Week 5 of 📚 本好きの下剋上 / 책벌레의 하극상 🪱

Welcome all to week 5 of our Bookworm bookclub! Thanks all for the continued participation; I’m glad we’ve had so many stick with it for this long!



Week Start Date Chapter Number Ch. Name :jp: Ch. Name :kr: Ending% / Page# :jp: Ending Page# :kr: # of Pages :jp: # of Pages :kr:
5 Oct 2 9 エジプト文明、リスペクト中 이집트 문명, 존경합니다 24%/95 80 10 9
10 冬支度 겨울 채비 27%/105 89 10 8

Junior JP version

Week Start Date Chapter Number Ch. Name :jp: Ending Page# :jp: # of Pages :jp:
5 Oct 2 9 エジプト文明、リスペクト中 121 14
10 冬支度 134 13

(Home thread) week 4 | week 6

Character Table

English Japanese Korean Notes
Myne マイン 마인 Protagonist (Eng. also written “Main”)
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
Lutz ルッツ 루츠 Friend; same age as Myne
Ralph ラルフ 랄프 Friend; same age as Tuuli
Fey フェイ 페이 Friend; same age as Tuuli
Otto オットー 오토 Subordinate to Günter

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 5?
  • 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

Aaaaand I’m officially behind. :sweat: Shouldn’t be too bad to catch up. Just a note that I’m unable to update the character table until I personally read the chapters, unless someone lets me know which character(s) to add. :sweat_smile: I"ll update as a I read along, but in the meantime that’s why that hasn’t changed.


The new characters that appeared last week were:

  • 루츠 (ルッツ, Lutz)
  • 랄프 (ラルフ, Ralph)
  • 페이 (フェイ, Fey)
  • 오토 (オットー, Otto)

Are new characters added to the week they appear (potentially spoilery) or the week after? :thinking:


I’ve been doing the week they appear. I figure if there’s information that’d be handy to have on the table but could be spoilery, we can spoiler tag it.

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Last week we met the boys: ラルフ, フェイ and ルッツ. The first two are the same age as トゥーリ, ルッツ is the same as マイン.

We also met オットー, a subordinate of マイン’s father.

I don’t know the English version of any of those names :sweat_smile:

Edit: we’ll, I am late. :sweat_smile:


This week, there’s カルラ (Carla?), the mother of ラルフ and ルッツ.

(I don’t think it’s a meaningful spoiler, but anyway)

Next, there’s ゲルダ, the old woman who takes care of babies (and マイン) during the day (i.e., the daycare lady)


Thanks Naphthalene! And thinking more over @bibliothecary’s question, I could just wait until the week after. :thinking: Some might not appreciate seeing new characters here first? I don’t really have a preference.

Should I post character names the week they appear in the reading, or the week after?
  • The week they appear
  • The week after
  • Doesn’t matter to me
0 voters
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Oh, sure. I’ll just stop there for now, then.


I don’t have a strong preference, but when new characters appear it’s usually explained who they are, so I don’t think it’s necessary to list them. I see the character table as a reference for if I forget who a character is. :sweat_smile:


Yet again, the new weekly thread is motivating me to power through last week’s reading… I think this week I will try my first listen through at .9 speed (assuming that doesn’t make it sound weird). That may help me catch just a little bit more. We shall see. :slight_smile:


With all that character name stuff, I forgot to comment on this part.

In hindsight, I still can’t believe that the mother isn’t freaked out by マイン’s otherworldly knowledge.

ゲルダ’s place sounds like a nightmare, but I guess it helps kids build a strong immune system (and weed out the weak; good job surviving so far, マイン)

マイン being passed around as she remains less than helpful is still funny.

I know what will happen next, but this week still ends on a kind of cliffhanger.


This occurred to me during last week’s reading - no one really reacts to Myne’s strange new behaviours. Do they not wonder where Myne’s hygiene rituals came from?

Sweeping the bedroom and wanting rid of the spiders might not stand out as particularly strange, but what about washing her hair with diluted oil, combing her hair and adding the herb-infused oil to it, using the boiling water to wipe herself down before cooking, putting the dried flowers in the wardrobe… All this would surely raise an eyebrow, no?


Finished this week; I’m on top of things. :muscle: The more I listen along with the audiobook the easier it gets; I’m really enjoying the feeling of reading much faster than I normally do. Man, I really need to work on my regular reading speed; I suppose that kind of thing just comes with time.

Anyway, what was Myne saying about adding the salt to the candle-making process? Does it help purify the fat as you boil it?

So I’ve been chalking it up to, “five year olds are weird little creatures”; the family just says whatever because she’s young and eccentric. Plus I figure they’re happy she’s taking more of an active role in this, even if her motivation is a mystery.

Answer using the Japanese text

She is explaining in simple terms because she doesn’t know the words and anyway needs to act like her age, but the idea is that, when the fat is hot, it will be able to mix with the salty water.


However, as it cools down, the fat will congeal at the surface of the water. The impurity will remain diluted in the salty water that gathers at the bottom.


So you just remove the water at the bottom, et voila, pure fat.
I looked it up and in real life, you need to repeat the process many times, but I guess it’s the same thing as the shortcuts that were taken by the author in the shampoo making process.

That’s exactly how I took it when I read the book. I don’t know if it’s because I am much more blaze about light novels these days, but somehow, I had a kind of “can’t unsee it” moment and it doesn’t convince me anymore :thinking:

Oh well. In the end, it’s quite minor compared to the scale of the story and arc 1 (books 1-3) is my least favorite anyway :stuck_out_tongue:


Finally finished this week’s reading and… putting myself in Myne’s mother’s shoes, I could buy that theory for everything she’s done so far except for her very specific instructions about the tallow purification :joy: being a weird 5 year old just doesn’t quite make THAT make sense…


I don’t know. The shampoo part was also very weird. How could you imagine that putting that into your hair would be any good?


I don’t know, for some reason I could totally see a small child just deciding to smash an avocado (children love smashing food!), mixing the oil with water (it’s like making “potions”!), and then just dunking their head in it because small child antics. Still kinda :thinking: if you think about it too hard, but I’m just going with it :joy:

I do wonder if at some point Myne is going to do something that puts her at risk of being burned at the stake, though. Maybe when she’s older? She’s got a lot of “forbidden knowledge” and doesn’t seem the most street smart.


As someone who has read the whole series twice, I know the answer to that, so I sadly can’t take part in discussing hypothesis, which is quite frustrating. :melting_face:


Finished this week’s reading too! Enjoyably easier than last week’s imo.

Agreed. When she breaks out magnets and the compass, she’s :100: hitting the stake.

I think so far it’s a little weird but not too far out there. Developing papyrus though is probably a bit too much. Literally would be revolutionary for a leather-based paper society :joy:.

We’ll see what happens… I gotta think too she gets involved with that bandit mentioned that was causing all of the alarms at the wall.


BIG LEATHER is not going to like that :melting_face: