd of a Chinese-flavoured fantasy series. The setting has 12 kingdoms, each ruled by a king who is chosen by a magical beast called a kirin. Without the king, or if the king starts making bad decisions, the kingdom falls into disorder, with bad harvests and civil unrest. This one follows a kirin who’s rather unsure of himself and whether he can even choose a king at all. I like these, though the setting is very odd and I don’t quite know what I think about it.
  • 本陣殺人事件 (横溝正史) – detective stories. Set in just-postwar Japan.
  • 狼と香辛料II (支倉凍砂) – another “2nd in a light novel series” book! I’ve already read most of the Spice&Wolf books, but I started with book 3 because that’s where the anime left off; I’m finally coming back to read books 1 and 2 that I skipped.
  • 東の海神 西の滄海 (小野不由美) – next of the 12 Kingdoms fantasy series. I got about 2/3rds through it by the end of the month.
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Made a note of a few of those mystery light novels. One day I’ll get to that level…

A great Tadoku round for me, finally completing multiple books :scream:

  • 小説ミラーさん2 – Probably the last graded reader I’ll ever read.
  • きまぐれロボット(星新一) Finished the last half, lots of amusing and very short stories. I picked up 盗賊会社 to read later.
  • 科学探偵vs学校の七不思議 – Short mystery stories, set at school.
  • ラストサバイバル 最後まで歩けるのはだれだ!? – Children’s ‘thriller’ with a really long title :laughing: Similar to The Long Walk.

I also got a third of the way through two more books, which I’ll finish this month:

  • ふしぎ駄菓子屋銭天堂2 – Fantasy short stories with twists. This series is very popular on amazon, bookmaker, and in every bookstore I’ve been in recently. Supposedly has an NHK Anime coming soon… Reading the second because the first has furigana above every kanji. This one only does so once every few pages, so it’s better practice!
  • 少年探偵響 - Another children’s detective series. Aoi Tori so embrace the furigana.
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