Tadoku Again! What to Read?

Kafka! Again!

Tadoku is coming again!

I haven’t performed very well in the Tadoku competitions. I do read a lot of Japanese daily, because it’s my life, but I have trouble sticking to whatever novel it was that I picked for the contest. Also, I’m too lazy to record pages of games or random webpages that I read. So, I only record the books. Anyway, excuses over. I’m going to pick up where I left off in Kafka By the Shore 海辺のカフカ and join Tadoku again this time!

I think I need to learn to abide by this Tadoku philosophy from Professor Sakai of tadoku.org. (Saw this from Lingosteve’s blog, props!)

1) do not look words up in the dictionary
2) if you are stuck, move on, don’t ask questions
3) if you do not like what you are reading, get something else to read.

I have an OCD habit of writting down any unknown Japanese that I encounter, looking it up, and adding it to my Anki deck. This slows me down. I love it though… but I guess Tadoku is not the time for that. I’ll try to kick the OCD habit for one month and just read more (or die)!

Are you going to Tadoku? What are you going to read?

If you haven’t decided on anything yet here are some ideas…

Anything on Aozora Bunko.

Use Japanese Literature at Bedtime to get MP3s of famous Japanese stories available on Aozora Bunko, and read while listening. Awesome.

Get some of the readers from TheJapanShop.com. Full disclosure, I’m friends with TheJapanShop.com owner, but seriously, the stuff is legit. They are traditional Japanese stories, read by a native Japanese speaker, and you get the Kanji readings and English translation as well. The audio files are all separated so if you like you can listen to the straight-up no-help Japanese. Good stuff. For example, 注文の多い料理店 by Miyazawa Kenji.

Liana has also posted links to tons of great stuff. Check out her list of extensive reading material online.

Anyone have other ideas for stuff to read?? Do tell!

Related Posts:
How I use my Kindle
Podcast Recommendation – Audio for Ningen Shikkaku


  • I’m lucky enough to live in Japan, so I’ll have a big choice of lovely, cheap books. I enjoyed reading books by Kotaro Isaka and Keigo Higashino recently, so I’ve got one by each author lined up. We’ll see how it goes.

  • Hi, this is emmie and I’m doing English tadku for about ten years by now.
    If you’re curious to know more about how Japanese tadoku doers enjoy reading English, come join tadoku.org or tadoku community in goodreads. Three golden rules are necessary, especially for Japanese, because we’re emphasize looking up dictionaries whenever we encounter new words at school, but if you’re not that addicted to dictionaries, then it’s ok to look it up once in a while, but it could end up shrinking your joy of reading and you won’t be reading as many books as you should  in the end…
    And another important point for tadoku is to start extremely easy book, such as picture books for toddlers, ever you’re an advanced languages learners. Books for children are packed with the core of its culture, I believe. It’s costly, I know, but surprisingly rewarding.
    Oh, it’s got long for the first time comment. I have a blog, shall we tadoku, if you’re interested in. お互い、 コンテスト楽しみましょうね!

  • I made a bit of a resource page a while back; some of it is the same as Liana’s I think, but some isn’t.


  • I’ve been doing this for reading Japanese for a while now.  What I find is that’s it’s amazing for improving your reading skill and speed, and you enjoy the books a lot more than if you rely on a dictionary.

    However, if you don’t have a big enough vocabulary, you won’t understand enough of the book to really enjoy it.

    And learning vocabulary this way is just about impossible.  Even in English, when I come across a new word, I use a dictionary.

    So I have a compromise for Japanese.  I read without a dictionary most of the time.  When I come to a part of the text that I’m sure is important and I’m missing the point, I pull out the dictionary and go to town for that passage.  Afterwards, I go back to not using a dictionary.  

    It’s not uncommon for me to go 3 or 4 reading sessions in a row without a dictionary for things that are only slightly above my level.