Reading Every Day in 2024 Challenge

Long-time Natively user, occasional forum user here! Excuse the incoming word salad below.

In December 2023, I decided I’d try to read every day in 2024. We’re halfway through the year, so I thought I’d do a little post.

Background: I finished my first Japanese audiobook around the start of lockdown, and then got more into reading in Japanese as I lucked out early on with some books I really enjoyed and didn’t find too hard. I studied abroad in Japan from 2022-23 and somehow passed N2 during that time. Currently, all I’m doing is reading and watching the occasional youtube video or listening to audio dramas - no active study, just fun times. My problem with reading last year was consistency - I’d pop down to a cafe and read for hours at a time for a week straight, then do nothing at all for a month, rinse and repeat, which is why I chose to focus on bettering my consistency this year.

My ethos: Enjoyment trumps all! Something I’ve become more comfortable with over the first half of the year is that if there’s a wall in my way that’s stopping me from reading, I should get past that wall ASAP, even if it means “cheating”. When reading one particularly long series, I probably cheated and skipped about an entire chapter’s worth via skimming and google translate - partially for a chapter I just wanted to be over ASAP so I could get back to the actual bit of the story I was enjoying, and partially for difficult language in scenes I found boring. You should never be dreading opening a book, in my opinion! Push yourself, sure, but cheat! Be free! Have fun!

For me, keeping the streak up is what’s most important, so I consider having “read” that day even if its a single page of manga or a few sentences - by lowering the barrier of entry, most of the time when I go to read “just one page” I end up reading much more anyway!

Goals: I don’t really have any set in stone, but I want to become better at communicating my thoughts and creative writing, as I have a few little doujin passion projects I’d love to get working on (which, spoiler alert, actually caused me to skip a few days of reading…).

In all of 2023, I read:

3,336 total pages (584 manga / 2,592 LN / 160 novel)
Or
14 total books (Finished: 6 manga / 7 LN / 1 novel)

Realistically it’s probably a thousand or so pages more, as I read quite a bit of doujinshi (mainly doujin novels at the LN level).

My first 50% of 2024…

  • 174/182 days read

This is a huge improvement from last year, so I really can’t be upset at the 8 skipped days, especially as some were due to sickness! I literally forgot to read just yesterday (oops), but it doesn’t feel as bad now as when I missed that first day. Even on days where I haven’t read an actual book, I’ve probably read a few tweets, and I’ve definitely used Japanese in some way.

I’ve read a total of:

  • 5,802 pages (4,052 manga / 1,104 LN, 646 novel)
  • Or; 28 books (24 manga, 2 LNs, 2 novels)

(I’ve also read at least 300 pages of some doujin stuff that can’t be tracked by natively.)

Which, if I’ve done my maths right, is an estimated:

  • Manga: 18.75 hours
  • LN: 37 hours
  • Novel: 21.5 hours

For a total of 77.25 hours, and an average of 45 minutes per day.

Ideally I’d like to be more like an hour a day, but at the same time I really don’t think I can be disappointed with that, considering how bad my consistency problem was last year.

I also don’t usually read that much manga (compare that to my less than 600 pages of manga last year, lol), but about 2,000 of those manga pages were read in May-June, for which you can blame Witch Hat Atelier, an instant favourite after I put it off for so long!

I will say that I was a little worried that only reading manga for weeks straight would impact my ability to read novels, but I finished off ニアリーイコール | L28 last week and had no issues jumping right back into it (other than forgetting how the characters’ names were read, lol).

Reading speed (physical novels):

I don’t think my reading speed has increased that much, to be honest. Last year I was using the rough guesstimate metric for novels/LNs that “Number of Pages X 2 = How many minutes it’ll take to read at a minimum”. Out of curiosity, I timed a reading session in mid-June, and in 1.5 hours I read 44 pages, or 0.49 pages a minute.

When I jumped back into manga I was quite shocked at how quickly I could tear through an entire volume though! The money spent:time spent ratio was not what I was used to with novels.

As for digital novels, which have always been faster for me, I haven’t read one without listening to an audiobook at the same time since the start of the year, but in January 2024 I timed myself reading 死にたくないので英雄様を育てる事にします ~田舎暮らしは未来の英雄と胃痛と共に | L33 out of curiosity and read 10k characters in an hour, and in February I read 14k characters in an hour (same series, volume 3). I used to time myself a lot more in 2022, so for reference, in May 2022 I read 推し、燃ゆ | L37 with easy lookups using yomichan at ~7000 charas/hour, and in Aug 2022 I read ミモザの告白 | L29 with slightly less easy lookups using the Kindle app at ~8000 charas/hour. I don’t love timing myself, but I’ll try to do some more as the year progresses.

Where now?

I’m back off to Japan soon, so I’m currently filling up my phone with books to read on the plane, and I’ll be increasing my physical TBR with the new releases of ミモザの告白 | L29 and 光が死んだ夏 | L27. I really like Hachimoku Mei’s writing, so I may end up grabbing some of the rest of their “Seasons & Time” series (the most famous being 夏へのトンネル、さよならの出口 | L29). I wanted to pick up their Frieren novel as well, but unfortunately it’s not a direct novelisation like I thought but is a prequel, so as someone who hasn’t read the manga I’ll pass for now.

In August I’ll probably be struggling to keep my streak due to irl reasons, but I’ll try my best to stock up on interesting manga that I can read a little of each day.

I’ll put some of my stats below, and I’ll come back at the end of the year for a wrap-up.

See you in December!

13 Likes

I have a rule that if I’d skim it in English, I’ll skim it in Japanese. Especially for fantasy LNs (or even manga), where they over-explain and re-explain things way too much). I’ll never finish things if I don’t

First I’ve heard of that - cool!

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That’s exactly it - and a great way of wording it! I think I feel guilty when I skim as I did literature at uni, but everything I skim in Japanese I probably would’ve skimmed if I was just reading for fun in English too.

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