Home thread for 十角館の殺人! 🕵️‍♀️ 推理小説読書会 | Mystery Novel Book Club 👮‍♂️

First reading thread opens August 8th

十角館の殺人 | L30 has won the vote! I’m very excited to read this classic work of Japanese mystery genre. In this thread we will vote on and discuss the cadence at which to read the book. I’m going to lay out a few pieces of information, as well as a poll. If an option you want is not in the poll, make a comment and I can use the :heart: 's on your comment to determine whether I need to make a new poll to incorporate it.

Old discussion about page and cadence

So how many pages is 十角館の殺人 anyways?
This books is listed as:

  • 404 pages on Bookwalker
  • 512 on Amazon (paperback)
  • 363 pages on Amazon (Kindle)
  • 320 pages (my own Bookwalker version loaded onto my iPad)

How many chapters is it?
I will be listing pages based on my version as that’s all I have access to :sweat_smile:
プロローグ (pages 6 - 9) 4 pages
第一章 (10 - 52) 43 pages
第二章 (53 - 83) 31 pages
第三章 (84 - 107) 24 pages
第四章 (108 - 129) 22 pages
第五章 (130 - 168) 39 pages
第六章 (169 - 175) 7 pages
第七章 (176 - 194) 19 pages
第八章 (195 - 211) 17 pages
第九章 (212 - 266) 55 pages
第十章 (267 - 282) 17 pages
第十一章 (283 - 284) 2 pages
第十二章 (285 - 312) 28 pages
エピローグ (313 - 317) 5 pages
奥付 for the rest

Modified poll from suggestions:

[poll type=multiple results=always min=1 max=3 chartType=bar public=true]
  • Let’s just read one chapter a week (but fold in the prologue, epilogue, and 2 ultra short chapters). 10 weeks: 44, 31, 24, 22, 39, 26, 17, 55, 19, 33
  • Let’s read slow at first and then ramp up (see description below). 9 weeks
  • I have a different idea and I will put it in the comments!
[/ [poll ]
Alternate schedule proposal

Quoting @omk3:

Week 1 + 2: プロローグ + 第一章 (47 pages)
Week 3: 第二章 (31 pages)
Week4: 第三章 (24 pages)
Week 5: 第四章 (22 pages)
Week 6: 第五章 (39 pages)
Week 7: 第六章 + 第七章 + 第八章 (43 pages)
Week 8: 第九章 (55 pages)
Week 9: 第十章 + 第十一章 + 第十二章 + エピローグ (52 pages)

Discussion Threads :bookmark:
Week 1 + 2 Discussion Thread

Schedule

Week Chapters Thread Open Date Approx. Pages
1 + 2 エピローグ + 1 Aug 8th 47
3 2 Aug 22nd 31
4 3 Aug 29nd 24
5 4 Sept 5th 22
6 5 Sept 12th 39

Vote on ending cadence to be held during the sixth week.

4 Likes

Why is the poll in a separate thread, out of curiosity?

I love to read but dyslexia and a full time job makes reading slow. One chapter a week seems realistically manageable.

1 Like

Because I’m modeling this off the WK book clubs which I think do the same. I have no experience running book clubs so playing it by ear :sweat_smile: It seems nice to isolate discussion of a single topic and not ping people who are dropping out because their desired book wasn’t chosen.

Open to other ideas :slight_smile:

3 Likes

Ah, I see. I think the cadences for those are typically hosted in the thread for the book being read. We could definitely rework this thread into that if you wanted.

If it’s not too rude to ask, does your dyslexia cross languages? I guess it does based on your comment, but I was just curious. :3

1 Like

At the very least looking things up must be a pain in the behind. :confounded:

I don’t really mind what reading speed we choose (and it’s quite possible I don’t entirely stick to it, and either read ahead or fall behind), but a chapter seemed like a more fulfilling stopping point to me. If we choose anything else, we’ll need to pick arbitrary stopping points, which may well end up being in the middle of action or be hard to find (mind you, I haven’t looked at the book yet, it may already be divided into shorter sections for all I know). Anyway, this is why I think chapters are preferable despite their variable length, but I’m good with any other option too.

If we’re following WK book club style, this thread would be the book’s home thread. General discussions on the book (+this current poll) would take place here, the schedule would be posted here, and so would the links to all reading weeks when their time comes.

Edit to add: Dividing the book by chapters will also make discussions easier to find for readers who choose to read this book later but still want to read other people’s comments or post their own in the relevant threads as they read.

3 Likes

Sorry for double posting but I just had another idea. I’ve found that reading, especially in mysteries, is typically slower at the start, when the story is still set up. Later the momentum of the mystery typically makes you want to read faster, with final chapters being often read in one sitting. In our case, the first chapter seems to be especially long. An option, if we have enough people who worry about keeping up, might be to give two weeks to the 47 pages that are the prologue+first chapter, then proceed normally, or even group together chapters 6,7,8 (43 pages), and even chapter10-epilogue (52). This being the end of the book, I’m sure most of us will want to keep reading .

So, alternative proposed schedule:

Week1 +2: プロローグ + 第一章 (47 pages)
Week 3: 第二章 (31 pages)
Week4: 第三章 (24 pages)
Week 5: 第四章 (22 pages)
Week 6: 第五章 (39 pages)
Week 7: 第六章 + 第七章 + 第八章 (43 pages)
Week 8: 第九章 (55 pages)
Week 9: 第十章 + 第十一章 + 第十二章 + エピローグ (52 pages)

How does this sound?

