My log of a stupid idea of pure self abuse

This idea sprung into my mind around a week ago, but I am only starting it up now due to a very badly timed illness :stuck_out_tongue: I’m presenting to you all :

The What is wrong with you, can’t you set smaller goals? : Read 1,000 books in Japanese challenge

Long, droning background on why I'm starting this study log

I have been on this “journey” of learning Japanese for several years with some quite mixed results, times where I spent lots of time and energy are generally well rewarded with gains, but I either lose focus or motivation and revert to just relying on the “easiest” parts of my studies, namely SRS’ing and vegging out in front of a stream pretending that it is as valuable as actual studies (please don’t misunderstand this as me being against active listening for studying, huge supporter, it’s the passive un-engaged way I do it that is the problem in those periods :stuck_out_tongue: )

Anyway, while chatting on discord with a friend of mine he presented me some quick back of the napkin math that showed why I didn’t get the results I wanted even after… I’mma say four… years? (I haven’t been keeping proper track :sweat_smile: ) of learning Japanese. It went something like this :

Even if we just set aside their constant exposure through chatting with friends, radio, songs, lessons and the like,… Let’s just focus on reading. Let’s make a conservative estimate that an average literate Japanese person spends 30 minutes / day reading (not only books of course) from 6 – 12 and 2 hours / day from 12 – 18 we get

6 x 0.5 x 365 = 1.095 hours
6 x 2 x 365 = 4.380 hours

So 5475 hours, assume some variation due to sickness, vacation, off-days, and take a nice even 5.000 hours to keep things nice and simple. To experience as many casual reading as the average japanese will get (whether from (text)books; ads; messages; books; …) They will spend AT LEAST 5.000 hours reading Japanese to get where they are. Let’s also call it at 200 words per minute, just to make the math simple.

5.000 hours x 200 wpm x 60 min/hr = 60.000.000 words read in their high school career at least.

Anyways, that would mean around a bare minimum of 1.500 light novels I think in sheer exposure to word count. Sure, many things they read would be the same over and over probably, much as we get exposed to many sentences quite a few number of times, but still, makes you think…

So I’m starting my journey to 1,000 books! This will be a work of long breath. I am also taking some “shortcuts” and “hacks” in that I am counting any book independent of length. A manga volume? COUNTS! Japanese Grader Reader? HECK YES, THAT TOO COUNTS!!! Japanese translation of war and peace? Still, only one book, and don’t know why you would do that to yourself… but I’ LL COUNT IT!!!

I am starting the counter on zero. I have read a few hundred manga volumes by now, a few dozen easier books and most Japanese graded readers out there that I know of, but I want to start fresh on this (I am however giving myself permission to re-read any series that I want, both as a great refresher and a way to quickly “bolster the numbers” :stuck_out_tongue: )

I’ll be probably logging my pursuits here, though I can’t guarantee I’ll keep it up, will be doing it as long as it feels like an added value to my studies to log it, really just wanted to embrace this chance for a public study log type thing :man_shrugging:

Starting of with a re-read of a few からかい上手の高木さん volumes as they are both easy and highly enjoyable ^^

The list (current : 34 / 1.000)

