My extensive reading goals and background
I learned about extensive reading from a few of my friends on Lang-8, and I’ve been trying it myself to some extent for a few months now. Writing a blog about it seemed like a fun way of keeping track of my own reading and sharing information with other Japanese language learners who might be interested in book reviews and so on!
I started learning Japanese in college in 2002 and studied formally for three years, but after graduating from college, my devotion to Japanese studies has been sporadic at best; I’m not likely to really spend much time in the country, so it’s something of a hobby at this point. Still, I remain fascinated by the language and culture and have continued to study off and on. Extensive reading caught my interest as soon as I heard about it, although it’s been difficult for me to let go of the dictionary, and although I haven’t really been applying myself I’ve already increased my reading speed and fluency and broadened my vocabulary just by reading a lot of kids’ books in Japanese.
My goal is to be able to read in Japanese as easily as I can in English. My more attainable goal is to read all 125 of the Japanese kids’ books in the Tacoma library system. (I’ve been starting with the easy ones, but I’ve been very bad at keeping track of them, so I can’t say yet what number I’m up to.) I’d also like to put together a modest library of books that are particularly good for extensive reading in Japanese and maybe create an extensive reading group in this area. As far as this blog is concerned, I’ll probably write reviews of good books for people doing extended reading in Japanese, keep track of the Japanese books I’ve read, write a little about the books I am reading in English about Japanese and maybe try to write some things in Japanese as well.
I live in Tacoma with my husband and our two cats, and my other major hobby is drawing paper dolls. I also like to play videogames (I have a particular fondness for retro RPGs), cook and watch movies.
5 Responses to My extensive reading goals and background
- Extensive reading is known as 多読, or tadoku in Japanese. To try it, start with very easy books (ones with no more than two or three unknown words per page), and follow these principles:
1. Don’t look up words in the dictionary while reading.
2. Skip over parts you don’t understand.
3. If you aren’t enjoying one book, toss it aside and get another.
Find something to read!
Hundreds of free books and stories online
Local bookstores and libraries
Buying new and used books online
For more information, read "What Is Extensive Reading?" and "Classification System."
To learn more about Kunihide Sakai, who developed the three principles of tadoku and has worked to popularize it in Japan for years, read this interview with him.
Finally, for more than you ever wanted to know about why I believe extensive reading is worth your time, read my tadoku manifesto.
Superfluous StatsBooks read: 303
Word count (since starting the blog): 380,500
- About Myself
- Books from my own collection
- Classification System
- Detailed Reviews of Graded Readers
- Detailed Reviews of Level 2 Books
- Detailed Reviews of Level 3 Books
- Detailed Reviews of Level 4 Books
- Detailed Reviews of Level 5 Books
- EhonNavi Books
- Extensive Reading Basics
- Extensive Reading Materials Online
- Extensive Reading Paper Summaries and Notes
- Extensive Reading Resources
- Illustrated Reference Books
- Japanese Language Learning Resources
- Mini Reviews of Level 1 Books
- Mini Reviews of Level 2 Books
- Mini Reviews of Level 3 Books
- Mini Reviews of Level 4 Books
- Mini Reviews of Level 5 Books
- Mini-Reviews of Level 6 Books
- Nikkei Bunko Library Books
- Picture Books
- Pierce County Library Books
- Reading in a Foreign Language
- Seattle Library Books
- Short Stories
- Society and Culture
- Tacoma Library Books
- Tadoku Contest
- Weekly Updates
- Extensive Reading group
- Goodreads Tadoku Group
- Overview of the "Start with Simple Stories" method
- Read More or Die
- Reading in a Foreign Language
- Tadoku Livejournal Community
- tadoku.org (in Japanese)
- Talk to the Clouds
- The Extensive Reading Foundation
- The Extensive Reading Pages
- 日本多読研究会 (Japanese Graded Readers Research Group)
Japanese Language Learning Resources
Now, am I going to have the little chairkicker flag whenever I comment?
Excellent, it’s the morning glory! That’s better than I can do for my paperdoll page.
From both my own experience and my friends’ ones, who are learning Japanese, I can say that studying a lot but not allowing yourself to immerse with tons of natural Japanese won’t likely lead you to the real world of Japanese. On the other hand, some of my friends, who listen to lots of DramaCD and J-drama or read manga, sometimes show amazing improvement in rather short time.
BTW, what kind of books do you usually read?
I became a member of “goodreads” this year and I made many friends who share similar interests to me and read books in certain kind of genre.
Yes, I agree – I feel like I didn’t really understand Japanese until I started playing video games in Japanese… three years after I started formally studying. I wish I had known about extended reading then ^^;;
These days I feel like I read nothing but Japanese kids’ books and nonfiction books (in English) about Japanese history and so on ^^;; But I generally like to read just about anything! I love a lot of classic novels (works by Jane Austen, Vanity Fair and so on) and I have a soft spot for children’s stories and fantasy (Harry Potter, Bone, Anne of Green Gables, etc.) as well as regular fantasy and sci-fi. I also really enjoy Japanese literature — I probably wouldn’t have started studying Japanese if I had never read the Tale of Genji.