Tag Archives: books

BUYING JAPANESE BOOKS FOR STUDYING JAPANESE

11   pikaruu

SO far I am at around 110 books?  I know it’s more because i don’t register every book on dokusho meter because i don’t want to be associated with shitty books. and i’m excited to reach 200 and i certainly have a long list of shit i want to read so there’s no problem in that department. it’s just a matter of time. if 2015 and half of 2015 wasn’t so shitty i might’ve already reached 200 books and i am not exaggerating. it’s incredible what a difference changing jobs can make. BUT 2017 should be better for that reason alone.

I do not mean textbooks. and btw I don’t think Korean books can be bought on the cheap unless you go to book off in Korea, right?  I have no interest in reading books in Korean anyway so it works out great for me but curious if you’re shit of luck if your target language is Korean.

I think tae Kim and RIKAI-CHAN and google is PLENTY. I never bought a Japanese grammar book and I KNOW my Japanese grammar. it is not necessary and I’m glad I never bothered! FREE FOR THE WIN.  I mean books to enjoy reading whether it’s books with furigana ( I only have one book with furigana over all the kanji and that was because that was the only way that particular book was printed because the publisher wanted everyone to be able to read the story), light novel ( love slayers… not interested in loli moe gag shit that are plaguing and ruining anime nowadays), hard covers, bunko, manga, etc….

ANYWAYS 2 ways to buy books are in person and online. the option for in person is book off if you’re in south Korea or japan or NY or California… go to the site to find out more locations. There’s kurokuniya but it’s so expensive and you can find books people sold from kurokuniya (whatev it is called)  kinokuni? to book-off. I went to kinikuniya and gasped and left lol. It’s only good for window shopping.  for online there’s cdjapan and honto.jp?? and buying services but… I don’t want to pay for EMS shipping

here’s the list

CDJAPAN.NET

PHYSICAL BOOK STORES LIKE BOOK-OFF, KUROKUNIYA

HONTO.JP (EMS ONLY – EXPENSIVE)

AMAZON.CO.JP (only if the seller sends internationally. you find out by putting the stuff in your cart and checking it out but delivery is relatively fast… like a few days! )

TENSO (FORWARDING SERVICE which opens you up to all Japanese websites ie amazon)

cdjapan.net and my rationalization! 

so I love book off in NYC because of the prices   like the 1 dollar section. there have been books where they’ll be in both the 1 dollar section and the regular price section which ranges from 3-5 dollars or even more if it’s hard cover or immaculate condition (but honestly everything in the stores seems to be good condition for the most part)  and so in that case I go for the 1 dollar one because there is no discernible difference between the 2 in quality. sometimes the 1 dollars are books are a little more busted or yellowed but usually they’re in good quality. BUT it’s far for me now like 2 hours so if take in the time it takes to travel there and the cost it costs to go there and the selection (it’s limited in that whatever’s there is there.) and blahblah cdjapan.net price isn’t that bad.  CDjapan sells new books so they’re going to range from 4-6 dollars unless it’s new or hardcover etc. (then it can go up higher) and gives you options for the shipping so I go for the cheapest because there’s no rush!!! I don’t understand people’s obsession with expedited EMS shipping and all that. Like with any overseas transactions you gotta experiment and see what weight will give you the most bang for your buck with the shipping.  What I love about CDJAPAN is that I can buy books that I can’t buy at bookoff there and they’re all new…. so I try my best to not buy anything I can buy at book off…. like popular stuff. Like I said in the beginning considering the circumstances the price that I pay at cdjapan isn’t that bad but you know in case I ever go to nyc I don’t want to buy something for 7 dollars if I can get it for 1 dollar or 3 dollars etc… like I said I’m not impatient. I can wait a year or years.  Unfortunately cdjapn can only sell books that are print ( but even if it’s in print sometimes they don’t carry it… there’s one book I WANTD TO READ AND IT WAS SO WORTH IT but it was not on cdjapan and it is definitely not out of print because it’s not that old.. they can’t possibly carry every fikin’ book. btw that books is ZOO 2 by otsuchi … IHIGHLLY RECOMMEND zoo 1 btw. btw I found it book off 😃 curiosity satisfied but I think I liked zoo 1 more) … so I can’t buy any ZEPPAN books 😦 it’s not like I’m obsessed with obscure books. it so happens some books that I want to read are not in print anymore. I am keeping a list of those books in evernote and dokusoh meter and whatnot and hopefully once that list is long enough and I carefully assess if they’re worth reading or not based off amazing reviews etc. I may look into a buying service in japan so I can buy used versions of them. book-off is a hit or miss because you can find some treasures and other times I know what I want to buy and they don’t have it which can’t be helped because it’s a used book store. what I want is a Japanese library because I don’t like buying shit. for English I try to borrow everything from the library.

