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世界読書コンクール/International L2 Reading Contest

Hey Team.

Today’s is a guest post by Maya, whom you may know as one of AJATT’s most prolific contributors of sweet links of the “reliving childhood joy” variety. Recently, she’s also enjoyed great SRS success with extensive one-by-one deletion of crappy cards.

Anyway, the being known as Maya has now graduated from simply being a good-looking Japanese learner with great taste in blogs, to a good-looking Japanese learner with great taste in blogs who does bribery and extortion 😉 . I’m not saying she threatened my family and offered me money for this post. I’m just saying…I have a PayPal account. So, without further ado, here’s a guest post from Maya herself about a new, free and friendly reading contest!


Hey, you! Yes, YOU!

Do you remember what it was like being a kid? Those good ol’ days, when decisions were made by going “eeny-meeny-miney-moe”? When money problems were settled by the banker in Monopoly, and “old” referred to anyone over 20? When having a lunch box plastered with Power Rangers stickers made you the coolest kid in school, and a trip to Toys ‘R Us seemed way cooler than going to the mall?

Back then, everything you did in school had some connection to something fun. Y’know, those good ol’ days when “learning physics” really meant “watching ‘Bill Nye the Science Guy’ videos”, and math class involved as many pictures and drawings as it did numbers. Back when fifteen whole minutes of reading guaranteed you getting a big, sparkly sticker, thereby making you the superstar of your class.

This April, 2010, I (Maya) am inviting you to go back to those times – to get back into the “if it’s not fun, #’!#& it” mentality. I’m inviting you to join…

世界読書コンクール:L2 Reading Contest Ghetto Fun-Blasting Machine

That’s right – a reading contest. Here’s the scoop:

  • The contest is web-based; everyone, regardless of location, is welcome and encouraged to join
  • Contest starts April 1st, 2010 and ends April 30th, 2010 local time (whatever that is for you)
  • Winner = whoever reads the largest number of pages
  • One “page” = a page in a manga; a page in a book; a webpage; one newspaper article, etc
  • Participants will be encouraged to give weekly updates of their progress (for extra drama), but only the end (monthly) results will be considered final
  • Winners will be awarded sparkly e-stickers, along with the glory of looking cool on the Internet
  • Non-winners will be awarded… not sparkly e-stickers
  • All participants will get the chance to be inspired to do more reading in a month than they might have done otherwise
  • Learners of languages other than Japanese are also welcome to join

That’s all. Participation is (of course) free, and dropping out halfway through is also allowed. If you’d like to join, please leave a comment either under this post or under the post in this link with your name (doesn’t have to be your real name) and the language(s) you will be reading in (for this contest, any reading done in your native language(s) will not count).

That’s about all. Let’s get the reading started!

That’s it. Let the fun begin. Feel free to send any questions/comments you have about the contest to Maya directly since…they’ll actually get answered that way 🙂 .

  35 comments for “世界読書コンクール/International L2 Reading Contest

  1. March 26, 2010 at 12:12

    I’m old enough to admit I watched Mr. Wizard’s World which pre-dated Bill Nye the science guy. But count me the eff in.

    Sounds fun.

    If anything, it will show how many pages I get in casually.

    Although, I’m not sure if a page of manga counts as a page of normal book, but I’m nitpicking, this is supposed to be fun. 🙂

  2. BlueFinger
    March 26, 2010 at 12:52

    Name: BlueFinger
    Language: Japanese

    I hope I end up reading ANY japanese at all! Let’s do it!

  3. Maya
    March 26, 2010 at 13:24

    @Jaybot7: I had the “should manga count” reservation as well… but I’ve also come across some manga that’s quite verbose, and I didn’t want to get into “how many words per page of manga do you need for it to count”… plus I figure a lot of people on here probably read tons of manga anyway, so might as well allow it.

    @Everyone: I’m getting more replies in less time than I expected; to make this simple, if you’ve left a comment here or under the post in the link, consider yourself entered. I’ll get a formal list of participants up once the contest actually starts.

  4. Chuck
    March 26, 2010 at 15:42

    A beginner reading a page of manga could be like someone more experienced reading a page in a book.

  5. shikantaza
    March 26, 2010 at 16:03



  6. March 26, 2010 at 16:56

    Mr. Wizard 0wns Bill Nye!!! lol
    Captain Kangaroo, also, Jaybot? (Mr. Green Jeans lol)

  7. Nukemarine
    March 26, 2010 at 17:02

    Well I look at it mathematically: I read a 160 page manga in about 2 hours. I can read about 20 pages of an easy going book (like Harry Potter or Drama Scripts) in about 2 hours.

    Good skills and fun to all that try this contest. Maybe you can get “sponsors” that’ll donate a 1 cent for every page you read to their favorite charity (sorry Khatzmoto, you don’t count as a Charity).

  8. フランク様
    March 26, 2010 at 17:29

    Name: Frank
    Language: Japanese


  9. Tommy Newbhall
    March 26, 2010 at 22:54

    Perfect timing, i was already planning on being unemployed next month, so now I’ve got something to do. I now just have to find a new 24-volume manga like the one I just finished

    on a technical note, how should we keep track of pages to be “fair”?


  10. Maya
    March 27, 2010 at 00:53

    @Everyone: after some more thought, I’ve decided that I will slightly change the rule concerning manga: 10 pages of manga (regardless of how verbose the manga is) will count as 1 page. ATM I’m thinking that’s about as fair as we’re going to get without getting into boring, gritty word-counting.

