Is Bookmeter useful/worth joining?

I am thinking of joining and reviewing there when I read books, as it’s not a bad excuse to write in Japanese.

I’ve never used it before, so I’m wondering if people here have used it.

Have people found it

  • a nice addition to Natively
  • a pain to use
  • anything else of note?

Also, I’m curious whether ‘owned by Kadokawa Group’ - has any shady side effects. E.g. does it mean books from other media groups are blocked? Or it is fairly open?

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I’ve used it since before Natively was created, and it’s okay. But I don’t personally write reviews and there’s no way to rate anything just with stars. So personally, once Natively adds proper support for rereads I’ll probably stop using it.

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I like it because I can share my Bookmeter shelf with Japanese book lovers and they can see what sorts of books/authors I’m into easily. Natively is only in English and the UI doesn’t let you have the nice “bookshelves” that Bookmeter does so it’s awkward to share with them as I think it’s probably less intuitive.

I rarely write reviews in Japanese so I can’t really comment on that. I only write the Natively ones because most books here have nothing and often the Japanese reviews don’t answer questions that learners would have.

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I don’t use it as a forum, but whenever I check out a new book I always look through there
natively is good to use as a learner, but when I want to see reviews on books/manga as a story in itself I use bookmeter and go through reviews written by Japanese audience

there are no “media groups blocked” as far as I’ve seen though I’ve noticed they interface with amazon ISBN, so I would guess that if amazon doesn’t have it than bookmeter would necessarily have it either

regarding kadokawa owning it, tbh it’s a huge tycoon with a huge amount of things they own so saying “there’s no shady side effects” is impossible, but it’s also no different than “owned by amazon”

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You should do this on Natively too!! It’s always nice when the occasional “in Japanese” review pops up here. (I plan to add JP to my existing reviews eventually)

I don’t use Bookmeter much (and had to put on my VPN to download the app), but it’s great for reviews when MAL doesn’t have any… I’d sorta forgotten about it tbh, so I’m glad you mentioned :slight_smile:

What sort of bookshelves do you have on there? That’s kinda a cool idea

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I sort mine into categories like 短篇集, 短編作 (ie one shot short stories), 10代向け (because some things feel young to me but are not necessarily LNs, and not all LNs are YA either), and so on.

It’s a useful visual for me and I kinda figure if someone only reads novels they can check my novel shelf, if they care about nonfiction they can check my (tiny) nonfiction shelf and so on.

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Thank you for all your advice!

I think maybe I’ll give it a go.

Bookshelves sound like a nice feature, and I can always drop it if I don’t get along with it.

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I also like it for getting inspiration/recommendations. There is an option to be matched with people who read similar books/manga to you (つながる → 相性) and then you can follow their profiles and find new books through them. Works well for me, especially since it is not so easy to get recommendations on learnnatively, I feel. I had to delete some books I didn’t like because it would mess up my recommendations/matchings :sweat_smile: But thankfully I can document everything I read more truthfully on learnnatively.

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Personally, I like it.

I occasionally write short reviews (good pracitce for Japanese)
More often I just leave a star rating (while not implemented on the side, you can always just put the symbols as a review)
I also enjoy reading some of the reviews left by others which also helps me learn how to talk/write about books.
If you have lots of physical books, they have an app where you just have to scan the barcode to add it - very nice.

However, if you haven’t started bookmeter yet, https://booklog.jp/ is also an option, which has the added benefit of import/export functionality, if this is something you might want. (Bookmeter doesn’t offer this.)

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