I’m a Bookworm 私は本の虫

Isn’t it interesting? The English and Japanese languages have the same expression for “bookworm.”

The Japanese expression is 本の虫. It directly translates to “book insect.”

In French, their word translates to “ink drinker.”

In German, their word translates to “reading rat.”

I love the creative words that each language has for bookworms. 

But I have to admit, I’m not just an avid reader. I’m a re-reader. If I like a book, I put it away on my bookshelf. A few months later, or a few years later, I’ll often pick it up and read it again. 

Sometimes people ask me, “Why do you read the same book so many times?” 

Comfort

Well, one of the reasons is that the book makes me feel comfortable. I love fantasy books because they bring you to a new world. One of my favorite worlds is the world of Charlie’s Chocolate Factory. When I re-read it, I feel like I’m seeing an old friend, or visiting my childhood playground

I already know that my favorite characters will survive. I already know that the villain will be defeated. I can enjoy the story without feeling any anxiety for what’s to come.

Change

Another reason that I enjoy re-reading books is that the story is the same, but I am a different person. When I first read Dracula, I felt excited by the story. I loved vampires, and I rooted for the villain. Now, when I re-read Dracula, it’s a different experience. Affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, I connect with Jonathon, who is trapped in the castle and unable to escape. I can better understand his pain and fears. 

When I was a carefree child, I focused on the carefree characters. But now, as an adult, I notice the struggle of the mature characters.

Language Practice

But my favorite reason for re-reading is to improve my foreign language skills. I’ve read Harry Potter in Japanese twice, and I’ve listened to the audiobook at least ten times. It is fun to read in English, but it’s even more interesting to read it in a new language. Don’t you want to know how other languages translate “He who must not be named,” or “N.E.W.T.s”?

Reading in another language is truly exhilarating. You aren’t just discovering the world of the story, you are discovering the world of a new language.

So how about you? Are you a reader or a re-reader? Which book do you want to try reading in a foreign language?

For beginners, I recommend this free short story: The Neighbor’s Scream.

For advanced learners, I recommend this free novel: The Wizard of Oz.

EnglishJapanese
the same expression同じ表現
directly translate直接翻訳する
(an) ink drinker *不自然な英語インクを飲む人
(a) reading mouse *不自然な英語読むネズミ
(an) avid reader読書人
visit my childhood playground子供ころの遊び場を訪れる
survive生き残る
anxiety不安
what’s to come来るべきこと・これから起きること
root for the villain悪役を応援した
be trapped in a castle城に閉じ込められた
(the) struggle苦労して進むこと
I listened to the audiobook at least 10 times.オーディオブックを10回以上聴いた
exhilarating 陽気にさせる・ワクワクする
Which book do you want to try reading in a foreign language?外国語で何の本を読んでみたい?

Published by Judy Shinohara

Hello! I’m Judy, living in Japan. I write fun stories for people who are studying English. I also teach English and study Japanese.

2 thoughts on “I’m a Bookworm 私は本の虫

  1. Hello! This article is very interesting for me and I am a re-reader exactly like you. Rereading my favorite parts over and over again is one of the most enjoyable things in my life. Of course, comfort is also important to me. I like thrills, but at the same time, I don’t like them. It sounds like a contradiction, but it’s true. Conquering a new thrilling story gives me a sense of achievement, but no pleasure. I’ve always been a re-reader and will forever be a re-reader because I want to get pleasure from reading. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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