Ascendance of a Bookworm


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A bookworm who had finally found a job as a librarian at a university was sadly killed shortly after graduating from college.

She was reborn as Myne, the daughter of a soldier in a world where the literacy rate is low and books were scarce. No matter how much she wanted to read, there were no books around. What is a bookworm to do without any books? Make them, of course.

Her goal is to become a librarian! So that she may once again live surrounded by books, she must start by making them herself.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Ascendence of a Bookworm: I'll Stop at Nothing to Become a Librarian
El Ratón de Biblioteca
Honzuki no Gekokujou: Shisho ni Naru Tame ni wa Shudan wo Erandeiraremasen
La Petite Faiseuse de Livres
本好きの下剋上 ~司書になるためには手段を選んでいられません~
책벌레의 하극상
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Kumo Desu ga, Nani ka? (3)
Recommendation Lists
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  3. The novel whose adaptation made me come here
  4. Isekai Fantasy | #1
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New sweven-dragons rated it
February 19, 2024
Status: c103
In one word, this series is disappointing. I've only read to where the translations stopped, but also went to the Fandom Wiki to see the rest of the plot so know a bit more. The issues I have with this series differ from what some other people have mentioned, so wanted to leave a review to give another viewpoint.

The translation is passable but has too many issues to be considered decent. TL couldn't decide how they wanted to spell multiple names, including the MC's. While it's fine for a TL... more>> to decide to change the spelling of names, they need to go back and fix them in earlier chapters too. There are also incorrectly loaded chapters, so in certain sections near the end, it skips some very important stuff and you only see the aftermath.

A notable issue for me is that the author wants the MC to be a minor too much, there's no excuse other than the author being a lolicon. MC starts as physically 6 and the series end when she's physically 14 I think? There's too much emphasis on the MC being petite, child-like, younger than she looks, frail, delicate, has to constantly be carried around by male characters, etc.


The author seems to really want romance since MC is engaged a few times and there are plenty of romance flags. Even if she's mentally an adult, it still feels weird. She even loses 2 years of physical growth by being poisoned and put into a coma which doesn't help. It's fine to have petite/delicate/etc MCs, but author seems to be going to too many lengths to emphasize MC is loli. It would also be bad if she was written as being too mature looking for her age (like big b**bs or whatever) but the answer is still to age up via time skips or something which the author is apparently allergic to doing.

The fact she gets together with Ferdinand from my understanding is even worse. Ferdinand is constantly referred to as her mentor/guide/patron and even pseudo-legal guardian in a sense. Teacher/student couples can be interesting but there are lines that can't be crossed which are here. Even if Ferdinand knows about her first life, the fact is that an adult man over 20 meets and guides a 6-year-old to 14 and feels a romantic attraction to her including her physical state. Even if she's mentally older, that doesn't change the fact it feels disgusting.

Just because nobility in irl medieval times got married very young, fantasy is fantasy for a reason. It doesn't have to follow any historical trends unless the author writes it. Plus the MC's modern sensibilities didn't kick in any?? Even if Ferdinand thinks it's normal, that doesn't mean she should. I've only read about this in synopsis/spoilers, but have no reason to doubt it and am extremely disappointed to see it.


The pacing sucks. It feels like the author wrote a list of major plot points down and followed them without adding anything for transitions. It's like listening to a song with only lyrics and no instrumental transitions. It might not be bad but it's boring because it's only 1 note and too abrupt since things aren't connected well.


The merchant arc is about 1 year, and the priest arc is also around 1 year. I get that she only could start the priest arc after her baptism but like... the author could have just made the baptism age older or something. And there's no time to see what some of this stuff actually does to the society she's in.

Her big thing for a long time was making paper but the second she makes paper it's no longer a big deal. There's a little dispute with the people who make parchment but then it's resolved in the next chapter. They also keep talking about how she's able to sell the paper to get more funds but to who??? The author talks more about the impact of the hairpins on society and that people are buying those versus anything about paper. MC is the only one mentioned who uses the paper she makes to make picture books later on.


When MC is around, all the adult's IQ lowers. We know the MC is an adult reincarnator. But everyone else sees this random sickly 6-year-old who has only rarely left the house and always go along with her ideas/etc no matter how much doubt they have in the beginning for no reason.


For example, Benno, a merchant in his mid or late 20's looks at 2 random 6-year-old children he's met like 1 hour ago who say they can make him paper and goes "yeah sure lol I'll spend (the equivalent of a few thousand dollars) helping you guys get set up". Like??? At that point, they had nothing to show him except conviction but he still decided to become their patron. He even says when they succeed, something along the lines of "wow I didn't think it was possible" so it's clear he wasn't 100% convinced from the start.


