Could use some help

It is quite likely that this has been asked already but I am having difficulties finding beginner level books/mangas/short-stories/et similis therefore i would appreciate if someone could give me a piece of advice on where to find them.
I guess i should also clarify what I mean with “beginner”. I mean that I have the absolute most basilar understanding of the simplest grammar and I know (to use a euphemism) a quite limited number of words.


If you are in Europe and want Japanese native paper books I have found the best source. Chi’s sweet home is certainly the easiest book I have come across. But at the stage you’re at it may be easier to read beginner sentences and dialogues in Japanese language textbooks than native childrens books.


I think the best material for someone starting are Graded Readers for Japanese Learners, any editorial should be fine actually.

Simultaneusly start looking for native material that you find at least interesting, considering that at the beginning most of the material that will be somewhat doable will fall in the realm of those stories aimed at elementary school kids.

Any native material you approach will be leagues ahead of the graded readers experience and will be a great challenge at first, so start bulding some “reading muscles” beforehand, until you find something that will motivate you enough to make the leap :+1: .

This guide by JALUP should point you to some entry level native readings.


I’d say it depends on your motivations and personality.
Some people vouch heavily for kids material or graded readers, because they can ignore how boring the material is by experiencing the shear joy of reading something in Japanese.
Other people (me) find it impossible to read something they’re not interested in and would rather slam their head repeatedly against something way too hard but interesting. This type of person prefers simpler manga, and often something like Yotsubato because the visual humor can carry your interest even when you’re kind of lost.

Just have to figure out which is right for you. But either way, use reading as only reading practice, at least some of the time. Don’t go looking up every word and piece of grammar. Skip stuff. Skip entire sections. Read the parts you can read or can almost read. Reading practice as reading practice itself is valuable enough.


If you go to a Japanese bookstore, perhaps Kinokuniya, there will be some really basic children’s books that will help. If you don’t mind ordering from Amazon, perhaps it’s good to read something like Goodnight Moon in Japanese - - called おやすみなさいおつきさま.

Unless you’re like me and you’d rather bash your head against the wall 10 times more than @QuackingShoe because you can’t stand skipping things. Not that I never skip things, but it really bothers me!


I would like to thank all of you for your aid, I think that “Chi’s sweet home” and “Yotsubato” will be good starting points, that said I will keep in mind the advice of mister/miss QuackingShoe and make sure to read interesting things so to avoid loosing interest. I would also like to guarantee you that the links that were provided revealed to be quite useful.

If I’m the type that started trying to translate random sentences I see in anime(because I see a bunch of familiar kanji), despite the sentence making no sense whatsoever(The kanji are fine, but the sentences themselves… you may as well just read vowels at me, and I’ll understand about as much), I definitely belong in the second camp, right?

If you weren’t already aware of it, the absolute beginner book club read some of Chii a little while ago. The questions and grammar help should still be there if you run into questions.

チーズスイートホーム Home Thread (Absolute Beginner Book Club)


Probably :wink:

How much you look up can also vary by session or by source. One day, you just read. Another day, you look up tons of stuff.
In my case it tends to just vary by source. I typically look up almost nothing in video games, tv shows, podcasts. I tend to look up a lot in novels and visual novels. Manga is mixed. That’s now though. When I was just starting it usually just varied by mood.

Keep in mind that a lot of people here consider Yotsubato to be really difficult for beginners, and I actually agree if you try to read everything. I recommend reading something like Yotsubato selectively, like this:

That’s pretty much how I read it the first time.
If that doesn’t seem like your style, I might not pick it up just now.