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Japanese Book Club | 日本語ブッククラブ

Edinburgh (ELREC)


Join Japanese tutors Elly Darrah (Ippo Ippo Japanese) and Hitomi Kobayashi for a relaxed evening of reading and conversation in central Edinburgh.

  • Event fee: £15 full price; £12 concession. Repeat attendees get £3 off!
  • Venue: ELREC (click here for Google Maps link)

Click here to view a blog post with photos from two recent events.

What is the Japanese Book Club?

The Japanese Book Club is a monthly event through which learners gather to explore a variety of bite-sized materials, with something for all levels, from beginner to advanced. Together, learners can practise their reading skills through the fun-focused approach of 多読 (tadoku), chatting to one another about the stories they discover.

What is 多読 (tadoku)?

多読 (tadoku), sometimes known as "extensive reading" in English, is an approach that focuses on the enjoyment of reading. Tadoku is based on four golden rules:

  1. Start from scratch: begin with easy books you can enjoy without translating.
  2. Don’t use a dictionary.
  3. Skip over difficult words, phrases and passages.
  4. When the going gets tough, quit the book and pick up another.

Click here to find out more.

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How does it work?

The Japanese Book Club takes place monthly. We aim to provide new books (on top of those we already have) at each event.

Each event is divided into three parts.

  • Part 1: intro to 多読 (tadoku) - about 10mins*
  • Part 2: quiet reading time - about 50mins
  • Part 3: conversation - about 30mins

*If you've attended the Japanese Book Club before, you can skip this and go straight to Part 2.

Japanese Book Club_Apr 23 1

At our previous venue, Lighthouse Bookshop

During Part 2, you will be able to pick out books from a broad selection. Books will be separated by level, and Hitomi and Elly will be on hand to help with any questions and guide you towards books you're interested in. Feel free to approach us with requests, e.g. 楽しい昔話を読みたい (I want to read a fun folk talk) or 犬が出てくる話が読みたい (I want to read a story featuring a dog).

In Part 3, we will encourage you to make conversation with your fellow learners about what you have read. While conversation isn't compulsory, if you're happy to give it a go, it's a great way to explore another part of 多読 (tadoku): sharing the joy of reading (without spoilers)! There is no requirement to speak in Japanese, although it is a great chance to do so if you feel able.

During Part 3, the event space will be split into the following areas that you can choose to sit/stand in depending on whether you would like to talk to others and in what language:

  • Japanese・日本語
  • English・英語
  • Japanese or English・日本語でも英語でもどちらでもいい
  • Reading Only・読書のみ
Japanese Book Club_Apr 23 2

Who is the Japanese Book Club for?

The Japanese Book Club is for beginners to advanced learners of Japanese. If you are a beginner, we recommend that you can read at least basic hiragana.

Our events are also ideal for anyone looking for extra chances to practise their spoken Japanese.

As this is a drop-in book club, you don't have to have to commit to attending every event - you're welcome to join as often (or seldom) as you like.

How many people will be there?

We typically welcome around 10-15 people per event.

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At our previous venue, Lighthouse Bookshop

What kind of books will be available?

Books and other materials you'll be able to read at the Japanese Book Club include:

  • Graded readers aimed specifically at learners
  • Japanese children's books
  • Picture books aimed at adults
  • Japanese folk tales
  • Photo collections
  • 4コママンガ (yonkoma manga: manga with just four panels)
  • ZINEs made by Japanese learners

Although 多読 (tadoku) can be applied to any kind of reading, graded readers designed for 多読 (tadoku) tend to be nice and short, with pictures to help you follow the story.

J Book Club 6

Do I need to bring or prepare anything?

We will provide books to read and there's never any advance reading, so all you need is yourself!

If you want to take part in the conversation part of the evening, we encourage you to be ready to introduce yourself in Japanese. (Just your name is fine.)

I can't make the start time. Can I turn up late?

Yes, you're welcome to turn up any time during the event.

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This event will take place in person only.

The venue is accessible via bus (plus a short walk) or bike. ELREC have confirmed that attendees can secure their bikes to the railings directly outside the door or store in the entranceway if need be.

The meeting room we will be using is on the ground flour and is wheelchair accessible with access via ramp. There is also a gender neutral disabled toilet on the ground floor.

During Part 3 of the event, the space will be split into the following areas that you can choose to sit/stand in depending on whether you would like to talk to others and in what language:

  • Japanese・日本語
  • English・英語
  • Japanese or English・日本語でも英語でもどちらでもいい
  • Reading Only・読書のみ
Book Club_ELREC entrance

Venue entrance

Please feel to bring along noise-cancelling headphones, stim toys etc.

Mask policy: masks are not required but we encourage anyone who would prefer to wear one to do so. If you feel ill, we ask that you stay home.

If there is anything we can do to make it easier for you to take part in this event, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Meet the Event Hosts

A profile picture of Japanese tutor Elly Darrah

Elly Darrah


Profile_Hitomi_insta size

Hitomi Kobayashi


Book Now

  • £15 (full price)
  • £12 (concession)*
  • Repeat attendees get £3 off!

*We do not attach any specific criteria to concession bookings. Please use your own judgement when booking.

Note: the following information will be used only for the purpose of this event and will not be shared with any third parties.


Cancellation Policy

If you need to cancel your booking, we can offer the following:

  • 100% of your fee refunded up to 7 days before the event
  • 50% of your fee refunded up to 3 days before the event

We are unfortunately unable to offer refunds any later than 3 days before the event.

Please get in touch as soon as possible if you are unable to attend.

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