But my major grievance is the overall thematic shifts. It goes from being about invention/trade to religion/nobility politics to court drama combined with school life. Like what the f*ck? I wanted to cough up blood. If the author wanted to do a magical school nobility drama (which seems to be over 60% of the whole series plot) then why didn't they start closer to it and spend so much time developing her as a merchant... if you like the direction of where the series starts, don't expect it to stay there.

This series isn't unlike the typical xianxia where the MC conquers 1 realm and then moves onto a bigger pond before conquering that one, rinse and repeat until becoming an omniscient god. But that honestly doesn't fit this series. Maybe it's just because I liked the merchant arc, an arc that only exists to make sure the reader knows how smart and special she is where she establishes her connections with non-nobles.


Shifting "realms" as it does also makes MC's feelings feel cheap. The MC loves the family she's made in this new life and is willing to stay with them and die versus trying to find a way to live that seems like a dead end. Then she gets adopted by a noble and starts living that life and they're suddenly irrelevant to the plot. I get there are socioeconomic barriers but really??? The whole reason she sets down the nobility path is because she needs help managing her condition.

MC discovers a method to negate it that's not related to nobility. The MC had her death faked to become a noble. Why didn't she have her death faked and go back to being a commoner? It's stated multiple times that she's very business savvy (despite being naive, oblivious, etc in general) and she's pretty rich/well-connected at that point. She did have the option to negotiate going back to her previous life but didn't. She's written as an oblivious protag type but it's stated multiple times the things she'll go berserk over are her family/friends and books. Guess it's only when their lives are in danger that she'll do it.

Not to mention, Lutz, the first one to learn her secret, who has an exclusive contract with her and her inventions so that she's tethered to her family, her closest friend becomes a non-entity unless the author needs the MC to do merchant things. The author was definitely playing around with Lutz being a romantic interest. I'm guessing they realized that would be kinda messed up, and decided the best thing to do was to get rid of him by just not talking about him. It would leave a bad taste in my mouth if they got together due to mental age, so I can't say I mind him becoming irrelevant from a romantic angle. But it really felt like a lot of loose ends were left by leaving him to collect dust.


TL;DR...I liked the premise, how things started, some of the characters, and the way things were handled so 2 stars. But -3 stars because the plot direction was a headache for me and the author shafted so many leads I thought were interesting & the translation was subpar. This is the type of novel people who are fine with slow plots/builds and have an interest in noble political intrigue/drama since that's the real meat of the story versus how it starts off. <<less
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tallrice rated it
January 11, 2016
Status: c532
I have read a number of reincarnation novels from xianxia, japanese, korean and english original categories but so far, this is among the best and most immersive I've come across. It is one of my favourite novels.

This novel is not for everyone though:

Warning: Not much action

This isn't an action series and it is slow paced, so if you don't have patience to read about cooking, clothing, cleaning, cosmetics and tons of heavy passages on paper making or printing methods, then don't read this series. The series also suffers (like many... more>> others in the genre) of time skips.

Warning 2: Not much romance, at least for a while

There are hints of romance in some of the MC's relationships and lots of secondary character side stories, but not much happens in the first 500 chapters. Even after that, it's not romance so much as drama and politics.

Warning 3: Slow pace

Because of the slow pace, I wouldn't really bother reading this until you can read at least around 100 chapters. It's pretty good from a slice of life perspective right from the beginning (don't expect the storytelling and pacing to change, it doesn't), but the slow pace will make you feel like you didn't see much. For example, religion/magic, two of the major elements of the story, only get introduced around chapter 65, get some action around chapter 125 and only get really exciting with more exposure to the magic system much later as complexity and developments get layered on, like the magic circle research in the 400s.


It reminds me more of Ookami to koushinryou than of other reincarnation novels. The way business and trade works, the hierarchical society and the behavioural and fashion differences in different social classes. Again, like Ookami to koushinryou, there aren't over dramatically malicious characters – the motives of antagonists are very well calculated. It's almost a bit unrealistic how nobody is an idealistically driven character – there's no one trying to take over the world or bring happiness to everyone or any other idealistic ambitions like that, everything is very closely boxed in communities and lifestyle.

I wish there was more description of surroundings – appearances, clothes, the atmosphere of the academy or church, how people wear things rather than just the materials, etc. It's very much a human drama style. It is already slow paced enough though, so I shouldn't ask for even more details...

Reincarnation genre

One of the reasons this is such an amazing reincarnation novel is because of how the knowledge of the MC's previous life is used so effectively. Because the series does not focus on action, the MC uses her talents to make foods, clothing or otherwise enhance her daily life.

Warning: Main character - the bad

The MC is both adorable, and sometimes insufferable. Mainly, because the author didn't take all of a couple paragraphs to give a rationale for her childish behaviour.

It wouldn't even be all that hard: effects of a young body, hormones, initially trying to conceal her maturity and then getting used to it, that she was actually a 5 year old who was given memories instead of a 20 year old who was given a young body, etc. There are just so many easy ways to explain why she's so childish.

