One of the aspects of the publishing industry that I find most appealing is the fact that there is very little rivalry between authors. Being a published author in itself is a little like being presented with honorary membership to an exclusive club, and there is nothing I like better than the cozy sense of unity that interacting with other authors provides me. I consider myself extremely fortunate to be acquainted with a large number of writers—including novelists, non-fiction writers, columnists, journalists, short-story writers and poets—and I can state with all honesty that I have never (yet) met a writer I didn’t like.
One of the most charming authors I have the pleasure of being acquainted with is Mayumi Ishihara. Ms. Ishihara is an extremely talented author with a string of best-selling books to her name (I found 39 listed on amazon.co.jp,) and her contribution to English learning in Japan is great. I first met Ms. Ishihara on Twitter, and I was immediately impressed by the friendly way in which she responds to all of her followers and fans. I also discovered through our acquaintance that we have a couple of things in common in addition to the obvious points of us both living in Japan and both publishing books of a similar genre. The first of these is that we both have regular columns in the Asahi Weekly newspaper. Ms. Ishihara’s column is called [Dear Diary] (Japanese title: 今日から始める英文日記,) and it provides both advice and encouragement to Japanese people for practicing the English they have learned via the medium of keeping a diary. And, the second is…
We both published books on using Twitter as a tool for practicing English within a couple of weeks of each other.
Ms. Ishihara’s book is entitled [Twitterで英語をつぶやいてみる] (Unofficial translation: Tweeting in English on Twitter.) Whereas my (and my co-author’s) book is little more than a large number of sample sentences that readers can use for reference purposes, [Twitterで英語をつぶやいてみる] examines the subject to a much greater depth and is the perfect book for anyone thinking of starting up a Twitter account no matter what their level of English may be. The book starts with detailed and easy-to-understand explanations on how to sign up to Twitter and how to operate the various functions available, and then moves onto extremely valuable advice on how to write concise, informative and even humorous tweets. It also contains a large number of sample tweets covering everything from normal greetings through to explaining Japanese customs. In other words, it contains everything that a non-native speaker wishing to tweet in English on Twitter could possibly need.
Ms. Ishihara is also the founder of the hashtag #Twinglish and introduces it in the book. This hashtag—an incorporation of Tweet and English—is designed to bring Japanese English tweeters together so that they can interact and help each other on Twitter, and from the large number of #Twinglish tweets that enter my timeline, the concept is obviously extremely popular and currently in the process of catching on even further.
All in all, [Twitterで英語をつぶやいてみる] is probably the best book on the market for people wishing to get the most out of their Twitter experience, and I can thoroughly recommend it.
Oh, and one last thing. The book has the added attraction of containing a large number of photographs of Ms. Ishihara herself. (P.S. I like the one on the back cover the best; I’m a sucker for ladies wearing glasses.)
Follow Mayumi Ishihara on Twitter: @mayumi_ishihara
Mayumi Ishihara (石原真弓)