here’s the other rationalization. I don’t spend money on stuff I don’t need to. I realize a lot of the times there’s an option to not buy something. you don’t need to buy coffee from Starbucks or decorations or candles or febreeze ( candles and febreeze are bad for your health) or soda  or perfume (why do people pay money to SMELL LIKE SHIT) or cigarettes. one of the things I thought of as a little girl was that I never want to become that 40/50 year old woman who douses herself in perfume everyday and upset everyone with her presence or  in other words emit effluvium. I think overapplying perfume is one of the most embarrassing things ever. I am anti-perfume so I wish people do not use it or make it etc. It is toxic.) or fast food  or snacks (I  actually prefer to starve or fast depending on how you want to construe it since it takes many days to starve to death – thank you books about north Korea- if it’s not necessary for me to buy and eat crap. according to a very INTERESTING book about notrh Korea they knew from experience how many days if takes women and men to die from starvation and it takes longer for women. it’s so scary and CREEPY that they have this knowledge from the wealth of anecdotal experience… why do that to your OWN PEOPLE over the dumbest shit).  there are some shit they sell in cvs’s etc. that I do not understand why they bother producing it and why people bother buying it… stuff like frivolous Christmas decorations and whatnot especially plastic crap that’s bad for your health. and it’s always the people who make minimum wage + too many children who spend on that stuff… WHY??? (well they’re not very smart so it’s not surprising. but seriously if you’re a teen mom what do you want your daughter to become a teen mom? of course not.  I think if my mom was a teen mom I would think she’s a dumb shit and hope I’m smarter than her and I only say harsh things like this because i’ve met impudent teen parents) but anyways I think a lot of the stuff that are sold and bought are so unnecessary and impart negative consequences on the environment and people around you etc. anyways it is one of my rationalization as to why I think it’s not so bad that I’m spending on money on Japanese books… I can’t borrow japanes books because I live in the usa and my only option it to buy and I go the cheapest route by choosing the slowest shipping and i’ve used my cdjapan points to save money and… reading is GOOD for your mind.  It makes sense spending money on this vs other shit.

In case this puts someone’s mind at ease I am happy to report that my “haul” from cdjapan went swimmingly and all my crap was in mint condition as it should since they’re all new 😀 I think it averaged out to 6 or 7 dollars per book including the cost of shipping. I cant make myself spend 11 dollars on a book. it’s too much!! i’ll wait the few years lol (usually works for popular books… when I go to book-off). I am happy to report that cdjapan is worth it and I don’t feel like I’m spending a fortune on books. they’re new and it’s convenient because they’re sent to my door and I get to choose the shipping method and I get points for my birthday blahblahlh.

AMAZON.CO.JP

OMG I cannot believe I never looked into this. the shipping is only 10 dollars!!! well for whatever I ordered it was 10 dollars so it was totally worth it. I always assumed that the shipping cost would be obscene so I never looked into amazon.co.jp since I live in the USA. This is a route that is absolutely worth taking if you are buying a large set of books like the whole set of a manga series or a book series, etc.  Otherwise you’re spending 10 dollars shipping per book. BTW not all sellers sell internationally. for the books I wanted to order only one seller would ship it to the USA so I am lucky :D. The downside to amazon.co.jp is that it’s only worth buying bulk so it’s not a good idea to order bulk of something you have NEVER read with the assumption that you’ll like it regardless of all the 5 star reviews on some site. sometimes the reason reading isn’t enjoyable in Japanese is because the book sucks rather than your shitty Japanese abilities. saying. There are some amazing books I’m compatible with that makes reading the Japanese language so PLEASANT AND FUN AND EFORTLESS AND THERE ARE SOME awful authors that are so frivolous and awful and it doesn’t take THAT many pages to figure that out. Now I haven’t read the full series so I cannot completely say my purchase was worth the money but I had read a few volumes so based on that it’s likely I’ll like the rest. EDIT: I ‘m almost done reading it was worth it.

