Week 4 of 📚 本好きの下剋上 / 책벌레의 하극상 🪱

Welcome all to week 4 of our Bookworm bookclub! Fall has finally arrived in the northern hemisphere, and I’m enjoying the cooler weather.



Week Start Date Chapter Number Ch. Name :jp: Ch. Name :kr: Ending% / Page# :jp: Ending Page# :kr: # of Pages :jp: # of Pages :kr:
4 Sept 25 7 近所の男の子 이웃 남자아이 18%/75 62 9 9
8 紙、入手不可能 종이, 입수가 불가능하다 21%/85 71 10 9

Junior JP version

Week Start Date Chapter Number Ch. Name :jp: Ending Page# :jp: # of Pages :jp:
4 Sept 25 7 近所の男の子 95 15
8 紙、入手不可能 107 12

(Home thread) week 3 | week 5

Character Table

English Japanese Korean Notes
Myne マイン 마인 Protagonist
Tuuli トゥーリ 투리 Myne’s older sister
Effa エーファ 에파 Myne’s mother
Günter ギュンター 귄터 Myne’s father

Discussion ground rule suggestions

  • Any spoilers, for the current chapters must be behind spoilers or detail curtains. When we get further in you don’t need to hide details that were revealed in previous chapters.
  • Always mention where you are in the book when discussing, ideally by chapter so people reading different versions have a clear point of reference.
  • Feel free to read ahead if it’s exciting! But please refrain from spoiling ahead of the appropriate week :slight_smile:
  • If you have a question about grammar, vocab, cultural things, etc - ask! That can be part of the discussion too and I’m sure some folks would be happy to help.
  • Even if you don’t read the chapter(s) in time, you are still encouraged to post in the thread for that reading once you have finished it. I advise not reading ahead in the threads as you may see spoilers.
Are you joining us for week 4?
  • I’m reading along
  • I’m just following the discussion :popcorn:
  • I’m reading, but not at the same pace as the club
  • I’ve dropped the book
0 voters

Every time, the part where Main is disappointed in her father that he isn’t perfectly literate makes me giggle. Way to crush his spirit.

I remember people wondering about even the existence of properly written text. Well, this week you are getting an answer!

And, of course, let’s not forget that we meet a bunch of new characters, although we do not know much about them yet. It’s fun to see Main making up a whole romance in her mind. Look at her, thinking about something else than books!


Just powered through the end of last week’s reading so I can start this week’s reading! One detail I definitely didn’t catch on my listening round was Myne’s eye color! The way her sister describes her hair and eye color is very sweet. :slight_smile:


There’s a passage in chapter 7 that is slightly confusing to me, so I’m posting a screenshot and my understanding/what I don’t understand below - if someone could help, it’d be great!

Questions on chapter 7

So here, Tuuli’s voice came from the kitchen: she realised she forgot something (she had to do for her dad). Myne remembers that indeed he said he needed something that day, and the mom got angry because he didn’t say so before. Question: Was the mom angry at the dad here for reminding them last minute? Was there another reason for the ‘mood to be chilly’ in the kitchen?

So Tuuli needs to take it to the father. But then Myne (?) goes to the room to cry (using an excuse that she had to do the dishes). She fainted when she went to the market with the mom, therefore the family doesn’t trust her and Tuuli can’t leave her alone at home. Question: I’m really not sure about the crying hard part: Is Myne crying? Is Tuuli crying? If Myne is crying why is that - because she feels guilty from having fainting, or for causing ‘unnecessary trouble’ to her sister/parents?

If there is something else I misunderstood or missed, please let me know :slight_smile:


Yes and also because he told her during the busiest time in the morning.

Myne is crying out of frustration about how she is only causing trouble for her family. Or at least that’s how I understood it.

What you missed is, that it’s not Tuuli who forgot something, but the Dad left a package (that the mother had prepared last minute) behind. I don’t think we know what’s in the package (yet?), but the mother had to look for it during the busy morning and thus would be even angrier if she found out he forgot to take it with him.


No, she realized the dad forgot something he needed today. (Ah, @Biblio already mentioned that)

It was her, but not now. She is just listing all the things that happened in the past: getting out of the room while Tuuli was doing the dishes and being crying like crazy when found (because she realized there was no books; that was in the part from 2 weeks ago). When she went out with her mother to the market, she collapsed. Overall, can’t be left alone while Tuuli brings the thing to their father.


Ah, that’s much more clear now :slightly_smiling_face: thank you!


That makes more sense, yes. I was a bit confused about the timeline there. I forgot about that scene.