  11. March 27, 2010 at 01:14

    Name: Syk3
    Language: 日本語

    I’ve been meaning to really jump into reading lately, so perhaps this is the excuse I was looking for. Kind of like Khatzumoto’s goal of 100 movies in a month, I’m going to aim for 1000 pages considering my current average of probably only a couple manga chapters a week. :/

    BTW, weekly updates as in Twitter, or something else?

  12. March 27, 2010 at 01:57



  13. Maya
    March 27, 2010 at 02:19

    @Syk3: if you follow the links provided in this post, you should be taken to a seperate blog I created on livejournal specifically for this contest. All updates/info about this contest will be posted on that blog.

  14. March 27, 2010 at 02:23


    No, it’s not my native language. (Neither is english, lol. But… I’m not doing English because that’s waaaaay too easy, I’m pretty fast reader in English.)

  15. Maya
    March 27, 2010 at 02:46

    @Everyone: I’ve put up a growing/expanding list of participants:

  16. Maya
    March 27, 2010 at 02:59

    @Tommy (& everyone, actually): If you scroll down a bit on this page, where it says “Bio,” I expand somewhat as to what constitutes 1 page:

    Let me know if you have any specific questions/doubts about what counts as a page… I might put up a post a few days before the contest starts talking about this to make sure everyone’s (ha, ha) on the same page.

  17. Maya
    March 27, 2010 at 03:21

    @Everyone: I’ve created a twitter account for this contest, in order to facilitate communication! Username is L2ReadingCon:

  18. o
    March 27, 2010 at 08:01

    Fantastic idea, Maya!

    I’m in.

    My name’s o.
    Language is Japanese.

    P.S. You might want to amend your latest tweet, the URL got messed up a little by the bracket at the end of it.

  19. Jean
    March 27, 2010 at 08:35

    Name: Jean
    Language: Japanese

  20. Fdsfdaafsd
    March 27, 2010 at 09:13

    hmmm maybe this should be fun. I’ve already fallen down the kanji road. It should be interesting to test how much random Japanese I can read. Okay put me down as: Fdsfdaafsd since that’s my youtube name. People should join too since it’s a good chance to test your skills and patience.

  21. Nukemarine
    March 27, 2010 at 10:58

    Here’s a tip I developed here: which actually is pretty simple but should help your reading.

    1. Copy a dramanote script, internet post, newspaper, whatever into a text processor (open office is good here). I like to use dramanote scripts of shows I’ve watched.

    2. Change the text to be about 16pt type.

    3. Change the columns to be 2 columns, with about 1/2 inch spacing.

    4. Add a header section showing the source/drama and the page number

    5. Print out the script (portrait orientation)

    6. Now the interesting part – Shuffle the pages up.

    7. Read just 1 column (either right or left), then go to the next page and read the opposite columns.

    This simulates both splitting audio from dramas into 4 minute segments (the amount of time it takes to read 1 column) and the shuffle function on your iPod. Your reading pace improves just as your comprehension of audio improves as you listen to dramas.

    Just keep adding more pages to the mix as you go on.

    PS: Works REALLY REALLY well with scripts from dramas you ran through subs2srs.

  22. March 27, 2010 at 18:26

    That’s a pretty awesome idea Nukemarine. Certainly sounds like it makes it more exciting to read since it’s not starting from the same spot over and over. I’m going to give that a try! Thanks. 🙂

  23. Macca
    March 27, 2010 at 20:50

    It’s on!

    I really struggle getting through an entire novel in a reasonable period of time (stop to SRS this, then that, then you never finish). This should be some good motivation.

  24. Macca
    March 27, 2010 at 20:58

    Name: Macca
    Language: 日本語

  25. March 28, 2010 at 01:23

    I just started 海辺のカフカ this week and should finish it in the end of the contest so that like 1600 pages. I’m in!

    Language: 日本語

  26. Anon (?)
    March 29, 2010 at 10:25

    Curiously, Khatz’s name has disappeared from the registered list.
    Is he not participating? I believe I saw his name a couple of days ago .. ;-;

    … and here I was curious to see how much reading you put out!

    oh well. Let the learning tournament resume. 🙂

  27. Maya
    March 29, 2010 at 22:14

    @Everyone: I’ve put a new post up with some rules/procedures about the contest:

    Feel free to contact me if you still have any questions/comments/concerns!

  28. Fuamnach
    March 31, 2010 at 06:15

    Name: Fuamnach
    Language: Japanese

    Great idea, just the kick up the rear end needed 😀 I will read only Bleach; it averages two lines of dialogue per page 😛 jk

  29. Jonsan
    March 31, 2010 at 14:18

    If its not too late please count me in.

    Name: Jonsan
    Target language: Japanese

    I have a 7 week old son so I may not get much done but I’ll give it a go.

    I am also horrendously lazy with loads of book lying around waiting to be read.

    Let the reading begin!

  30. Maya
    March 31, 2010 at 20:14


    Keep in mind that for manga, 10 actual pages only counts as 1 “page” (the rule has been changed). See this post for more details:

  31. April 1, 2010 at 00:48

    @ Jonsan: Congratulations! Welcome to the club, on both accounts.

  32. Elaine
    April 1, 2010 at 06:05

    Name: Elaine
    Language: Japanese

    I just blew lots of money at Kinokuniya picking up new texts, so the timing on this is perfect!

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