For whatever reason, the author didn't give us any. So if you're going to hate the MC because the author tells us she's actually a 20 year old in a 5 year old body and yet she behaves like a 5 year old... This is your warning, don't read this.

Main character - the good

That being said, I explained it in my mind and got over it. Once you're comfortable with her, the MC is also one of the cutest MC's - she's enthusiastic, pure hearted, a bit naive and benevolent, which, at least from my perspective, make her very easy to empathise with and relaxing to read about.

There's also something about a 5 year old that acts like a 5 year old that is sort of nice. The reincarnation aspect becomes more about the technologies as well as some cultural misunderstandings than the character herself.

Secondary characters

Family, friends and society around the MC change frequently as she moves between social classes. The changes are well done, so characters increase or decrease in frequency of appearance in a pretty realistic manner (don't get too attached to anyone). The supporting characters stand on their own.

Unlike chapters that switch perspective in a lot of other novels, I always look forward to reading the occasional chapter from other characters' perspective, all of which tie directly into the plot with fresh and adorable misunderstandings.


The worldbuilding is also superb. The attention to detail in life as well as sophistication of the magic system, religion, the politics, trade, etc are all woven into the storytelling.

Part of what makes it work so well is that the reader is introduced gradually to concepts, shown most of them and always in context of the plot. There's no sudden description of a magic system to the reader, but rather hints and bits of it introduced over the length of 100 chapters or more. Only from other character's perspectives or in talking about situations in retrospect are there longer, more descriptive explanations of the backdrop.


There's a lot of dramatic irony based on different cultures, viewpoints and how characters don't always have a full picture (perception based on letters vs being there). Not much slapstick, which I appreciate.

Frequent updates

One final strong point: the author is prolific. It's astounding how much content she puts out – almost a chapter a day, and they're long chapters considering the frequency. There's even a separate thread of sitestories from other characters' POV on top of the 500+ chapters currently out. Good to see a group picking this up to translate into English.

Warning: Ending

Unfortunately, the author seems to have wrapped it up after the high school arc. I won't speak of the actual ending events, which I somewhat disliked and don't think wrapped up the threads of the story very well... in the end, this is probably a matter of reader preference, so don't read too much into my take.

The author is still (even in 2021) releasing some chapters periodically from other characters POV at points within the story and a whole side story from Hanna-Lynne's POV but I really felt like it was ended prematurely, not to mention, although I didn't read the last 100 chapters, from skimming the last chapter, it wasn't really an ending I liked or expected, since it resolved with a 'romantic' ending when the story didn't even have a strong romantic thread, leaving all of the more central religious, kingdom building and political threads unresolved.

Great to see the LN translations coming out from Quof. Go check them out on J-Novel club. It appears there are even new POV chapters for earlier parts of the novel. I look forward to rereading the series at some point with the editing and additional content! <<less
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Senethari rated it
August 2, 2016
Status: --
This series makes my brain lock up and start to smoke. The premise isn't any better/worse than other reincarnation/rebirth novels. The writing isn't any better/worse. If you like the slower stuff versus action, it may be for you. It's kind of nice that the MC's goal isn't vapid love or getting laid or getting laid for the thousandth time. My issue is, as a book lover, I can't find any aspect of the MC that translates to "bookworm" unless it's supposed to be literal.

Another reviewer said the title should... more>> be "Ascendance of a Book Fetishist", and I couldn't agree more. As she's flitting through the story sing-songing "Aaaah, I want to read a book", she doesn't ever seem to mention what she wants from them. Does she want a character to inspire her? A history to enlighten her about her new world? A poem to distill her turbulent thoughts? Does she want to learn about something? Anything? When she finally finds a book, does she even ask anything about it? She asks the shop keeper if she can touch it, specifically, if she can *rub her face* on it. The fantastically expensive, hand-transcribed, super-rare, finally appearing book... can she rub herself on it? No... That's okay, mister, I wouldn't let her near my collection either. I'm really hoping that sticky stuff was bookbinding glue residue.

But MCs have had weirder quirks, right? She's also pretty selfish, condescending, and, ignorant of things you'd think a well-read adult would understand. But once again, it's that bookworm part that eventually made me twitch and quit once the seizure passed. Unless I find out later she's *actually* a bookworm that reincarnated after being crushed under a pile of books by the squeamish japanese megane-chan who massively overreacted to the sudden appearance of a bug eating her library, I think I'm done with this. <<less
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lyn rated it
June 11, 2016
Status: c18
The concept is interesting at first, but all went down because the MC personality is for me very unlikable. She is very spoiled (for 22 years old) and very very selfish. She thinks of herself like a sheltered little princess. Being reincarnated in a poor family, she kinda looks down on them in a way. She has a very low EQ for sure as she only cares for her abnormal ambitions in making books and papers, without caring for her family and people surrounding her. And she is not that... more>> smart. I don't know what kind of books that she has read, but for a bookworm, not knowing how paper is made although she has admitted that she read all sort of books has proven that she is not that smart. And she is kind of clueless on the situation she is in and her surroundings. Maybe she just like to read without actually learn or think further about what is written in the book. The story is also very slow which is so disappointing. I am not recommending this and I am dropping this. It is not the least bit exciting. <<less
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sadsa rated it
April 26, 2017
Status: c51
The title is so inaccurate that it's laughable. It should be closer to the Ascendance of a s*upid B**ch? It's questionable whether the idiot that has assumed the unrightful control of someone else's body was really an adult in university in their previous life or just a two year old pretending to be. And she thinks she's cute. Ew.

... more>>

Her first thought when being confronted with the prospect of being in a world deprived of books is to overturn the house of all its possessions and to then throw a tantrum to the point of falling unconscious from fatigue once she finds nothing in her surroundings but the mess of her own creation.

She cares nothing for her own family's state of uncleanliness or of educating them about it all while expecting her sister (s*ave) to pamper her as the only civilized, well-kept one and monopolizing both the household's resources and the useless knowledge that she has of her first life. She thinks she's being magnanimous when lets her sister wash her hair with shampoo after she finishes and the water has been muddled from the grime of her own lol.

She has voyeuristic tendencies towards her sister's child romance and gets flustered like a pe*ophile over a five year old smelling her hair. Since when has being reincarnated into the body of a little kid equated to inheriting the romantic interest for one? She demands immediate ownership of the first materials (pen and paper) she finds at her father's workplace without questioning its origins or the reason that they are being denied to her. She even forgets that she herself does not yet know how to read or write the new language, and that there is no one suitable to teach her.

She chooses to be a further embarrassment to humanity and harasses her father in front of his coworker with her incessant whining while forgetting the prevalent case of illiteracy and poverty that is plaguing their society. It doesn't take much know the implications that a scarcity of products would present but the MC is incapable of even that common sense. What kind of books has she so obviously lied about being well-read in? "Psychology, religion, history, geography, educations, folklore, mathematics, physics, geology, chemistry, biology, art, fitness, language, fiction..." Does she mean that she studied the art of being utterly delusional and insatiable in her contagious, ever crippling s*upidity? Is she a real bookworm when she has rarely if at all mentioned the titles from the previous world? She very well excels, at least, in making a show of the maturity that she, among a multitude of other virtues, doesn't realize that she devastatingly lacks.

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Chaku rated it
November 8, 2016
Status: c9
Ive read a few reviews and Id like to say theyre right and wrong about the MC, growth happens, people develop and some are slow to understand while others grasp it immediately, in other words people grow in different ways at their own pace.

Maine at first seems like a very unlikable selfish brat, who has tunnel vision, however really look at it from her perspective, if you were suddenly placed in a reincarnation situation how would you deal with it initially?

Usually the Protag adapts and gets powered up quickly,... more>> is able to get a number of cheat like abilities that help them immeasurably. Well this MC gets none of that, shes born in to a poor family (by our standards at least), has a weak body thats always sick, but blessed with a good family that takes care of each other, doesnt have any high aspirations of becoming a hero, she only wants to get through life with books. Sounds plain boring when you think about it? No powers, is poor, and wants only books?

The beauty of this story lies in the growth of the MC, her irritating personality slowly adapting to the life she has, at first acting like a Tourist who has no ties with the world, desperately finding an anchor to keep her their to endure a life she hates. She battles with just living, trying to find a source of worth in this world, her horrifying discoveries and her resolve to make what she wants and take it. The support characters draw you in, and at first they are what carries the story, but slowly without a doubt, Maine is the MC and a fantastic one at that. Please dont judge this story based on a seemingly boring premise, or the MCs irritating personality, she will become someone you will love dearly as time goes on, embracing her warts and all. <<less
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notnoel rated it
March 1, 2016
Status: c48
Warning alot of this review is me being mad at the MC and I'm reviewing this at ch 8, so I might come back and change my review later if the MC can convince me. As a self proclaimed bookworm who literally at one point had the key to my local library cause the librarians and the security guards were just that used to seeing me that they would ask me to lock up the place (and I was 13 at the time) I kinda feel personally offended by... more>> the main character. This might just be me but when the first chapter was describing the mc's mindset I was sitting there nodding going "I totally understand you", but then from the second ch onwards I felt a growing urge to punch the MC. The MC acts sheltered, spoiled and s*upid. Its like all the knowledge she learned from those countless books she read somehow flew out of her head when she reincarnated. For crying out loud she can make soap but she can't understand that it what it takes inorder to get that water that she's so keen on using for bathing. I understand the need to feel clean but there is such a thing as adapting to live, especially since she is now living in a less than 3rd world country's stands. She realizes that the technological advancements are similar to feudal eras but she's shocked that the poor don't have access to luxury items that are expensive, such as paper. tldr: the MC annoys the hell out of me

edit: Stuck it out to ch.48 and MC did not get better

The MC wants a book for the sake of having a book. That's it. It almost feels like this is some kinda kink at this point because my god, this girl essentially disregards all things around her to make a book. Let's be clear here, she isn't making a book to sell it or spread knowledge or anything. She just wants a book. What's the point of having a book you wrote yourself if you don't want to share the damn thing. Is there a way to change my review to 2 or 1 stars because really. <<less
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nhym rated it
July 5, 2016
Status: c21
Contrary to what others have said about the MC such as having low EQ, too spoiled, etc., I could relate to this MC and would probably do the same thing if I were in her shoes. Being not that close to her family is natural, since she does have previous memories, being filial would not show instantly as she should still think of her previous family (such as Rudeus Greyrat - note that even his mother Zenith felt that he is not filial at first. Reference would be at the... more>> end of first volume), about being spoiled and selfish, it is but natural as she is a book otaku, there is no otaku who isn't spoiled and selfish. Its also funny how people would say that she gets surprised at little things, of course she would be. Japanese people are really hygienic people, so her reaction on the house and her personal and family's hygiene is quite normal for an average japanese. Her reaction on meat is also great. People living in cities buy meat that are already packaged. Seeing animal gore is not really a pretty sight. Thus, I am actually wondering why people gets irritated with the MC? I think she's one of the best MC that shows what will happen if a female japanese otaku gets reincarnated in another world. Regarding the story, I would agree that the pacing is slow, which is somewhat relaxing. Hats off to the author and thank you to the translator. I really do hope that it can be translated at a faster pace. <<less
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Bakanogami rated it
April 30, 2017
Status: c677

I just finished reading the raws, and it's a shame the translation isn't further along. I've never been s**ked into a WN as much as I have this one. Many, many tears were shed. I can't get up the urge to start a new novel when I could instead reread Bookworm for a third time in a row.

The MC is a bit self centered and aggravating in the first part of the series, the part that's been translated, but the author has said that it's intentional. Maine learning to balance her own desires with more important things is a big part of the series.

While I love every bit of Bookworm, the first part (there are 5) is probably the least representative of the series as a whole. This story goes places you would not expect.

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ohmygulay rated it
August 8, 2017
Status: --
I've tried reading this despite my constant hesitation on doing so. The result is I shouldn't have.

The translation, the premise and other charancters are good. The main character is SELFISH, UNGRATEFUL, s*upid, a and pretty much NOT a good character to make a story of.

Maine is a selfish 22 years old reincarnator, who became a 5 year old 'pheasant' as she likes to say. Childish to the extreme and a terrible ingrate. She claims that she doesn't not want to be born in her current poor family but complains everytime... more>> she is unable to get what she wants.

Really? Did she expect that everything will go her way. She doesn't even consider the overall circumstances of her family but insists on getting her way. Because her way is the best way to acquire "books" that she wants.

She doesn't even consider her family as hers, actually. She would not consider their feelings and hardships in order to let her have her way.

In all honesty, the Maine character should not or could not be called a bookworm. I agree to one of the review, that what she has is a book fetish. And making her own book, to read herself??

Anyway, I repeat the translation is good. The setting and premise is also good. The personality of other characters is way, waaaaaaay better than the so called protagonist. <<less
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Poor_Hero rated it
February 13, 2016
Status: --
... fuh. the MC is kind of self-centered and childish? check. the slow pace plot? check. reborn into a poor family? check. dying by ridiculous means? check. can't say much since MC is challenging my patience. her monolog kind of irks me. can't be helped that her past life is kind of selfish woman and her current body is a child. though, I am healed by other characters' presence.
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Tea leaves
Tea leaves rated it
September 14, 2019
Status: c677
I hate the ending
... more>>



The reason I hate it is because she end up getting married to Ferdinand (chief priest/head priest). She doesn't really needed to get married to the sole reason her life became chaotic.


It all started with the knights and Thrombe incident. If he didn't show her off the nobles without be interested in her. And she wouldn't have to sign a contract with a noble and be separated with her families to the point that they must not treat each other as a family even if they are alone.



By signing with a noble not only is she a senior aristocrat she also became the Lords adopted daughter. He even wrote the saint scenario. And because of that she became well known not only within the territory but also outside the country.



The contract magic is only applicable inside the territory meaning that once she's outside she can become family again. But thanks to becoming a saint it becamei impossible to love among the masses.



Myne was in a coma for 2 years and it was not impossible for her to die due to the event of ARC III. It would have been already for Rosemyne to die their and then and Myne could live with her family in another territory. But no instead before could move her body every body is already preparing her to attend Aristocracy school. Myne couldn't even lift her arm without magic tools and they are already sending her their. Is that the thanks you get for rescuing the lords daughter and end up sleeping for 2 years.



Myne end up being a living goddess to win the war at the end but it caused her her memory of all her loved ones. And Ferdinand showed her his memories so would have knowledge of her loved ones. This in of inself is bad. Because this is one sided. Myne at that point is an empty husk and Ferdinand just fill her up with his "own" emotion. And this making Myne no longer Myne. Lutz even said so himself that Myne is no longer the Myne she knew. And the supposedly emotional reunion of family after 7 long years (myne, turi, gunter, eva, and Kamil) Myne sticks too much with Ferdinand and the meeting only lasted for 1-2 freaking bells and she left hand in hand with Ferdinand. Maybe I'm just dense but I didn't see I single time that myne awaken her love for Ferdinand before the memory transfer.


Ferdinand is a freaking lolicon caused at the very end he is already nearing 40s while Myne is 14 who looks like 10

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sangyx rated it
January 15, 2017
Status: c83
It's slow, but that makes it worth reading. It progresses at its own pace and doesn't feel dragged out at all to me. Rather than focusing on action (which you definitely won't find much of), it brings attention to world-building and the actions of a child as she grows up. Yes, you might get annoyed by Maine because yada, yada she's supposed to act like a 22 year old. But if you think of it as a reincarnation series that basically puts someone else's knowledge into a young girl's body,... more>> that's exactly who Maine is. She acts her reincarnated age with - to me - good reason. When you've spent most of your past life reading only to get stuck in a world without books at all, that would make anyone throw a tantrum (including me.) Adding to the fact that her body is weaker than the average person's in this world, it does make a bit more sense.

The topic is also very interesting - we're not faced with an OP MC who has powers beyond our wildest dreams. In fact, for the first 20-30 chapters, we're faced with a girl who can barely do anything and struggles to even leave the house. But in this case she's using her knowledge in a way to benefit her livelihood in this new world which, while not completely original, is still more unique than a majority of reincarnation novels. (Also, the character interactions between her and Lutz are so freaking adorable.)

So, if it wasn't already obvious, I really enjoy this story. In fact, it might be my favorite reincarnation novel series at the moment (with Kuma being a close second.) My only regret is that I can't read ahead.

(Disclaimer: I'm only up to chapter 83 thanks to Google Translate, but blastron's translations are amazing. I still read them weekly even though I'm so far ahead, which says something about the story since usually I can't be bothered.) <<less
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John YSC Groenvold rated it
December 13, 2018
Status: Completed
Don't listen to the people giving this series a 1, just because the main character can be selfish at the start and is somewhat naive.

Most people would not adjust to the massively lower standard of living and having a weak and pathetic body, and most of those criticizing her harshly for that are essentially internet tough guys.

Maine/Urano's story is fantastic, and is exactly the difficulty level and depth that Isekai are lacking.

If you love books you should read this series. Granted it doesn't delve much into stories within books, but... more>> that's justified by keeping a tight narrative.

Excellent world and character/cast building! <<less
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RoflCat rated it
November 26, 2017
Status: c677
In hindsight, it's a very very well written story.


-Really well written, basically everything that happen have a reason behind it and/or future consequence.

... more>> -The FEELS moments can get tears running.

-The characters beside the main casts aren't just brainless villains/paragons whose purpose is to be enemies/allies, no, they all have their own reasons for the things they do. (There ARE some cliche characters, but they're in the extreme minority)


Frankly the only and biggest downside is the early part that is boring/frustrating. In hindsight that part is necessary to set up the characters for who they are later on (yes, plural, the girl isn't the only one who changed from this) but again, those who read it for the first time can end up putting the series down from this alone.

The current progress of translation have gotten past what I'd consider the start of the girl changing, which makes for more absorbing read, but I'd say it's not until arc 3 start that things really get going, and then it never stop. <<less
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makenai89 rated it
July 12, 2016
Status: c22
Well, c22 is obviously nothing compared to the whole hundreds chapters of this novel that is still ongoing. However, I would like to express my initial impression here.

Ascendance of a Bookworm presents a very cute twist on the theme "reborn in another world". The twist here lies on the MC whose fanaticism towards books is like Yomiko Readman of Read Or Die, while having to live in a family that's too poor to afford books.

Generally, what other reviewers said about her self-centeredness and difficulty in realizing her family's circumstances were... more>> right. But I see it more like the MC being true to her character. After all, someone who is overly fanatic toward something often being illustrated as living in delusion and unable to fully understand the way the world actually works. Moreover, even though blind on some things, she has shown that she actually cared about them, in her own way. Many things that happened might have been exaggerated, but everything's in conjunction with the story's plot and premises, which I consider quite well-thought out and well-established. The one that stands out the most is still this novel's characterization, though. Not only the MC, supporting characters also fleshed out nicely while keeping its soft flows.

