Very quickly, some thoughts on the first reading contest this year:
I’ve progressed. A lot. It never really seems like it when you’re in the middle of it, but, like watching a plant grow, you notice when you measure at longer intervals. The last one, six months ago, I finished with just over 200 pages. Today – and mind you I didn’t really read at all yesterday because I was quite late getting back from the relatives’ where I was for New Years – I have 50 pages already. So essentially one day in I’ve been able to read 25% of what took me a month, half a year ago. That’s pretty much all I did today so I won’t be making that much progress on average, but still, I’m happy with that.
It isn’t just quantity either. Last time I was struggling with the level three graded readers. This time, today I flew through one of the eight level four readers I have, without having to look up a single thing. Nearly all the grammar made sense, too; just a couple spots where too much okurigana was piled up and I had to really think about it. Good thing I have six of these left to read, and I wish I had more.
However; most of my reading today was manga (the delightful スケッチブック) and that is still a lot harder than the readers, which are written with carefully correct grammar – you know, the sort the books teach you. But that’s exactly why I’m concentrating on manga this time.
About the contest itself: wow, lots of people! And most that signed up are actually reading, too. We had some troubles with the bot at first (everyone should just be on GMT. Let’s make a rule.), but LordSilent was on the case and fixed it right away. Lots of credit and thanks are due in that direction. So far I’d say this go round is a big success.
In the introduction to the graded readers, there are written the four rules of extensive reading, and I thought others might be interested in this as well: