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Book Recommendations for Japanese Books


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End of the Year Survey!
watcher woman
bblue23 wrote in japanesebookrec
Sorry for my late post. I started a new job in December and have been working really long hours, often starting before 8 am and coming home after 10 pm at night. Last night I worked till 1 am...I do take lunch and dinner breaks, and yesterday there was a long staff meeting midday that made my workday longer, but Monday-Friday I really have my hands full these days. Hopefully I can get my productivity up soon so I won't have to stay so late to get everything done. I do love my new job, but it is a little crazy right now and seems to have taken up my whole life.

/off topic

Anyway, I wanted to give you all a chance to reflect on your year of reading Japanese books, per our yearly tradition. I didn't have a lot of time to read this year, but I did finish Shin Sekai Yori in Japanese in 2013 and it became my new favorite book and definitely the best book I read in either Japanese or English in 2013. So the small amount of reading I did in Japanese this year was very worthwhile.

You can post your answers in the comments, or if you like, make a new post. I hope to have all members respond, even if you have not posted any reviews this year and this is your first time posting. New members, don't be shy! Let's make 2014 a great year for reading! Let's start with planning and goal setting, sharing our motivation with each other!

Questions:

1) What is the ratio of books you started in Japanese this year vs. books you completed? How many of each?

2) Favorite Japanese book completed or started this year? Least favorite, if you have one?

3) Books in Japanese you plan to read this year?

4) Any New Year's Resolutions pertaining to reading (in any language) or language study (any language)?

5) How will you encourage yourself to stay on track with these goals? (I need motivation here, so give me your tips!)

6) Do you use spoken Japanese in your daily life? If so, how?

7) How long have you been able to read Japanese enough to understand at least the gist of what you read? How has your reading speed improved the more you've done it? Any other benefits you've seen from reading in a second language?

8) What advice would you give someone trying to learn to read Japanese?

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I'm going to reply here since I'm not very wordy :).

1) What is the ratio of books you started in Japanese this year vs. books you completed? How many of each?

I read 4 japanese books last year. I'm not sure how many I've started. Sometimes I start reading a book but feel it's beyond my current level and just keep it for later.

2) Favorite Japanese book completed or started this year? Least favorite, if you have one?

I think my least favorite last year was "いま、会いにゆきます。". My friend loved the drama so she told me to give the novel a try, but it just wasn't for me, I'm afraid. There was almost no development and I guess I just don't like those kind of books.

3) Books in Japanese you plan to read this year?

I'm currently reading 佐賀のがばいばあちゃん and quite enjoying it. It's not a hard read, it's short and it's based on the author's life. I'm not sure what else I'll read this year, I just read whatever I feel like at that moment :).

4) Any New Year's Resolutions pertaining to reading (in any language) or language study (any language)?

Hmm, I'm currently busy trying to find a new job and I have to start planning my trip to Japan soon, so I don't think it's the right moment for any New Year's resolutions.

5) How will you encourage yourself to stay on track with these goals? (I need motivation here, so give me your tips!)

I usually read on the train from/to work so if possible, try to read while commuting or when you have to wait for someone/something.. etc :).

6) Do you use spoken Japanese in your daily life? If so, how?

I'm not sure if this counts but... I have a Japanese friend I talk (voice chat) to at least once a week on skype, for at least one hour. He can't speak English (very, very limited anyway) and he's learning Dutch (as limited as his english) so basically I have to speak Japanese the whole time xD. It's good practise.

7) How long have you been able to read Japanese enough to understand at least the gist of what you read? How has your reading speed improved the more you've done it? Any other benefits you've seen from reading in a second language?

I think I've been reading japanese books for about 2~3 years now. At first it was really hard but it gradually got easier. Last year I read a book that I couldn't read a couple of years ago. I was happy to finally be able to read & enjoy it.

I read Dutch (my first language), French and English books as well and I think I really benefit from it. My French is not so good but I can still read French books and when I finish one, it makes it much easier to think in French again. English and Japanese books don't have this effect on me anymore since I can think in both languages, but it's a good way to acquire new vocabulary and get yourself familiar with (more) complicated sentence structures etc. Subconsciously, you pick up things from it anyway (or at least I do xD).

8) What advice would you give someone trying to learn to read Japanese?

Try to find a book/stories that you can enjoy, even if you can't grasp all the details. As long as you enjoy it, you won't feel like it takes a lot of effort or that it's a big hurdle to take.

(Deleted comment)
佐賀のがばいばあちゃん is an easy read. I'm sure you'll finish it in no time :).

Most of the story is set in Saga (佐賀) and that's in Kyushu, yep! I do quite like Kyushu myself :D.

Unfortunately last year, I didn't read much. According to my goodreads account, I read about 35 books in 2012, in 2013 about 20... I do hope to read a bit more this year, we'll see. Maybe I can pick up some good books in Japan when I'm there. Recommendations are welcome :D.

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