2021 Reading challenge!

In 2020, I set myself the challenge to read more widely and include literary fiction, nonfiction and non-crime genre fiction in my readings. It worked very well, and I have greatly extended the range of books that I am reading in Japanese.

In 2021, I want to refocus more on detective fiction, which is, after all, my favourite genre.

So I am very excited to announce my 2021 reading challenge:

It dawned on me that for a fan of detective fiction who loves reading in Japanese, I had never read the adventures of Japan’s first recurring fictional detective, Edogawa Rampo’s private detective Kogoro Akechi (Publications spanned 30 years, from 1925 to 1955.)

I was browsing titles on Amazon but there were so many books (and different editions too) that I didn’t know where to start. I just knew that I wanted to read the books in order if possible. Then I saw this box by publisher 集英社 (shueisha) containing the complete Kogoro Akechi files! The cases are classified in order of occurrence I believe, so this is exactly what I was looking for. I set my heart on reading the whole collection and ordered the box!

The price for 12 books and the box (8900 yen) is somewhat similar to what you would pay if you were to buy all the 12 books separately (assuming a book costs around 700 yen).

I cannot recall ever having such a beautiful set of pocket books 🙂 I was so happy when I opened the box and saw the books so neatly arranged! I like having all my books look the same if they belong to the same series. The publisher made a really good job here, and I love the cover art so much!

It certainly was an ambitious buy, but I see it as an end-of-the-year present to myself and a reward for completing my 2020 reading challenge.

So my reading challenge for 2021 is to read the whole Kogoro Akechi’s cases, or, in other words, to read this whole set.

There are 12 books in total, so it is perfect for a yearly challenge! I believe in quantifiable goals, so to be sure I complete this challenge, I will be reading one book per month. I am not allowed to fall behind or to start a book in advance. For example, if I have finished the first book around January 15th, I will not start the second book before February 1st.

I am so excited about this challenge, and I cannot wait to start!! It is really hard to have this set on my desk and not being able to touch it before January 1st.

I have never read Edogawa Rampo in Japanese (I did read some of his most famous short stories in translation), so I have no clue concerning the Japanese level of his books. I brace myself for some real challenge, but I’m ready for it!

I will update my monthly progress on Twitter, so feel free to follow me there if you are curious to know how I’m doing!

Do you have language/reading goals for 2021? I hope that next year will be better for everyone!