Week 7 of 📚 本好きの下剋上 / 책벌레의 하극상 🪱

Welcome all to week 7 of our Bookworm bookclub! Halfway there!



Week Start Date Chapter Number Ch. Name :jp: Ch. Name :kr: Ending% / Page# :jp: Ending Page# :kr: # of Pages :jp: # of Pages :kr:
7 Oct 16 13 冬の甘味 달콤한 파루 케이크 37%/144 150 13 14
14 オットーさんのお手伝い 오토 씨 돕기 41%/157 161 13 11

Junior JP version

Week Start Date Chapter Number Ch. Name :jp: Ending Page# :jp: # of Pages :jp:
7 Oct 16 13 冬の甘味 187 19
14 オットーさんのお手伝い 202 15

(Home thread) week 6 | week 8

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
Carla カルラ 칼라 Lutz and Ralph’s mother
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 7?
  • 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

The first time around, the cooking part was a bit annoying to me (since I really don’t care about that) but otherwise it felt pretty interesting. I was really curious about the パルゥtree since that kind of explanation made no sense to me (in that sense, I was really as confused as Main at the time). Too bad I cannot unlearn what it really is :sweat_smile: Still, it felt like progress on the world building front.

In terms of new characters, we got the two other older brothers of ルッツ and ラルフ, ザシャ and ジーク.

Then, some more Otto, giving Main some potential connection to the merchant guild and thus upper echelons of the society. At this point, since Main is starting to interacting with more and more people, I felt like it’s less likely that people think that she has unnatural knowledge and more so that they would think she is some kind of genius (which, to be fair, she probably is; it doesn’t matter if you have past life memories, her learning speed is pretty crazy)


I’m glad that in the 2nd chapter this week, there was some actual progress towards the ultimate book goal. The first chapter for this week does get points for introducing more of the world and characters, but it also almost felt like a filler episode compared to the second chapter.

Then, some more Otto, giving Main some potential connection to the merchant guild and thus upper echelons of the society.

This was an interesting development, it may not be her original aim, but I suppose a business ledger is certainly a type of book that might be pretty accessible compared to something like a novel, never mind that novels might not even exist at all.

(which, to be fair, she probably is; it doesn’t matter if you have past life memories, her learning speed is pretty crazy)

Yeah this is certainly true, what she might lack in a true natural genius, she can currently make up for by leveraging her past life’s knowledge to pick things up quicker than those around her, and given what the average education/literacy level appears to be in this world, she can probably take advantage of that for a very long time.
She can make the connection that the writing system is a type of alphabet, and she uses that to learn the new system faster in the same way that speakers of a language using the Latin alphabet can intuit Hangul pretty quickly if they just sit and grind it out for a bit(plus she has the bonus her magic innate auto translation ability once she hears a new word).
On the other hand, for the people there, the idea of writing at all seems to just be a tedious concept that you could probably live your entire life without ever really needing to learn more than just names.

This giant spoiler block doesn’t really feel like spoilers for these particular chapters, but I couldn’t think of a good spot to close the spoiler tag either, lol.

Fun chapters this week, if it was all just more slice-of-life in blue hair fantasy land I’d probably have started losing interest, fortunately good old Otto (who is absolutely 100% devoted to his wife) saved the day.


Finished chapter 13. Not sure how I feel about the “invent a new food” plotline. Intellectually I know that it’s probably difficult to come up with new recipes, especially using ingredients that are traditionally regarded as unfit for human consumption. On the other hand, it doesn’t feel all that impressive to me as a reader. “She invented pancakes? Big deal, I have those at home.” It truly is a conundrum. Maybe if I were more into cooking/baking as a hobby/profession I could appreciate it more.

Are the new characters we met this chapter worth keeping track of? Do they show up again in any real capacity?

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They are mentioned once in a while, but I don’t remember if that happens in this volume. You can drop ゲルダ, though.

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Okay, there were go; finished chapter 14. I wonder what Günter’s going to think when he hears that his 5-year-old has been helping to balance the accounts…

I wonder if she’ll take to the introduction to the merchants guild offer. I feel like it’d be a smart move on her part; she’s likely going to have to apprentice into something, and not much is likely going to get her into contact with books. On the other hand, I have a bad feeling she’s going to turn him down to forge her own path. :stuck_out_tongue:


Finished both! Agreed with everyone that Chapter 14 felt like real plot development… the offer of the merchant guild feels like an easy ‘yes’ in an RPG :joy:.

Have to say that Myne’s (we doing Main now?) treatment of her father still annoys me rather a lot. Myne… can we not so petulant? I hope your emotions mature faster than an actual 5 year olds :sweat_smile:

color me intrigued now… but no spoilers! It seems like it could be a coconut, but you don’t harvest those in winter. Kinda seems like a pumpkin if it had delicious juice maybe? The seeds could act like chicken feed I guess.

I’m always happy to read about food so i didn’t mind chapter 13 :relieved:

Question on the alphabet and on her abilities. How complicated can the it really be? I know she says that the sounds depends on the combination of letters, but it seems like it’s not fully like chinese characters? TBH, I can’t really think of a writing system that takes very long to learn outside of Chinese characters… am i wrong? If it’s a mostly phonetic alphabet (which it seems to be as she could tell there were categories on the paper?)… then it probably can’t take too long. Just wondering how long it’ll really take Otto to teach her :slight_smile:

If it’s phonetic, then she should be reading in no time.

Language Remarks

  1. Usually, when someone’s eyes become wide, it’d been described as

눈을 크게 뜨다 (open eyes large)

however, in the last sentence, it says they opened ‘round’, which i found hilarious:

오토는 깜짝 놀란 얼굴로 눈을 동글랗게 떴지만 (last page, 3rd to last sentence)

I guess in English, having round eyes already, we open then ‘wide’, but in Korea, having wide eyes, the open them ‘round’ :flushed: :joy:

  1. [Question] Again, on the last page, there was this sentence:

요 몇 년간 회계보고와 예산편성을 오토 혼자서 처리했던 모양인지 계산확인만 도와췄을 뿐인데 굉장히 고마워했다.

what is the ‘요’ doing at the beginning here? Is this like ‘뭐’ when it’s used as a spoken filler? It’s definitely not ‘4 or some years’ right? As in 요 = yo = yon in Japanese :sweat_smile:

These chapters got me more excited. Looking forward to what happens next :slight_smile:


That’s more like a me thing, to be consistent with the way it is written in universe (and how the author wanted it written) rather than following the English translation.

The whole thing is supposedly inspired by German, so you can just think of it as learning to write in German.
I don’t know about actual German, but learning to read French as a kid takes a full school year, but assuming dedicated focus plus Main’s boosted learning abilities, I guess a couple weeks could be enough? Not spoiler, I legitimately can’t remember.

I kinda pictured it as a grapefruit (although crushing it down would not give okara-like powder); I guess your image of a coconut makes much more sense.


For some reason, I pictured it as being like grapes. :melting_face: I can’t remember what they show in the anime. :thinking:


I mean… how long did it take you to write and read Katakana? It’s basically the same concept. I had 2 weeks to learn both hiragana and katakana for university… and it was surprisingly easy. I.e. if she had a list of all letters and maybe some text to learn to actually sound words out, she could easily do it in a week.


Well, I still cannot sound out correctly all English words. Sometimes, I’ll read something like “it’s an ‘a’ like in [something] not like in [something else]” and think wait, those are not read the same?
So, potentially, forever?
That being said, assuming the language is more rational, it could be much faster indeed.


Yeah, German can thank Gutenberg and Luther for having a pretty straight-forward spelling. Read as written. :sweat_smile: And since she knows the (pronunciation of) words, but doesn’t know how to spell them, it should be a fairly quick process. :thinking:


Well, I think Japanese is probably one of the easiest phonetic alphabets to learn, so I don’t think that’s a fair comparison. I think Japanese has the smallest set of distinct sounds in the world :slight_smile:

Hangul is much harder with all of its batchim exceptions i feel. Granted you can still learn it in a few weeks. Although, Japanese does have two alphabets which adds to the quantity :thinking:

This is true. I have no memory of learning the english alphabet, but i’d imagine all the combinations must take some time. Kinda like kanji in that regard :joy:

Still though, I’m guessing you could get 80-90% of the way there in a couple of weeks no? I really have no idea. The long tail i’m sure takes an eternity.


We were given 3 days to learn it in university. :rofl: Can’t read it anymore though… :sob: I did not think I would forget it, but I forgot pretty quickly…


Yeah you can certainly learn the basics pretty quick, although I’ll just say most people don’t learn the exceptions on their first pass learning hangul. I highly doubt they required you to if it was only three days :slight_smile:

For reference, @bungakushoujo still says they doesn’t fully know them and they’re much more advanced than me haha. So they are not entirely necessary… but they are there to add a sprinkle of complication :sweat_smile:

I don’t think there is anything similar in the phonetic japanese alphabets that are comparable.


Well, there’s a “correct” pronunciation of が depending on its position in the word AND how the word is composed. That’s kinda rough (but you mostly learn it by ear).
Other than that, there’s the accent, so that you properly say あめ to become 雨 or 飴… but again, context will save you anyway. I don’t think there’s a situation where you wouldn’t be able to voice almost correctly hiragana (I guess that’s different if your understanding is bad enough to not realize that a は is the topic marker)

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I really enjoyed the baking chapter! I’m also glad that there was finally a significant plot development with the accounting and merchant guild introduction. I look forward to seeing where things will go from here!


I’m behind and still reading chapter 13, but the description of what happens to パルゥ tree once the morning has passed is cracking me up. Feels like the kind of tree you’d find in the Forbidden Forest in Harry Potter.


I’m extremely curious how much of that is 6/7 year old exaggeration and how much is legit. :eyes:


Question from Chapter 13: (when she finishes making the pancakes for the boys)「じゃじゃーん!『オカラで簡単ホットケーキ』! Is this another meme?