ANOTHER option is TENSO which is a forwarding service. what you’d do is order books from online and have it sent to an address in japan then have them send them to you. I think I want to try it one day once I have a long enough list because I believe only EMS is available and that is HELLA  expensive. there are some books I am dying to read that aren’t available through the other channels.

Lastly I need to include some deodorizing tips for old books whether they’re from Book-off or amazon or whatever other reason. I’ve researched my fairshare oN THE INTERNET. here’s the info without the BS

DE-ODORIZING TIPS

BAKING SODA – get a big plastic tub, pour baking soda in it, put in some kind of mesh or grid like thing in the plastic tub so you can put the books in the tub without them touching the baking soda but still get exposed to the baking soda via the air. I’d say give it a few days or a weeeek. REPEAT as needed.. do not throw away the baking soda. save it to clean stuff like your bathtub or to stain treat your white shirts with the nasty, unsightly yellow stains.  mix HYDROGEN peroxide and dish soap to get a super useful paste to clean ANYTHING.

NEWSPAPER- put newspapers between the pages. It’s not necessary to do every page (maybe if the book is THAT bad). I’d say every 10-20 pages. give it a few days, a week. REPEAT as needed.

FREEZER + NEWSPAPER – place book in a ziplock bag then put it in the freezer. I say employ the newspaper method on top of it for good measure in case there’s moisture so that the book is not subjected to the full brunt of the it.. Leave in for 3 days.  the freezer has to do with mold I think…

NEWSPAPER – by it self.

AIR IT OUT – I’d say you’d have to it leave it for many hours to notice a difference. Of course the book has to be open with the pages exposed to the air/wind to make a difference. It’s tricky because you want air/wind but you don’t want the sun on the book. don’t forget about uva rays. they are omnipresent.  so I don’t recommend leaving them out for more than a few hours in shade.

SUN – sun is good and bad… you gotta think of the pros vs cons with the sun depending on the condition of your book. Sun kills germs and helps rid any excess moisture in the book which may make a difference. if you leave your book in direct sunlight for too long you’ll damage the book. the pages will turn darker and if you leave it in the sun long enough it will smell like the sun (which smells awful in my opinion). I think it’s unnecessary unless your book has serious smells/issues.  I read somewhere it takes 6 minutes for the sun to kill whatever germs it is capable of killing.

there are way too many fun books to read. do not waste time hauling textbooks. the fact that you’re hauling textbooks is very telling that you seem to be wasting money and you’ll NEVER BECOME FLUENT

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IMPROVING ENGLISH VOCABULARY IN A PRACTICAL AND SMART WAY ✿

I came with a marvelous idea for using anki to improve my english vocabulary. I didn’t a lot of books when I was in school and I regret it because I had time and reading is so good for you.  Because I’m so aware and critical of my english abilities from spending a majority of my time in Japanese I’ve been proactive with English. If I come across a word that’s unknown to me I look it up whether it’s from the internet or books. I’ve SUSSUGAKUbeen using my iphone’s  merriam webster application for that. It allows me to star words and browse “history” where it shows all the words I looked up (it’s pretty long so I don’t know if it keeps all of it or up to a certain extent. I never bothered scrolling all the way down that). It bothered me that this application doesn’t have an export feature where you can export all the words you starred or looked up so that you’d have a very relevant and possibly familiar vocabulary list (some of the words are SO rare or specific with the definition i really doubt i’ll come across it again).  I finally had an epiphany on how to use it to expand my english vocabulary EFFECTIVELY.  One of my reasons I was discouraged from using anki to learn english vocabulary was that I didn’t want to add every english word that I don’t know that I come across because it gets inefficient because some of thesUntitlede words may not be worth putting in my deck bcause it’s too common (and I didn’t realize yet somehow since I spend most of my time in japnaese) or it’s too rare (as in useless but you know knowledge is power. perhaps not but for my purposes I would like to learn the most USEFUL frequent difficult english words that I dont’ know). For Japanese i pretty much do this where i put almost all words i don’t know in my deck or i put in que to add to my deck (que has been collecting a lot of dust). I can’t do this to myself for english because it’s my NATIVE LANGUAGE.  My motivation for proactively  learning english words is so that I can enjoy what I read more easily (for some things there’s words that come up that i don’t know and then when i look it up i think it’s so useful but somehow i don’t know it and i couldn’t have guessed the meanign, decrease word look-up, keep up with poeple my age (I’ve read those stories of people who were completely fluent and articulate and then went to a foreign country and could not speak fluently anymore after a few years because they have no one to talk to… and i’m sure because they don’t come into contact with their native language their vocabulary grown as much as other people their age in their home country), and so i dont’ look like a fool lol. I also like being productive and achieving things. I want to grow. I can’t imagine a year or 2 years passing and have nothing to show for myself. I’m talking about those people that play games on ipad and facebook all day when they could be accomplishing real shit like learning languages, reading books. ALSO I HAD concerns about the reading method for learning words. I recently had several instances where I saw the “unknown” word in the sentence and realized it’s actually familiar and that I’ve looked it up in the past (more than once or twice sometimes) and I had this new context in this sentence and I could not for the love of god remember the definition even vaguely. all i could remember is that the word doesn’t sound like what it means and I remember looking it up multiple times before and I remember feeling satisfied withthe definition in the sense thta after havingread the definition I thought the choice of the word was perfect.  I know people say you’ll pick it up from context and seeing it multiple times but here i am looking at a word i ‘ve seen in context at least 2 times in the past and looked up 2 times in the past and it’s staring at me and it’s familiar but the DEFINITION does not come to me. i read the definition again and it’s as if i’ve never read it lol or i go oh yeah it DOES NOT sound like what it means. some words they don’t sound like what they mean at all or even opposite. sometimes the word sounds harsh or soft or something so i have something to go on to have it be memorable. so anyways this happened to be several times with several words and it made me think wow so much wasted effort.

anyways the EPIPHANY. maybe it’s not superb enough to call it an epiphany but in case someone else finds it helpful i wanted to share.

I found the perfect way to achieve my goals while addressing my concerns. the solution is use anki and use the MCD format where you blank out a part of the word or definition or both and then put what goes in the blank on the back of the card

EXAMPLE ( i KNOW THIS WORD, don’t worry. i learned it years ago)

FRONT: MELANCHOLY
depres____ of spirits : DEJECTION

===========================

BACK:  sion

I can do whatever format i want to do on the front depending on the word. for example i might put the sentence on the front as well. but the format always HAS to include the DEFINITION on the front otherwise it’s pointless. it fixes the problem i juts mentioend above about wasting effort where i can only remember the word vaguely but cannot recall the definition whatsoever despite multiple look-ups in the psat.  It’s up to me how i’ll tailor the format for a certain word.

the second rule is that the word that I put in my anki deck has to be “useful” or “easy to rezelllmembeR” (sounds like what it means etc).   I either come across a word that satisfies one of those criteria and keep it in mind or write it down and then add it later or scroll through my m-w history and starred words  (like I have to be strict with adding the useful and easy to remember words. there’s so many words there so i feel like I want to know all these so i’m smarter but clearly it’s counter-intuitive to add all those words unless they all happen to fit my criteria. some of them SO OBSCURE). It’s such a relief that my countless look-ups aren’t completely for nil. one way to satisfy the criteria of “useful” is multiple look-ups with the word or familiarity with the word only and none with the definition like I mentioned before. I’ll give you one of those words. it was AUSTERE. here’s the long entry on m-w

1 a : stern and cold in appearance or manner b : SOMBER, GRAVE <an austere critic>
2 : morally strict : ASCETIC
3 : markedly simple or unadorned <an austere office> <an austere style of writing>
4 : giving little or no scope for pleasure <austere diets>
5 of a wine : having the flavor of acid or tannin predominant over fruit flavors usually indicating a capacity for aging
synonyms see SEVERE

btw for the card i used concise dictionary. both of these dictionaries are on lingoes (google and download if interested in an internet free dictionary though i’ sure everyone is connected 24/7 nowadays) for me.

to me austere sounds like something FANCY, chic or something that has to do with trees or nature. so every time i looked it up the definition did not match what it sounds like to me so the disparity stood out to me but I could never remember the definition. with this card format i can remember it somewhat effortlessly. i have to put in the effort of anki but at least the format isn’t painful and USELESS like front; word, back: definition. that’s the worst format for me personally lol.. i know that’s the DEFAULT if not the ONLY format for index cards for those kids in high school that are like helpless sheep that follow all the bs of shitty study methods. nonetheless that’s just my opinion so feel free to disregard it!  I’m very excited to see how this will work out and I will update on it if it explodes in my face somehow.

