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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.

よろしくお願いします。

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5 Responses to My extensive reading goals and background

  1. Liana says:

    Now, am I going to have the little chairkicker flag whenever I comment?

  2. Liana says:

    Excellent, it’s the morning glory! That’s better than I can do for my paperdoll page.

  3. emmie says:

    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.
    ベーシックな日本語と英語の違いを学んだら、あとはやさしいものでも難しいものでも、なんでもいいから、ともかく自分が楽しい!と思える本をたくさん読んでいくのがいいと思いますよ。
    あと、励ましあえる友達がいるといいですよね!

    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.

  4. Liana says:

    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.