Absolute Beginners Book Club // Currently reading Wadanohara and the Great Blue Sea; Next: Mitsuboshi Colours

Well… this is called Absolute Beginner…so no bueno

I like they are Japanese stories and not Western ones in Japanese :slight_smile:

In a week I am going to New York and I’ll try to go to the Kinokuniya store. I plan to buy “A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar”, but maybe I will also grab ones of these books… and call it :stuck_out_tongue:

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well, i did see the review after posting the book XD So yeah. It’s supposed to be for the First Grade, though. Always difficult with native material

This guy is also in Amazon US, but it’s pricey

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Update: Content may not be interesting enough for a book club. Level 2 and 3 should be useful for people in those grammar skill ranges and want a stepping stone.

The White Rabbit Press Graded Reader Ebooks App seem to be a good place to start for this absolute beginners. It isn’t native material but this absolute beginner book club may be better suited as a preparatory stage towards that.

Ease of progression
There are 2-3 choices for each level from 1-3 so there is a natural next choice for the book club if people enjoy the first one. Whether its another book at the same level or advancing to the next one. (Grade 0 can also be used as preparation for anybody that feels the need)

Reinforcing grammar and limiting vocabulary
Level 0: N5 grammar 400words/story 350 new words
Level 1: N5-N4 400-1500/story 350 new words
Level 2: N4 1500-2500/story 500 new words
Level 3: N4-N3 2500-5000/story 800 new words

Similar to the benefit of reading manga in a series where the vocabulary and expressions overlap, having less new words allows the reader to focus more on comprehending the content.

Pacing
Because of the controlled content, it should be possible for each story to be completed in a much shorter time. People would only have to wait a few weeks to jump in on level 2 if they feel that level 1 is too easy for example.

Full Audio
Participants of this book club will likely be at the stage where they could benefit from hearing a native read the sentence they just read.

Made for Adults
One problem with native material specifically made for really young children (grade 1 and 2) is the lack of Kanji. This usually makes it more difficult for a foreign learner to parse the text.

Relatively affordable and accessible
A few dollars per story and available for both Andrioid and iOS

Link: https://www.whiterabbitpress.com/japanesegradedreaders

Cons
Not native material
E-book only (as far as I know)

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Thanks for the suggestion!

Not having a physical book could be a big con thought…

Here I filtered the physical books they have for Begginers:

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What about this guy? It’s expensive thought:

Reading can be tough if you are beginner and only know few words and little grammar. There is just too much yet to learn to be able to read a text fluently. Or is there? Not if you use the right resources: Nihongo Tadoku Books Vol. 1 is a graded reader made for beginners. It covers the levels 0-2 (details explained down below) and includes both fairy tales and non-fiction stories. The vocabulary and grammar used are limited to make it easy to read for beginners and to let you feel a sense of achievement in reading your first Japanese book. In this volume, all kanji and katakana have furigana, so all you need is hiragana and you are ready to go!

Nihongo Tadoku Books Vol. 1 levels explained:

Level JLPT Mainly used grammar
0 N5 present tense, past tense, interrogative words, ~たい-form, です and ます-form
1 N5 present tense, past tense, interrogative words, ~たい-form, です and ます-form
2 N4 dictionary form, て-form,ない-form, past tense, attributive, ~と (conditional), ~から (reason), ~のだ
3 N3 potential form, imperative, passive, volitional, ~とき, から, たら・ば・なら, ~そう, ~よう, compound verbs
4 N3 causative, causative passiv, ~そう, ~らしい, ~はず, ~もの, ~ようにする・なる, ことにする・なる
5 N2 function words, compound words, idioms, honorifics, ~につれて, ~わけにはいかない, ~切り開く・召し上がる, 伺う

Stories in this book:

  • The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse (level 0)
  • Yakushima (level 0)
  • The Ship (level 1)
  • Welcome Cats (level 1)
  • The Monkey and the Crab (level 2)
  • The Emperor’s New Clothes (level 2)
  • Little Red Riding Hood (level 2)

Additional information:

  • Pages: 112
  • Contains furigana (kanji readings)

EDIT:

$24 in Amazon Japan:

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I looked through the other volumes of the series. It went up and up, but ten lvl 7 and 8 went back to 0 and 1 in difficulty =)

Volume 7 has 4 lvl 0 and 1 lvl 1.
Volume 8 has 2 lvl 0 and 4 lvl 1

Personally prefer physical books also but physical graded readers are pretty expensive compared to regular books. Figured people may prefer to spend their funds on real books.

