Book Club Rules + News

Hi all!

Bunpro book clubs are a place for users to come together and enjoy reading Japanese in a group setting, where all users are free to ask questions and discuss the content of the book or book series currently being read.

Book clubs are available at the Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced difficulties. For information in regard to the average difficulty of each level, as well as information on the current list of suggestions, please check out the individual threads.


You can make additional suggestions and introduce yourself to the other members of the clubs in any of the respective threads.

General Book Club Rules

More than anything else, the goal of book clubs is to give users a place where they are able to utilize the skills that they are learning, and ask questions in a format where the content progression is paced, and all users can benefit from sharing the experience together. Due to this, we ask that all participants abide by the following rules, in order to create a positive experience for everyone.

Keep discussion related to the target series.

You may of course make comparisons between grammar or vocabulary usages between series, but for the most part try to keep discussion related to the unique challenges that each book or series of books presents.

Search the threads for users that have perhaps previously asked the same question as you.

Each book will have its own thread, so if you follow the same pacing as the group, it is likely that a simple search will result in finding someone having asked the same question as you are about to ask. In addition to this, if you jump into a book late, it is expected that you would search the thread history before asking questions about content most participants have already past.

When asking questions, give as much detail as possible.

For example, if you include the page number, who is speaking, which speech balloon (in the case of manga), and explain what you want to know more about, that will be far easier for other users to answer rather than just asking ‘What does てっきり mean?’
Taking a screenshot and highlighting the portion you’re asking about would also be suitable.

Be polite! Not everyone is the same level.

Just because something is easy for you does not mean that it is easy for someone else. Let’s be thankful to those that answer our questions, and thankful also for the opportunity to help others that aren’t quite at the same level as us yet.

Keep questions in line with the pacing.

We know that some of you may want to surge ahead of the group if you are really enjoying a book. However, this can result in confusion if you are asking questions about things that people haven’t read yet. If this applies to you. Make a note of the question you want to ask, wait until the group has caught up, then ask the question

This should go without saying, but no discussing illegally obtained books.

We expect all users to buy their books through one of the legal links that we provide, or any other legal source. Should you choose not to do this, we cannot stop you. However, we will not condone the perpetuation of piracy through its open discussion.

Be mindful of spoilers.

If you are asking a question about something that includes spoilers to the story, please be aware of this and let users know with a ‘SPOILER’ tag at the beginning of your question. Hiding the question by utilizing the Hide Details function of the forums would also be appreciated. Let’s allow everyone to enjoy the experience of reading spoiler free.

Include links, level, and a brief description when making suggestions.

In some cases, there can be many different versions of the book that you are suggesting. This is especially true for Japanese, as books are often rewritten to target several different age groups. So that the group knows exactly what you’re suggesting, please include a hyperlink to the book on one of our recommended stores, along with the exact name. It would also help if you find the book on Natively, and write the level that Natively has assigned it, so that everyone knows the rough difficulty. Here is an example of a good recommendation.

‘I would like to recommend 文春ジブリ文庫 シネマコミック もののけ姫 (文春文庫) ‘Princess Mononoke’. Level 28 on Natively’

If you’re able to write a brief summary of the story as well for people that may not know the book that you are recommending, that would help a lot!

How Bunpro runs its book clubs will evolve over time as we evaluate community interest and particpation.

Due to this, we ask that new users check the main posts in relation to their desired level of participation difficulty regularly. This will ensure that you have the most up to date information about what recommendations already exist, what the current schedule looks like, and which community members might be the best to talk to for any additional information.

How Will Book Club Approach Each Book?

Upon starting a book. A thread will be created specifically for that book/series. Within that thread, before actually starting the book, a daily/weekly pace will be decided. This pace may be decided by a poll or something similar, but we expect that in most cases a slower pace will be prioritized over a faster pace. The clubs are about experiencing reading as a group and asking questions. Not about plowing through the books as fast as possible.

After finishing each book, we will vote as a group on what to read next. This voting will always happen in one of the 3 original group difficulty threads that can be found at the top of this post. There will be no need to resuggest things that have already been suggested in the past. We will continue to automatically include old suggestions in new polls (with a small exception, more on that below), unless the original suggestor specifically says they are no longer interested in it. Please check what suggestions already exist before making new ones.

When one book is finished, it is understandable that some users may want to continue with that specific series. Due to this, the threads for the beginning of each series will also act as a legacy thread for that series, for users that choose to continue reading it, rather than to immediately move on to something new. For example, if よつばと is chosen for the beginner level. We will have a よつばと 1 (Beginner Book Club) thread. This よつばと 1 thread will then also be able to be used for よつばと 2, 3, 4, and so on. Please keep in mind though that once the main book club group has moved on to something else, it may take a longer amount of time to get answers to your questions on any further volumes in a particular series, depending on how many people end up continuing it, and how capable they are of answering your questions. Staff will do the best they can to pop in from time to time on these continuation threads and answer any questions that they can.

Vocabulary Decks for Books

We are going to be trialing a new tool that we have been working on behind the scenes for awhile that will catch all of the vocabulary in books and automatically create decks from them. We will do our best to have decks available for all book club titles before the groups start reading. Manga, however, may prove a bit challenging, as the words can not be read as plain text through our parsing systems.

For manga we will attempt to find preexisting decks and alter them if need be before making these available as well.

For the time being, these decks will be vocab only, and will disregard grammar components in the books. However, this is only a temporary phase until we perfect the tool that we are working on, at which point the decks will also include grammar.

Where To Buy Books?

Here is a list of the most common websites where one can create an account and purchase their books. If you are purchasing physical copies of books online, please take shipping time into consideration, as the group may end up starting before your book arrives in some cases.

Amazon JP
ebook Japan

Physical books:
Amazon JP

Again, please take shipping times and costs into consideration. In most situations, we would recommend digital copies over physical copies where possible. In saying that, we also know how fun it can be to collect books the old fashioned way! In the case of ebay, buyer beware!

Additional Information

Lastly, here are a few ‘soft’ rules that we may alter over time. These rules have come from the Wanikani book clubs, and may or may not prove useful to managing the Bunpro book clubs as well.

Removal of recommendations.

If a recommendation falls below 15% selection in polls, it will be removed from future polls. This is primarily for cases where there are many recommendations. It is unlikely that we will remove any recommendations when there are only a few candidates to begin with.

'Next Book' poll duration.

Polls for the next book in any of the book clubs will last for 1 week, and will start from approximately 1 week before we finish the current book. After one book is finished, we will take a 1 week break before starting something new. Think of this as a small holiday from reading between titles :sweat_smile:. This break should allow people to recover a bit, and also allow time for those who have ordered physical copies of books to receive them.

No limit on votes.

It may be discouraging to see that the title you wanted to read has very little votes after placing your vote in a poll. This can result in people wanting to redo their votes and bandwagon onto one of the titles that they are more interested in out of the popular suggestions, making it look like there were very few votes at all for titles that people do actually want to read. Due to this, there will be no limit on votes going forward. Feel free to place votes in the titles you want to read, as well as any of the more popular choices.

What happenes if there is a draw in voting?

If there is a draw in voting, we will go with the title that was suggested first chronologically. This is primarily to keep the groups on track, rather than spend excess time doing another poll. Depending on the size of book clubs, we may form two simultaneous groups in the case that users express a strong preference for one title over the other. However, keep in mind that suggestions will not disappear, so if there is a draw this time, the second choice is likely to be the winner next time.

We hope that everyone has a great time reading together! Feel free to check this post from time to time for any changes that may be made. I will keep a changelog here so that it’s easy to find alterations.


This will be so helpful.

Thanks again for all the hard work. I really appreciate it :pray:.


Speaking of Natively, book pages over there aggregate purchase links, making it fairly easy to find a preferred provider for said book. Users can also manually add links if needed!

I also wanted to let @Asher or anyone else interested know that Natively semi-recently added a Lists feature to the site (hopefully that’s visible to non-users), and book clubs on Wanikani and Natively itself have found it helpful to create lists for past winners and nominees. (Just search “book club” in that search bar on the left to pull up examples.)

1 Like


I’ve been looking at the number of replies each of the separate discussion topics has up to now.

It might be a coincidence, it might be a reflection of the involvement related to the level of difficulty (dif.lvl). Be that what it may, the following rule holds, assuming that dif.lvl for the easy level is 0, for the intermediate level, 1, and for the difficult level, 2:

number of replies ≈ 100 · 2(2 - dif.lvl)

言うまでもない、工学者だよ! :wink: