My personal goal with regards to the first week of the Read More Or Die tadoku contest was to double the average number of words I’ve read per week since I started writing the weekly updates – from 15,000 to 30,000. I’m now at 270,026 total words, meaning that I read 38,800 words this week — comfortably over my goal! (Not counting the time I’ve logged with Mother 3 — which has been plentiful. What a game.) So I’ll shoot for 40,000 words this week. I’m working more, but I should still be able to read more than I did this past week – after all, I did spend a considerable amount of time doing non-essential, non-reading activities.
Incidentally, this week put me over 25% of my overall goal, which was the next big milestone I was looking forward to after 100,00 words. As I’ve read, for the longest time, I’ve often automatically translated inside my head to English (not in a structured way, and not on purpose – just like as an unwanted, unconscious running commentary). According to my notes, I felt like I wasn’t doing this as often around week 9, and by now, provided I’m reading a book well within my fluent reading level, I feel like I only do it when I run into a sentence with a meaning that isn’t immediately apparent to me. I also think that – again, provided I’m reading at the right level – I’m starting to read faster than I could read out loud. I’ve always felt hampered not just by the little unwanted English translator in my head but also by the little Japanese narrator taking up space in there too, but I figured that enough exposure to words and patterns would get rid of them. The next milestone will be 500,000 words — and if I can meet my goals for this month, it won’t take me long to get there!
- 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
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