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If we’re feeling cheap and don’t mind going all-digital, this free website has quite literally hundreds of fairy tales - both Japanese ones and foreign ones - each with an audio version:

http://hukumusume.com/douwa/index.html

I’m about 95% I saw this when I was at Kinokuniya trying to buy our current book, so I’d say it exists.

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I think next week we’ll have a Multi-poll to decide on the type of book and grade!

Awesome juggestions so far!

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This one sounds interesting. I like it.

Nice one, thank you!

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Thanks for creating this thread!

I’m going to nominate a book I just started reading that I bought in Japan. It’s pretty doable for my level of reading, it’s just a tiny bit more complicated than なぜ?どうして? but it’s a lot more fun to read.

EDIT: Should probably add I’m probably just around N4 level (took N4 last December and I’m pretty confident I failed). If that gives any idea on difficulty.

WANTED - Short stories from the creator of One Piece

Summary

Author’s note:
"This is a 「masterpiece collection」. No matter what any of you say, this is a 「masterpiece collection」.

You could say these 「masterpieces」 are some of the few sucessful sucessors of the will of the countless one-shots out there that have been left to rot. To simply call them “short stories” would be such a shame.

Oh … but wait, on the cover, the sub-title says “Collection of short stories by Oda Eiichiro”…!!

Ah, whatever. "

Availability



I can’t seem to find an eBook version but I might have missed it.

Personal Opinion

It’s fun, the Japanese is readable, it’s not aimed at super young kids, and the level isn’t too complicated. Also, as it’s a manga, context from the illustrations can assist reader.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Not ‘dry’
  • Not aimed at young children
  • Context from illustrations can assist in understanding
  • Short stories means that people could jump in at any time and just jump in to the current story
  • Furigana

Cons

  • It’s shounen, so if you don’t like shounen you may not like it

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One

Additional Pages

Romance_Dawn%2C_Version_2 Ikki_Yako_Infobox

image%20(1)

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Just right
  • Challenging
  • Impossible, even with everyone’s help
  • I don’t know (please click this if you’re not voting seriously)

0 voters

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Googling around, I found a bunch of lists of “books every 3年生 should read”.
If you want more recommendations, I could go through those in more details and check if something looks appropriate for your club.

Planning to join in for this one!

Don’t have any reccomendations so far, but if that changes I’ll be sure to let you know!

あたしンち

Summary

Outrageous misadventures of an almost normal family with a housewife, her husband, and their two kids Yuusuke and Mikan. Wacky humor about this weird family’s daily life.

Availability

An ebook is aviable on amazon.co.jp I don’t know where else to get japanese ebooks.

Personal Opinion

I did watch the anime and trasnlated it for crunchyroll germany. First I was skeptical, but the Anime ended up beeing quite funny. I bought the first volume of the manga and it’s a fun and easy to read manga. The manga is around 130 pages long and consist of 34 short storys about daily family life.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • lot’s of furigana
  • daily life conevrsations
  • actually quite funny

Cons

  • might be a bit childish for some

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Just right
  • Challenging
  • Impossible, even with everyone’s help
  • I don’t know (please click this if you’re not voting seriously)

0 voters

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While probably to easy for the beginner Book CLub I think atashinchi could be just right for the super beginners club.

I would like to join this although I do not have a book recommendation. Will it notify me when the book is chosen or will I have to keep checking back here?