  1. からかい上手の高木さん第01巻 (Finished on 21 - OCT - 2021)
  2. からかい上手の高木さん第02巻 (Finished on 22 - OCT - 2021)
  3. からかい上手の高木さん第03巻 (Finished on 23 - OCT - 2021)
  4. からかい上手の高木さん第04巻 (Finished on 24 - OCT - 2021)
  5. からかい上手の高木さん第05巻 (Finished on 25 - OCT - 2021)
  6. からかい上手の高木さん第06巻 (Finished on 26 - OCT - 2021)
  7. からかい上手の高木さん第07巻 (Finished on 27 - OCT - 2021)
  8. からかい上手の高木さん第08巻 (Finished on 28 - OCT - 2021)
  9. からかい上手の高木さん第09巻 (Finished on 29 - OCT - 2021)
  10. からかい上手の高木さん第10巻 (Finished on 30 - OCT - 2021)
  11. からかい上手の高木さん第11巻 (Finished on 30 - OCT - 2021)
  12. からかい上手の高木さん第12巻 (Finished on 31 - OCT - 2021)
  13. からかい上手の高木さん第13巻 (Finished on 31 - OCT - 2021)
  14. からかい上手の高木さん第14巻 (Finished on 31 - OCT - 2021)
  15. からかい上手の高木さん第15巻 (Finished on 01 - NOV - 2021)
  16. からかい上手の高木さん第16巻 (Finished on 01 - NOV - 2021)
  17. からかい上手の (元)高木さん第1巻 (Finished on 02 - NOV - 2021)
  18. からかい上手の (元)高木さん第2巻 (Finished on 04 - NOV - 2021)
  19. からかい上手の (元)高木さん第3巻 (Finished on 05 - NOV - 2021)
  20. からかい上手の (元)高木さん第4巻 (Finished on 06 - NOV - 2021)
  21. からかい上手の (元)高木さん第5巻 (Finished on 06 - NOV - 2021)
  22. からかい上手の (元)高木さん第6巻 (Finished on 06 - NOV - 2021)
  23. からかい上手の (元)高木さん第7巻 (Finished on 06 - NOV - 2021)
  24. からかい上手の (元)高木さん第8巻 (Finished on 06 - NOV - 2021)
  25. からかい上手の (元)高木さん第9巻 (Finished on 06 - NOV - 2021)
  26. からかい上手の (元)高木さん第10巻 (Finished on 06 - NOV - 2021)
  27. からかい上手の (元)高木さん第11巻 (Finished on 07 - NOV - 2021)
  28. からかい上手の (元)高木さん第12巻 (Finished on 07 - NOV - 2021)
  29. 頭文字D第1巻 (Finished on 09 - NOV - 2021)
  30. 頭文字D第2巻 (Finished on 10 - NOV - 2021)
  31. 頭文字D第3巻 (Finished on 11 - NOV - 2021)
  32. 頭文字D第4巻 (Finished on 13 - NOV - 2021)
  33. 頭文字D第5巻 (Finished on 13 - NOV - 2021)
  34. 頭文字D第6巻 (Finished on 14 - NOV - 2021)
  35. 頭文字D第7巻 (Finished on 16 - NOV - 2021)

Good luck on your reading quest!

I’ll be following and be sure to slap when you start slacking.

I want to be able to ready as soon as possible, but the mangas I tend to focus are on the hard side despite the topic/setup being seemingly easy. Also I feel like I cheat by getting what’s going on with the drawings.
So now I’m trying with the tsubasa bunko series that was recommended to me on the other topic.

A bunch of titles that come to mind if you want some recommendations:

Easy manga series to read that can bump that counter by 14 easy.


On the easy-ish side and they are on my to read list.

Nagasarete Airantou
Ijiranaide Nagatoro-san

Can have it's hard moments.

Hayate no Gotoku
Yuru Camp

If you hate yourself and are up for a challenge. Works from Kumeta-sensei, full of puns

Katteni Kaizou
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei


Not familiar with “Hayate no Gotoku” and “D-Frag!” but seeing as I’ve either enjoyed all the other series on your list (or with regards to all the Kumeta-sensei ones, have them on my list) I will be adding them, thanks ^^

And do feel free to give me a good kick in the rump if I do start slacking, would be much appreciated :stuck_out_tongue:


This is inspirational!

I hope your timeline is more than a year. Otherwise, 1000 books/year is averaging 3 books/day. :flushed:


Yeah, I don’t have a solid timeline. I think I could just about reach 3 or 4 volumes of even an easier manga like よつばと!or クレヨンしんちゃん in a day at the moment before falling into a heap of pure mental exhaustion :stuck_out_tongue: I am going to try a bit more of a tadoku approach than I normally take, I have made exhaustive notes while working through the first (few) volume of many series before, because I wanted to understand everything, I’m probably going to accept a bit more ambivalence now and just try to fill the gap with sheer quantity.

I expect my reading speed to increase a lot though and do hope to finish this in max. 3 years (hopefully sooner, but I wouldn’t really care if it’s later either, it’s still a thousand “books” ^^ )


As a weathered and worn procrastinator and setting-myself-up-for-failure-r……

Why don’t you try to just read 50 “books” before say November 15th?

And then think about your next goal for December 15 th?


If you don’t read X amount in X time, the goal number keeps increasing :eyes:


Haha, I do get what you’re saying and it’s what I normally do in general (I focus for a week / month on a certain aspect and then move on way too often though :sweat_smile: ). This is a bit to force me to have an over-arching roadmap throughout my studies, as literary fluency is my main goal, but I keep finding myself “distracted” working on other (equally important) language competencies, but that should have a lower priority for my personal goals :stuck_out_tongue:


What an outrageous idea! Really motivating.
Try to pace yourself and actually enjoy a bit the “books” :slight_smile: hehe

I tried to do something like this to read X amount of books per week/month. After a while I would cheat and read more manga as its takes me 3/4 hours to finish a volume just to up the numbers, compared to reading a light novel / book.

Anyway, good luck!! Your reading speed will definitely increase over time!


good luck!

2 things:
what’s you starting point? never read a japanese book before … N1 superhero etc

are you going to be using a book reading tracker site ? I’ve been using to track my awsome reading progess (spoiler, just a bunch of N5 graded readers!) but it’s really nice to look back on. Also it helps others in the community if you add books, grade books, create lists. I’m struggling to find content at my level high N5/low N4.

Over on the extensive reader topic on the wanikani boards, there’s a whole community who do this… they use a japanese language book tracking site (the clever clogs)… might be of interest, let me know if you can’t find it…


I’d be interested in knowing, if it’s other than learnnatively, now that I intend to start taking reading more seriously.


I think the idea is to track your reading directly on the WaniKani extensive reading challenge thread, however IIRC a lot of the advanced readers track on - this is a japanese site, so not really accessible to me.

edit: on bookmeter, switching to a browser with translate features was a big help ;0


note that wanikani community is free to use…


As I don’t really focus on the JLPT I find it hard to quantify, but probably N3 abouts in reading. A short overview of stuff I’ve read should you be interested (just from the top of my head so probably missing a lot). I’ve read a fair amount considering my level, but I am far from where I would want to be


Manga :

  • All 50 volumes of クレヨンしんちゃん
  • All 31 volumes of スラムダンク
  • All 14 (current) volumes of よつばと!
  • All 45 volumes of ハイキュー!!
  • All 14 (current) volumes of からかい上手の高木さん
  • All 10 (current) volumes of からかい上手の(元)高木さん
  • A few volumes of ONE PIECE, BLEACH and NARUTO
  • First five or so volumes of ゆるキャン△
  • First volume of GTO (gave up as it was past my level, but have the whole series + all others like shonen days and paradise lost to look forward to :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: )
  • I believe 5 volumes of ドラゴンボールSD
  • First volume of AKB49

Grader readers :

  • all by ASK (+ all in their app)
  • all by Nihongo Tadoku (including all the ones on their website)

Books :

  • All 4 translated マジック・ツリーハウス books
  • A few of the なぜ?どうして?books (give or take 10)
  • Around a dozen books from the よみとく10分 series
  • First and second grade book of イッキによめる series
  • All 6 of the 魔女の宅急便 books
  • The first volume of この素晴らしい世界に祝福を!
  • Three volumes of わんわん探偵団

@jamesrender bookmeter is indeed great, but those types of services are things I use religiously for a few weeks and then they fall in disuse :stuck_out_tongue: I chose to make a thread here because I visit here daily, so will hopefully keep remembering!


excellent taste! I currently have the first 3 volumes patiently waiting for my reading ability to catch up to them


Do you have details of their app? Is that a less expensive way to go than buying their physical books - nearly just pulled the trigger on 10,000 yen’s worth of those graded readers but not sure if the level justifies the cost


There really isn’t a lot of content in there, I think there are like… a dozen or so stories there? It’s nice that they all have the audio to follow along with in app instead of having to find a download or a working CD player, and they cost like… I think 3 euro’s it was per graded reader story, so you don’t have to spend a lot. I can’t comment on the stories themselves too much as I don’t remember which ones it had, I remember the ant and the cricket story being on there for sure, as that was my very first graded reader, as for the rest, they all blur into each other :man_shrugging:

It’s not too expensive to just take a stab and test one out at least, but I think they only have up to lvl 3 (might have expanded the service, but remember re-checking like a year ago expecting new content and nothing new was posted)

Edit : My apologies, I just looked it up and it’s not by ASK at all… It’s by the white rabbit Press (through which I bought my ASK graded readers back in the day… My apologies for the mix-up :sweat: )


ah! yeah thats on my radar, going to do them instead of buying the graded readers from japan.

cool thanks, good luck on the journey


Oh nice, thanks for sharing.

Let’s see how bad I’m at using that webpage.


not sure if you know about this site or not, but a lot of people have raved about to help them get pushed into the right direction about leveled-content. i should spend more time on there myself, but i know they utilize WK’s book club and other aspects. might be worth checking out! :slight_smile: