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The context is the following: The character/shopkeeper speaking got asked an information. However, his answer is that he doesn't want to give the information away because it won't advantage him.

So he tells them "But that doesn't look like someone that will bring me joy (so I won't tell you)

Then he adds this line:

最近の喜びといったら 店の人気が上がることぐらい

I'm a bit stumbled on the nuance "Speaking of recent joys, raising this shop's popularity..."

How to take ことぐらい here? "All I got is raising this shop's popularity?"

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上がる is an intranstive verb, "to rise".

こと nominalizes the sentence.

店の人気が上がること
the shop's popularity rising

ぐらい attaches to this nominalized sentence, and then there is a zero copula after it.

In this case, ぐらい adds the meaning of "that's about it, there is nothing much else, about the only". It is similar to だけ, but it is less restrictive and indicates a rough estimate, allowing the possibility that the speaker has other joys but simply couldn't think of anything else at the moment.

最近の喜びといったら 店の人気が上がることぐらい
About the only thing that brings me joy recently is the shop's popularity rising.

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  • The translation of the first sentence is off. It should be "But there aren't that many things that bring me joy."
    – morhetb
    Apr 16 at 1:41

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