on sunday i went to chapters (bookstore), as a reward for also running errands -- buying a home depot gift card, and printer ink cartridges. cunningly i avoided the manga shelves for the most part (except, ok, i fondled the pretty edition of earthian
, but i really would like to have kouga yun's art in a larger format, and hanging on my wall).
the most needed purchase was a very concise japanese grammar
(schaum's). sure, it's been pretty exciting to figure out from listening to drama CDs that japanese must have two classes of adjectives, one that behaves like verbs (and gets conjugated similarly), and one that doesn't, but it's a whole lot easier to read up about that, *wry grin*.
while i am extremely happy with the WWWDIC server
(and my undying gratitude goes to jim breen for creating this wonder), i really like paper dictionaries, and the one thing the WWWDIC server is missing are example sentences that clarify usage. i found a great little (that should be in quotes; we're talking 550 pages) dictionary that fits my needs well at this time, the oxford pocket kenkyusha
. it has kanji, kana, romaji, example sentences, it tells whether a verb is irregular, and it has examples. once i am more advanced i want to buy an electronic dictionary from japan, but it's as yet too soon for that.
the most fantabulous book i bought is the guide to remembering japanese characters
by kenneth g. henshall. it gives details of the "general use characters", the 1,945 characters prescribed by the japanese ministry of education for everyday use, in the order in which japanese school children are taught. it contains on- and -kun readings, english meaning, examples of usage, suggestions for mnemonics (which range from amusing to meh, but are fun to think about), and best of all, scholarly (if compressed) etymology. it doesn't include stroke order, but since i am mostly using a word processor, and have a separate book for that anyway, i don't really care. i am totally excited about this -- i am lugging it along with me between my room, the bathroom, and the computer, *heh*.