Book Recommendations (Oshiritantei as the benchmark)

I have been trying to improve my reading skills by reading more books. So far I have read through book five in the Oshiritantei series while living in Japan for a bit. I am currently a level 34 on Wanikani and am almost finished with Genki 2.

However, while I can understand the story and get through the pages, there are definitely a lot of words I am looking up. The grammar hasn’t been too hard, but I feel that the books have gotten more difficult for me lately.

I wanted to know if anyone has recommendations for books that are about a level below Oshiritantei in difficulty. I can’t make out what grade level this series is for, so I don’t know where to look in the bookstores.

Any help is appreciated.

1 Like

Check out tadoku here. There are free short books that are grouped by levels. You can use it as a way of determining, within this set of books, what level you are more comfortable at.

Also, take a look at the 10分読める books. The absolute beginner book club has good samples of the 2nd grade books to help you judge what level you are at. I’ve finished Tobira, and the 3rd grade 10分読める books are on a good level for me at the moment. Easy enough but also just enough new vocabulary and complicated grammar concepts popping up to make it interesting. 4th grade books are a slog for me, especially as they contain a lot more specialized vocabulary I feel.

I haven’t read Oshiritantei, but it sounds like my Japanese language level is similar to yours (I just finished Genki 2, and am level 30 WaniKani) so maybe this recommendation will be helpful.

I recently got a series of にほんご よむよむ文庫 Graded Readers that I have been happy with. These are short stories that have been written with simple grammar and limited vocabulary in order to make them accessible to foreign learners of Japanese. I have found that for me, the “Level 4” (the highest level) is a good fit: I am able to read these fairly comfortably without stopping to look up vocab or grammar.

Each Volume includes 5 books as well as a CD with the audio if you want to listen to the books. I got Volume 1 and have read a couple so far. They are nicely illustrated, and range across genres from Japanese folk tales to history, etc. They also include furigana for all Kanji.

Here is a link to Volume 1 of Level 4. There are at least a couple other volumes at this level:

that’s not a really good benchmark, since there doesn’t seem to be any sample for the book. care to provide a few pages?

Here are a few pages from the book for reference:

1 Like

i think it’s normal to lookup few(or even more than just a few) words per page… specially at the beginning.

maybe taking something more focused would help you lookup less things by having a less generic subject. These are made for kids and to help kids get a better grip on the language, it’s not exactly beginner friendly. you’re halfway through wk, maybe try 少女終末旅行/よつばと!? or one of the book club picks?

Tofugu just published an article with book recommendations that you might find useful:

1 Like

Thanks so much for this helpful article.

That book about the candy store looked interesting when I saw it at the bookstore the other day. Seems like it is perfect for what I’m looking for when it comes to difficulty and entertainment.

Appreciate your help and everyone else for giving advice!

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.