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Could someone explain why we use 楽しめそう instead of 楽しそう in the first sentence and what exactly 楽しみ means and why?

(The translations are my best guess at what the sentences might mean.)

It is true this book is expensive but it has lots of photos and looks like fun.

Bringing up children is hard work terrible but you forget that because you look forward to when they grow up.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

楽しめる - able to enjoy

  • 楽しめそう - seems that (I) can enjoy

楽しい - is enjoyable

  • 楽しそう - seems that (it) is enjoyable

楽しみ - enjoyment

Quoting from sawa:

み is an affix that idiocyncratically attaches to some i-adjectives that it particularly selects. It only attaches to some selected i-adjectives and its meaning tends to be idiosyncratic, as contrasted to nouns created by さ.

Generally the difference between さ and み is that the former is used to represent the degree of the state represented by the adjective, while the latter lacks the "degree" nuance and instead represents a subjective concept.
I.e. 悲しさ - sadness; 悲しみ - sorrow. 楽しさ - (degree of) enjoyment; 楽しみ - enjoyment.

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Thank you. This helps but why in (1)do we have 楽しめそう instead of 楽しそう and in (2) 成長が楽しみで instead of 成長が楽しくて which seems to make better sense(?) – Tim Oct 1 '12 at 10:37
@Tim. I'm not sure about (1). I don't think that there is any prohibition against 楽しそう. I.e. I think both are fine. – Flaw Oct 1 '12 at 11:43
Reading your explanation again now, possibly the use of 楽しみ not 楽しさ is better because the sentence is conveying the enjoyable aspect of 成長 not the degree of enjoyment. – Tim Jan 12 '13 at 1:22

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