Converting Aozora books to work on Kindle

Recently I’ve been looking for content beyond graded readers to consume.

I think the Kindle Paperwhite is the ideal platform to learn on since eyestrain is reduced compared to computer monitors. We can read plenty of content online, but I’d like to relax away from my PC. The Paperwhite also has a decent built-in dictionary and the capability to add on more dictionaries, so it is ideal for those of us in the learning phase. The Paperwhite is also very inexpensive.

I see that many Aozora books are available to Kindle devices connected to the Japanese store, but what if you have a device that is connected to the US store? There are some titles available, but I’m finding that the selection is quite limited.

I’ve looked over Aozora’s content and some of the material can be quite daunting to take on. There exists a site that rates Aozora books by easiness here:
http://www.readyourgrade.com/?order=easiest

We can open the easiest book first:
https://www.aozora.gr.jp/cards/001475/files/51073_53367.html

One problem is that it pops up furigana, which is annoying if you want to practice real kanji reading. There is a script to hide furigana here:

We can edit the script to include Aozora’s site, add the highlighted line:

Once that is done we can enable the script and refresh. At this point I could highlight all content and cut/paste into a MS Word file. In MS Word, the cut/pasted text without furigana did not include the furigana. Touch the file up in any way desired. At that point, save the file.

Now to convert the file for use in the Kindle, browse here:

Under “Upload your document…”, select “Choose”. For Target ebook reader, I choose “Kindle Paperwhite”, added the title and author from the original book, then clicked “Convert file”.

At that point, I could e-mail the mobi file to my paperwhite… and this appeared! The dictionary was also fully functional as well.

I think this template can be used for other material as well - obviously it isn’t limited to just Aozora books. I mainly focused on Aozora since there was a resource to sort them by difficulty level. The way the difficulty level sorting was explained can be also applied to other sources as well.

12 Likes

Thanks for the sorting link. Reading is the most effective way to reinforce those kanjis we’ve learned, considering that those 2000 kanjis are the most used ones. (life lesson confirmed here)

One point I want to add is that we can include dictionaries of other languages (if you are not English native) to Kindle. Even your language is not listed in downloadable dictionaries you can still find it somewhere on google (I found my Vietnamese dictionary)