8 Likes

I like the sound of this schedule! Balances out not being too much most weeks with the fact that at the end of a mystery you generally really want to get to the end!

2 Likes

Hey all, sorry for chiming in, but as this:

is the standard question for each and every book club :sweat_smile:, maybe my comments can help you figure things out a bit.

For the different page counts, here are some explanations:

512 on Amazon (paperback)

This is what I take as the baseline for the book clubs I run. Of course the book may contain half-empty pages, chapter start pages with little to no text, and so on, depending on what the editor decided. Maybe some of you can have a look at the paperback and check this out?

404 pages on Bookwalker

If you click on the page number in Bookwalker, you get this explanation:

一般的なスマートフォンにてBOOK☆WALKERアプリの標準文字サイズで表示したときのページ数です。お使いの機種、表示の文字サイズによりページ数は変化しますので参考値としてご利用ください。

(TLDR: It’s a standardized number across all books based on the actual characters in the book and not on the publisher’s pages.)
I would ideally like base my schedules on this number (because it should yield roughly equally-sized weekly assignments across all books) but so far I was not really successful in establishing this (on WK). Nonetheless, the ratio 404/512 = 0.789 gives me a good idea that there is slightly less than average text on each page in the paperback (standard book ratios range from 0.8 to 1.0 in my experience).

  • 363 pages on Amazon (Kindle)
  • 320 pages (my own Bookwalker version loaded onto my iPad)

These numbers depend on the device (screen size) as well as other settings (font size, border size if that’s adjustable? etc.) so they are incomparable across devices and readers. I usually only use those numbers to recalculate book pages. (which is not exact due to different amounts of white pages and stuff, but gives quite a good idea.) and otherwise regard them as “for internal use only”. (Another option might be to adjust the font size on the iPad until the total page count roughly matches. This way the schedule can be determined, and then the settings can be changed back.)

Here, recalculating the iPad page numbers to the paperback page numbers can be done with the factor 512/320 = 1.6. I.e. if you take your chapter lengths and multiply them by 1.6, you get the chapter lengths in the paperback book.

(Fun fact: This is roughly the same ratio as the miles <-> kilometer ratio, so if you have experience with both scales, it’s easy to convert in your head, e.g. 30 miles/h is roughly 50 km/h, 50 miles/h is roughly 70 km/h and so on :joy_cat:)

Ok, technical lecture is over :rofl: Happy reading everybody!

7 Likes

I think we found the math nerd… (I mean this as a compliment!) :smiling_face:

2 Likes

I think from experience that the kindle page count is more like the book walker page count you discussed, and not based on device or font size. 1 kindle page doesn’t equal one screen of text on the device and are (at least based on my experience reading across phone, iPad and kindle) consistent across devices.

So I think the kindle page numbers should be common for everyone reading the kindle version at least.

1 Like

I’ll keep on this in mind for future books, but with this particular book it seems we’re gravitating to reading largely by chapter and using rough page numbers to have vague marking of length.

You currently have 7 :heart: 's on this, and while we’re still early yet in polling the chapter a week + fold in shorter chapters has a clear lead and your post is leading past the second choice. Hopefully no one gets upset if I close the poll and open a new one! No one who voted for the currently trailing option didn’t also vote for the top option as well.

The new poll has been opened in the top post.

4 Likes

Oh yeah, I should have made this clearer: I didn’t want to say “You need to take immediate action!” - it was rather a more informative blurb for the future, and also for the unlikely case that you were steering towards a schedule that accidentally was much harder or lighter than you had intended. But I see you’re covered with all the book club veterans hanging out here :wink:

6 Likes

I sincerely do appreciate the advice from club vets as I have only participated in:
One official book club that I dropped, one unscheduled book club I haven’t finished, and one completely ad-hoc book club inside a thread which I did at least complete :joy:

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Yes, it very much does! Manifests in slightly different ways because Japanese is a different language, which is weird, but it still impacts my reading and writing T-T

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I like the idea of breaking the first chapter up. It’s much longer than the following weeks and the first few chapters are usually the hardest.

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Since the vote is pretty evenly split, one option could be to split the first chapter into 2 weeks as suggested by @omk3 - then I think both options are the same until week 7 - could then do a sense check at that point on how people are feeling, if they want to keep going at 1 chapter a week or if increasing the pace would be good.

5 Likes

Ah, yeah, you are right, I forgot about that, sorry.
These page numbers unfortunately have two caveats: Firstly, there are Kindle books out there that don’t have any page numbers (I own the enormous number of two (!) Kindle books, and one of them falls into that category), so this indicator does not work for all books, and secondly, although the page numbers seem to be synchronous across devices, the page breaks are not clearly indicated in my experience, so this seems to be somewhat fuzzy (that applies to my other Kindle book, hehe). That’s why in the WK book clubs I know of we usually go by Kindle locations and/or percentages (that’s what the Kindle users provided - I don’t really know why nobody provided Kindle page numbers, or maybe it just didn’t make sense to me at the time…).

Anyways, Kindle locations should be the most accurate information of all numbers one can get, but they of course also require recalculations.

2 Likes

Of you have an epub, you can always try ttu and see the character counts (it ignores punctuation)

FYI, the book is 150k characters. I couldn’t fit the entire page:

3 Likes