I’ve been unusually busy this week, but have been reading even still and am up to 75,000 words. Level 3 books are starting to get boring, and I look hopefully at my level 6 books — ah, but not yet, if I am honest with myself about the number of unknown words per page.
Two things have particularly brought me joy this week as far as extensive reading is concerned… Emmie, another extensive reader who I met through the tadoku.org boards, collected and sent me sixteen kids’ books from her and her other friends with grown-up children. I won’t be getting them for a while, because I went with the cheapest shipping option — but I can be patient! (Yes, really. I do have that capability…) Thank you again, Emmie — I’m looking forward to it so much! I really can’t wait ^^
The other thing was a trip to Powell’s, a famous bookstore in Portland that sells new and used books. Brian and I are visiting Portland with two of our friends from San Francisco, and our hotel (from which I write this entry, as a matter of fact) is just a couple of blocks away. There’s an aisle of Japanese books with grammar books and dictionaries in English as well as books for adults, lots of manga and kids’ books. The last time I was at Powell’s (which would have been a good couple of years ago?), I certainly looked at the Japanese section, but I don’t think I bought anything. That is, even the kids’ books were pretty much beyond me, and I didn’t feel like wasting more money on books I couldn’t read… This time, thanks to extensive reading, there’s so many books I want to buy! Since all the kids’ books are used, they’re generally between just $3 and $10. (Although there’s a couple of the Narnia series that are $15 — the darned things are cheaper new at Kinokuniya.) So I’ve already picked up a hefty stack of books, and I’m going back for more tomorrow.
Brian jokes that I’m like a werewolf — instead of turning into a wolf when there’s a full moon, I turn into a wolf when I run out of books. Luckily, I don’t think I’m in danger of that for now!
I’m going to try to start writing diaries at lang-8 again… I just haven’t had the time or desire to do so for several months, but lately I rather miss it. If you want to follow my writing, feel free to add me as a friend; I tend to write diaries that can only be seen by my friends these days, unless I particularly want a lot of comments for some reason. Using words that have been reinforced through reading really helps cement them in my mind, and besides, writing is fun in and of itself for me. (As you may have noted?)
- 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
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- Mini Reviews of Level 4 Books
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