This novel might make you laugh and shake your head every now and then, but if you are looking for some depth and realism, you'd do better to look at other novels. <<less
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PersonaJXT rated it
July 5, 2016
Status: c173
This is a fun story that's definitely a chance of pace compared to your usual reincarnation stories. The premise has a young woman who loves books reincarnate into a young girl in a family too poor to afford books in a society where books are the belongings of only the rich and powerful (mainly nobles). As can be expected, she's not happy and does her best to get access to books.

And she does try her best. Except she's crippled by having an extraordinarily weak body and a lack of knowledge... more>> of the new world she's in. It doesn't help that in her original world she was a bit of a shut in and thus isn't that great at social skills. But with the use of her intellect and vast knowledge gained from having spent most of her previous life reading books she slowly ascends in her new world.

The Main Character, Mine, is funny and definitely very adorable. The fact that she wasn't very socially adept really shows in her new life and generally translates to her being awkwardly cute around everyone. She makes a lot of mistakes and often falls victim to the frailty of her body, but continues to strive towards her goal of having books to read. In that regard she's a very appreciable main character that accomplishes things despite many very real obstacles in her way. She does have very many derp moments though, mostly stemming from acting before she speaks, and her single mindedness when it comes to doing things for the sake of her books is about as helpful as much as it messes things up for her. I ended up liking Mine more and more as she grew from a little kid to someone with actual influence in the world, all for the sake of her books.


I'll note that very early on Mine becomes extremely depressed and contemplated su*cide, so for anyone bothered by that sort of stuff I'd avoid chapter 24. It's short and is done mostly to illustrate just how much of a toll Mine's constant failures have taken on her, but it's there.


There are a lot of Supporting Characters. They range from fairly important characters that constantly appear to characters that maybe get named once or twice before becoming background characters that are maybe only referenced from time to time. They're mostly written in pretty interesting manners and the important ones do end up standing out quite a bit. That said, I would say the story does suffer a bit from having too many characters and not enough time being spent devoted to all of them. While most of them are definitely good and entertaining, I would say that a good portion of them could have been left out of the story without any real loss. Due to how the plot goes, many of them become irrelevant for lengthy periods of time as well, if not forgotten altogether.

The Plot is slow, to put it kindly. There are chapters spent only on boring things such as gathering wood, sewing, or baking a cake. That's not to say they're boring exactly, but unless you like reading through an instructional manual on how to make things like I do... yeah, they're probably going to be boring. When things happen though it's really fun and the slow build up definitely pays off then. The main character is adorable and entertaining throughout, but it doesn't change the fact that there's quite a lot of manufacturing themed chapters throughout. If you can put up with around 80 chapters of that then you start getting into more juicy things with the first person in the story I could call a villain. And things only pick up from there with your first taste of combat at around 130 and a lot of political intrigue after about 170. I'm far from done with the story as I'm currently 173/588 so I can't speak more on it, but what I've read so far is very good. You just need the patience to get through the slower early portions.

The World Building is surprisingly good. Lots of things are setup early on so as to hint at reveals much further down the road that explain a lot. The world is well explained and feels rooted firmly rather than the loose style many other stories have. The relationship between various factions and entities in the world is well fleshed out and things like the gap between the poor and the rich and very clearly felt by the reader. If I had to describe it I would say that the world definitely feels like it has actual substance to it and there's definitely a sense of "real-ness" to it that most other stories don't have.


Despite how things may seem early on, magic actually exists in the world. As the story progresses magic actually becomes a very important plot point. At first it's only important because it's the source of Mine's illness. But as more nobles get involved magic becomes increasingly relevant.


Update Speed is Fast, with nearly daily updates. Each chapter is fairly lengthy meaning that the story ends up being very substantial in size. The quality of each chapter is pretty solid too, which is a nice bonus on top of everything else. Definitely a very good update speed.

All in all, I would say this story is a slow burner that pays off in spades the further you get. As of now Blastron has translated up to chapter 21 and has a reasonably decent translation barring some odd translations here and there that suggest slight gaps in knowledge, though I'm not quite sure whether they're in English or Japanese. Nothing major though and way better than any sort of machine translation. The updates are once per week so they're somewhat slow, but given the length and quality of each chapter it's not a major complaint.

Overall a 5/5. The writing is well done, the characters are entertaining, and the plot is good even if it takes time to get there. <<less
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Incar1 rated it
July 20, 2019
Status: c40
There's having characters with unusual quirks, then there's having characters that need a good therapist and/or straggling. This is a case of the second.

She's an unlikable entitled little sh*t in the first 30 chapters that I was genuinely hoping that her illness would off her and the plot would follow one of the more interesting characters.

