I have frequently talked about my desire to read Japanese language books. That had been one of my original motivators for continuing to study Japanese. I had this goal of finishing at least one novel/work last year but could not make much progress on it. This is the year to change that.
And for that, I need to be more organized and regular. I am also dedicating time for JLPT specific study and listening practice in general so I need to fit in all of this somehow, while giving adequate space for any other task that crops up.
As I mentioned in my previous posts that I have begun the book Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata. These past few weeks have been very slow progress mostly oweing to frequent need to look up words and kanji. The frequency is indeed less than last year but it is still numerous enough to break my schedule.
It is demoralising as well because after learning so many words for the exam last year, I am still unable to read with ease. As a result I have decided to drop the book for the moment and pick something easier.
And that book is “Fushigina Toshoukan” by Haruki Murakami. It is kind of ironic pick since I have actively avoided reading Haruki Murakami’s work in English due to all the hype surrounding it. Guess it also gives me the opportunity to look at his work with fresh set of eyes. I am aware that this is not his signature or even the most well-known work but it is a very good starting point for intermediate learners.
The book is small in length, around 100 pages in which one-third is full of illustrations about the story itself. That is a huge help while reading and figuring out stuff. The story in itself is simple and interesting. There are in total 26 chapters and I have decided on reading 2 chapters a day. The goal is to finish the book by 14th February.
What I do in terms of actual reading is to read the scheduled chapters at once without the use of a dictionary, while writing down words and phrases I do not know or fully understand in a notebook. Then I close the book and look up the word in the dictionary and write down their meaning. After this I once again pick up the same chapters and try to reread with the help of the meanings learned but without keeping the notebook in front of me.
Sometimes I am unable to remember the meaning but this ensures that I have actively read and remembered the words. Writing them down also helps with muscle memory and kanji practice. All in all, it takes around 30-60minutes every day.