Why You Should Be Reading Japanese Novels

Thinking about finally adventuring into Japanese novels?  This is where you will proceed from from the safe training grounds you have grown so accustomed to to the dark and dangerous . . .  Expecting a video game analogy?  You got one.  Reading a new book is like entering a new dungeon (I like to envision a Final Fantasy dungeon).  What exactly is waiting?

New dungeons have unfamiliar perils and great rewards: enemies you’ve never encountered, traps, a maze, a final boss, treasure, experience and leveling up, and advancement of your Japanese Quest story.  You will get lost as you wander around and you may even have to retreat.  Dungeons are level based and all the enemies and bosses that you face should be chosen by your level.

No matter how much you want to jump to an advanced dungeon that you aren’t ready for, you must resist.  If you dive into that super dungeon too quickly, you will get killed upon your first random battle.  You must make efficient use of your weapons and items.  You will be with this dungeon for a while. Create a lot of save points.  This won’t be easy, but no easy dungeon has ever been worthwhile.

Reading is the gatekeeper of your 4 skills.  Improve reading and improve all.  With so much potential power for you to acquire, I thought it was finally time to start providing some concrete guidance.

And before you think to yourself “I’m not really a reader,” stop.  Despite the fact that I was an English literature major in college, I never really did much of any of the “reading for pleasure” thing.  However, for some reason when it came to reading Japanese novels, I developed an addiction.

Maybe it is because I love Japanese, so reading in Japanese is just more enjoyable.  Or maybe it is because Japan has produced some of the most fun and wild books you will ever lay your culture shocked eyes on.  You decide.  But you must (a Japanese Level Up must) give some novels a try.

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Founder of Jalup. Spends most of his time absorbing and spreading thrilling information about learning Japanese.


Why You Should Be Reading Japanese Novels — 8 Comments

  1. I agree about not needing to enjoy something in English to enjoy it in Japanese. I never particularly liked graphic novels, and never read manga before I started reading it in Japanese. But part of it is that they disappear so fast, which isn’t an issue when reading it in a language I’m learning, and the rest is compensated for by the awesomeness of reading Japanese and understanding what’s going on because the pictures fill in some of what I miss.

  2. \(^o^)/ I am so very excited for book lists.
    I’ve been eagerly wanting to dive into the reading world, but every book I get is beyond my level. Buying them isn’t cheap either. This will be very useful!

    • They aren’t that expensive. You can get used books in nearly new quality for a mere one 円, add 1200 円 shipping and the total is only about 15 dollars, which is how much some average books cost, at least where I live.

      • I buy most of my books from http://www.bk1.jp, rather than from Amazon. You pay the normal shelf price for books, but they only charge you what it actually costs for shipping, so if you use SAL the shipping fee is a lot cheaper. It kind of depends on how heavy the book(s) are, and which books are available where, but it’s another good website to have at your disposal.
        (The「とらドラ」 小説 I have sitting on my desk would be 510円 plus maybe 480円 SAL shipping).

  3. This is so true. I love writing stories (in English, maybe one day Japanese), but I realized recently that my fiction writing skill will only grow so far unless I start reading books in English. But compared to my passion for reading books in Japanese, it just doesn’t compare. I’m getting the same story concept writing ability from reading Japanese books, but I’m not getting the break down of the English language into fiction writing from those books. Yet, it’s so much harder to pick up a book in English.

    Another thing to support that one’s personality in their L1 is different than their personality in their L2. Maybe I’ll switch over to fiction writing in Japanese one day, when I reach that point of fully being able to express what I want to write.

  4. Just wondering, when is a good time to begin the journey into the reading world?
    Should I wait until I’ve finished 1000J-E sentences and the Kanji? Until I finish some number of J-J sentences? Or begin as soon as possible?

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