===

MY NEXT ENTRY will be on learnig korean and something I watched recently on korean. Sometimes I don’t have that spark or interest with watching shows but once in a while I get really excited about watching a show and i actually enjoyed watching almost every minute of the show.  those are the best when you have your craving, you “digest it” and it’s just as good as you anticipated it to be if not better. what happened was i didn’t feel like watching even though i downloaded a shitton load of japanese tv and i have so many bookmarks to youtube videos, more japanese tv shows, korean shows , and i hvae my american shows on the streaming etc…. then i found about an episode of a korean show and i thought  i HAVE TO watch it so i tracked down the file and got it and watched it. it satiated me lol. I also added a bunch of words to my deck but my comprehension good nonetheless 🙂

Stuff I did not memorize

besides hiragana and katakana (by memorize I mean drilling how to  write it. I learned the stroke order but I nevre made myself learn how to write it without looking at anything etc etc because i know it’s a waste of time and I should use that time to read more and then i’ll be able to write without looking at anything with ease.. I do not understand those weeaboo peple that are so obssessed with writing/speaking japanese when they don’t understand any or much japanese. i nevre understood it and they wonder why they suck at speaking. it’s like come on grow a brain) , I did not memorize iroha + abc order of hiragana. Iroha is japanese version of black dog jumped over lazy fox whateverghe hell thaT sentence is. I see the value of learning the abc order for English and Korean since they both have around 20 something letters (compared to 50 in japanese) and like using the dictionary and daily stuff… especially for Korean theres mad value since once you get consonant down when you’re searching the dictionary then you search for the vowel then the constant or vowel and maybe another consanant/vowel. It sounds difficult and complicated but what I’m saying is it’s faster using a paper Korean dictionary than paper English dictionary for this reason.

I think using a paper dictionary for japanese is a biggest waste of time ever especially because I know how an english/korean dictionary work. because 1 memorizing the order of the crap is a lot? i mean  I just looked it up because I just assume it’s a e i o u because that’s how it is in spanish with at least saying the vowel sounds in order.
looking up it starts off as
a i  u e o
ka ki ku ke ko

so basically i never meomrized this order. I used some kanji book before that didn’t really teach me as much as actual reading and heisig which listed the hiragana dnad katakana order in abc order on thejacket or whatever and so  i’ve seen the order and i have some vague idea of if something is towards the front of the japanese abc  order or not.  I never went on to go on to try to memorize it or learn it or whatever because I see no value because looking up japanese is best electronically unless for some reason there’s some amazing paper dictioary that has words that google nor an electrical dictionary does not have.  not only you gotta do the abc order with the 50 sounds, you also gotta deal with small tsu or small yo or dakuten, you also gotta deal with the damn homophones and there’s a chance if you’re looking up a word made up of 2 kanji with their onyomis combined there probably is a homophone so you gotta waste time skipping over homophones you don’t care about. Also online is so convenient with he various of settings of it starts with or u set it as it ends with or you search by the sound instead of the kanji or you set it as exact match and depending on the situation it’ll be easier to find out sanseido than yahoo jp doc.

so if memorzing the abc order is this useless why the hell would i memorize iroha. abc order is useful if you go a bookstore and you want to find the section for your author or title or whtaever in the shelves but i think that’s really minor my “general/blurred” knowledge of abc order is enough to guide me.  at most maybe i know that it goes vowels -> k – sounds- > m sounds some sounds -> r-sounds> n lol.

I’ve actually heard them sorta recite the alphabet or maybe it wasn’t the alphabet because on the tv show they were trying to improve their enunciation or pronounciation or whatver so they can talk fast and clearly through all this news mumbo jumbo with all them kanji compound words like a newscaster BY saying weird stuff. it’s probably in the link on the side that says katsuzetsu in japanese

I’d rather learn babigo than learn the abc order of hiragana lol.  my blurred/general is enough. I’ll struggle searching for the book in bookoff they probably won’t have it anyway so who cares lol.