Oh, what's this? I'm in a new body, my house is covered in dirt, I have a debilitating illness and someone else's memories? BETTER FIND A f*ckING BOOK TO PASS THE TIME. That she's in... more>> someone else's body doesn't even phase her, that no one has any idea what a book is doesn't clue her in, hell, she's too self absorbed to even think to describe what a book is to see if she's just getting the word wrong. AND THAT'S JUST CHAPTER 1.

The rest of what I've managed to read through shows no improvement. She has no agency, no personality, she's just a human version of the "paperclip maximizer" for books. If you aren't helping her make them then she almost definitely hates you. She almost gets her friends killed repeatedly because she just assumes things she hasn't seen before are harmless in spite of literally everyone telling her that stuff in the area is almost exclusively dangerous. Her "love interest" isn't much more than a s*ave and she repeatedly thinks about kicking him out of her schemes when he can't fit her right schedule, which she herself is only able to maintain because everyone thinks she's an invalid and do all of her chores for her.

Also her mother cant tell the difference between bamboo strips tied together in a very specific way and firewood, it's played off as a "I'm so much smarter than everyone else" scene but it really just comes off as the author suddenly realizing that it's actually pretty easy to make scrolls, which are almost as good as books but would make this one 10 chapters long and the real world is just cruel enough that we need to suffer through at least 10x that long. <<less
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TheLegend27 rated it
April 13, 2017
Status: c49
There are a lot of things about this story that are very good, but I'll narrow it down to the fundamentals.
1. The plot is very well executed, even if the plot device (reincarnation) has been beaten to death more times than a Kulack in Stalinist Russia. The pacing is well done and everything tends to make sense in one form or another.
2. Character development is present and well done. It is also natural which makes it more enjoyable to see.
3. Less on the author and more the... more>> translator, it is just well written. <<less
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Felix3D rated it
June 14, 2016
Status: c667
A reincarnation story where the MC fails. Constantly. Like they should. The first arc will be quite interesting, and it's sort of like Deathmarch's progression/tone but in a more realistic setting. It was compelling enough to get me to translate it for myself up until the 4th volume, and that's saying something. However, be prepared for slow plots, long-burning fuse stories, and a whole lot of political/religious intrigue and backsies.

Edit: update on the whole thing - it's become a really frustrating story that seems to double-back on itself and constantly... more>> retreads stuff in the same situation. It's a waste of a time to read, frankly, the Anime/Manga probably is better as a story. This definitely has "Webnovel-itis", where a lack of editing and planning are clear. Each successive book/arc becomes less interesting and impactful. If you're starting to feel bogged down, bail out or else you'll end up just wasting more time. <<less
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eligy rated it
September 21, 2017
Status: c55
Not a great novel, but it's fine if you just want a quick fix of a reincarnation web novel. Well, not quick, exactly, because this is extremely slow-paced...


  • A twenty-two-year-old bookworm dies and is reborn in a generically medieval setting. Unfortunately, the body she starts inhabiting is extremely weak due to excessive magical power. Despite how her family is poor as sh*t and she basically can't contribute to their household in any way thanks to said weakness, she decides she absolutely has to have a book and, since books are so expensive in this world, thus embarks on a (very slow-paced) journey to make one. Along the way, she befriends her neighbor, Lutz, who wants to be a merchant, and when she rips off items from her past life, a local merchant takes notice. They figure out how to make money and then they make paper and a whole bunch of other stuff happens, but it's all so bland I didn't retain any of it. I'm not marking any of this as a spoiler because I doubt anyone's going to make it to this point in the story anyway. It's bad.

  • The translation is good
  • Vaguely educational? (You'll learn about how paper is made, sort of, though I don't know how accurate any of this is to real life)
  • The magic aspect is interesting?? I guess?? Not that it comes up much beyond moments where the MC comes close to death
  • It's free
  • If you're like the MC, you'll take delight in how many words are in each chapter (and possibly rub your face on the screen while drooling, idk)

  • Unrelatable and unlikeable MC (condescending to her family, doesn't really care about anything beyond having a book, has apparently learned nothing from reading books because she's constantly demanding way more than her family can probably afford given their social class, throws temper tantrums at children despite supposedly being in her twenties when she died?? what the hell kind of adult are you, generally a jerk, inconsistent characterisation)
  • MC is more of a book fetishist than bookworm tbh. You get the feeling she cares more about the idea of having books than actually reading them? At points, it feels borderline fetishistic
  • Boring worldbuilding
  • Plot moves at a glacial pace
  • Godawful child writing
  • We're given basically no reason to care about anything happening to the MC
  • It's been fifty-five chapters and I still don't know where this plot is going nor do I care
  • Honestly, this would have been way more interesting from Tuuli or Lutz's POV??
  • I wasted at least an hour reading this (time distorts in strange ways when you're reading shitty novels), don't make the same mistakes
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