Pretty much like @seanblue, I’m really not fond of short stories as I just don’t get the time to feel involved. Moreover, regardless of the language, I always feel some resistance to start something. For short stories, I get no reward for my efforts (just more stories = more efforts).
I’m a big fan of long series instead (especially 本好き; volume 30 is coming out tomorrow!)
Ah, since we mentioned 獣の奏者, the writing style of the author, switching characters between parts, really triggers the same phenomenon as short stories. By the time I am in the flow, the part ends and everything is reset. I love the story, but I’ve technically started reading it in summer 2012… wow 10 years already! (I’ve obviously read a bunch of other things in the meantime). (Edit: No it was 2015… well, still a long time) Reading 鹿の王 by the same author also took me 3~4 years.
Amazon keeps trying to recommend it in the Kindle app and I’m just like:
The other problem is that she tends to write really long books and then splits them into two parts (as seems to be common for longer Japanese books) to make them (feel) more accessible. So her latest book 香君 is split into part 1 at 435 pages and part 2 at 461 pages. So it’s really a 900 page book, which is quite long!
Wow, 1000 pages is intense! I’ve only read a couple of books that long in English I’m currently reading my longest book (so far) in Japanese, which is 500 pages. It was a little intimidating to get going but I’m past the 400 page mark now!
I will check out the Emperor’s Soul, that sounds interesting (コンビニ人間 was a good read too). Thanks for your reply and recommendations!
Wow that is dedication to a series! I don’t tend to stick to long series too well to be honest, I like one off novels best as a rule. However some ‘series’ like Poirot don’t need to be read in order so I like dipping into them
Personally I find this frustrating, as I’ll finish them too fast and be left wanting more!
@SophieShiori Agreed. Right now I read Japanese so slowly even a little 150 page book will last me a week or longer, but I dread when the day comes that I can read a book like that in a day or two, because then reading in Japanese will become a very expensive hobby. (I suppose at that point I’ll have to get into Aozora Bunko and Syosetu.com. Which is funny because when I was a kid I got into classic literature and web fiction/fanfiction for the same reason — it’s just a lot cheaper than buying a new book every other day.)
I prefer novels to short stories, for all the reasons already mentioned. But I read slowly in Japanese so I definitely appreciate how many novels are on the shorter side. (under 300 pages)
I started 鹿の王 and have gotten through volume 1. The perspective shifts don’t bother me. And it isn’t my first loooong book in Japanese — 七夜物語 is 3 volumes, around 1,100 pages total. However, 七夜物語 was repetitive and lacking in detail, and I think it could have been edited to half the length. 鹿の王, so far, looks like it’s going to be complex and rich enough to deserve the length.
I’m not reading that quickly yet, but I’m heading toward the point where I need to think about strategies to deal with the cost of reading and making sure I don’t end up with more physical books than I can handle.
Recently I got a subscription to Bookwalker’s 読み放題 service, choosing the books course. It’s 824 yen per month and allows unlimited reading of designated books. Not everything is eligible, but it’s a pretty big selection and includes a lot of stuff which was once well known but is no longer trendy (including some WK book club selections), plus some recent pulp. They also have a manga/magazines course which looks less useful to me, especially since they offer free first volumes so often. I don’t like reading on screens as much as paper but my apartment is too small to keep a lot of books, so I’m trying to get used to it.
Ah, that’s a good idea! I’ll keep that in mind, thank you. I don’t like reading digitally all that much either, but reading on a screen is better than not reading at all, and that’s a great price, especially while the yen is so weak.