Oof, this week’s reading is much slower going for me… anyone else feel the same way? Feels more difficult, but perhaps i’m just losing a bit of steam :sweat_smile:

… will still finish on time though :muscle:


I get the feeling - I think that for the first 2-3 weeks, it’s still quite new/exciting so we tend to give it a bit more effort/energy; by the 4th~5th week, we lose a bit of the steam or it just somehow settles into our routine, making it feel a bit slower? I’m thinking it might be the case for me: I was planning to read a minimum amount per day (my kindle divides a chapter roughly by how long it takes to read, giving me ~30 min a chapter so I try to do 10 min a day) but that just made it feel like a bit of a drag and a chore for me. For now, I’m thinking of what works best, but it will have to be to just let the reading flow naturally, I think. There will always be ups and downs, but at the end of the day, the most important is to enjoy the process :slightly_smiling_face:


Agreed! And on that note, I’ve finished the reading. I’m not entirely sure why this section felt harder, but it did seem so to me. However, Myne’s undying excitement to learn to read is inspiring for my own child-like reading skills. Perhaps that’s a reason this book is so popular with learners :laughing:

I do have a question for our Korean experts here… mind helping me with this sentance (@bibliothecary / @bungakushoujo / anyone else)

Pg 84

분명 귀족용과 악당 얼굴을 한 사람용 대기실은 방 크기부터 가구까지 완전 다르겠지.

The translation I want:

Clearly, depending on a person having a noble or villain’s face, the waiting room, from room size to the furniture is completely different.


  • I’m very confused by the clause preceding 대기실. Where is the verb? Is 한 actually from 하다? Like the person doing a face?
  • what is up with all the -용 nonsense?

I’ll try my best to help! :blush:

question 1

You use 를 하다 for describing physical traits of someone.

She has long hair → 그녀는 긴 머리를 하고 있다
Woman with long hair → 긴 머리를 한 여자

So here it’s saying someone with an 악당 face, someone who looks like an 악당 (villain but this seems like strange word choice to me so I think this is just an awkward translation - can’t remember what the Japanese original had though🥲)

question 2

This is coming from the 한자 用、which means use. You can stick it to other nouns to indicate it’s something for the use of whatever the noun is, like 귀족용 → noble-use, for noble use, the waiting room for nobles.

It’s kind of a more literary way to say something like 귀족을 위한 since you’re using a 한자어.

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Oh wow, it’s impressive i’ve never come across that! I guess i’ve only ever seen those types of sentences with the person’s feature as the subject with the adjective as the predicate, so like: ‘her hair is long’ not ‘she has long hair’.

I wonder if it’s as interchangeable as in English? Or is 를 하다 a bit more literary / uncommon? Regardless, good to know thank you ! :slight_smile:

Makes perfect sense! Also, your hanja focus has inspired me to put hanja on my flash cards as an addendum, it’s very nice… and keeps my rusty kanji knowledge at least a little fresh :laughing:

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I’ve also barely ever seen it! I think it’s more natural to have the adjective as the predicate or to use 가지고 있다. I think the translator just did a 1 to 1 thing with Japanese because you use 〜をしてる for physical appearance there too and it kind of works. :laughing: I think we would need to consult with a real Korean expert or Korean person to see how much 를 하다 is used though?

Edit: I kept thinking about 를하다 @brandon and ended up asking a Korean friend! Both ~ 를 가지고 있다 and 를 하다 are perfectly grammatically correct but just not so common, colloquially 의 would be used like 긴 머리의 여자. :blush:


I also find that when there’s a change of scene or subject, it gets trickier. This week felt like it introduced a few new characters and new topics, so I think that’s why it was a bit more difficult.


Last week was really busy, so I rushed a little bit to catch up. 7 kind of went in one ear and out the other, but 8 was easy to grasp and made a lot of sense! I think it also made the goal for the rest of the book clear, so I’m really motivated to continue!


Finally completed this week’s reading and still going strong.

I also agree with many others this section was slightly harder since the setting suddenly changed and there was a lot of new vocabulary but it was nice to meet new characters! Myne’s father is also really funny - the interactions where she finds out about him not being able to write and read were really sweet!


I still need to read for this week. :cry: Been looking for a new place to live, so all my free time’s been sucked up. @.@ There’s still hope for the weekend!


Can relate. There has been some major changes at work and it’s hard to find some time I can relax and read.

Good luck finding a nice place!


Makes sense! And then in English of course, saying ‘She’s a girl with long hair’ is also grammatically correct, but less common. All about the little nuances :stuck_out_tongue: