Graded Readers and Parallel Texts "Book Club"

I’ve been thinking of adding more of Clay and Yumi (Japan Shop) to the list… I have more or less everything they have made! :rofl:
Most of it digital though, which makes it a bit harder to list number of stories and such. Maybe just add by books instead =P

Edit: Added

2 Likes

Thank you so much for this! I’m based in the UK and the other graded reader series were coming in at around £100 :scream:

2 Likes

I finished everything that we had in our local library except for one book, but I have to wailt until the end of the current situation to go back and get that one. From now on I’ll read manga and novels. I have 秒速5センチメートル, I hope I’ll be able to understand it. I saw the movie several times, so it won’t be completely new.

2 Likes

I finished level 3 of the taishukan readers today. My favourite story was 大男の話. I learned a few grammar points from this level. ~ようになる and ようとする.

7 Likes

I’m going to start reading everything that you’ve posted here. Thank you so much for this.

I’m from the Philippines and unfortunately, there’s no near library in my area and I can’t afford most of the Japanese books.

Will update on my reading progress here. Again, thank you very much.

3 Likes

For those who haven’t got or read the Ask Tadokus yet, the first volumes of each level are available now online for free until the end of August. You have to register on this link and they send you a username, password and link to the books.

10 Likes

I recently bought all of the New Taishukan Nihongo Tadoku Books vol 1-10 from omgjapan.
They are a more modern version than the ASK graded readers(art/topics).
Instead of cds you can download the mp3s from the websites.
These books use the new updated graded reading levels which is 0-5. Instead of 0-4 of the ASK graded readers version.
Far cheaper than the ask graded readers(omgjapan). The prices for the ASK books on amazon and ebay are just way too expensive to even consider.

2 Likes

These, right?

I love them, and have collected all of them (read some of them. but far from all yet)
The ones I have read I really liked! =D

1 Like

Yes those books are the ones. I got the full set.

1 Like

Been reading the new stuff and studying the words I didn’t know. I Really like the ‘船’ love story and liked it. some small parts i didn’t know but i was able to understand the story. Very nice story.

5 Likes

I’m so happy to have found this thread. I am getting tired of WaniKani just drilling items, and want to start reading and listening, but obviously can’t start with “real books.”. I’m reading the level one book 青い right now, and actually (for the first time) feel like I’ve been learning a language instead of a Hodge lodge of code words.

7 Likes

After starting WaniKani last week (proud level 2 since yesterday heh) and reading this forum I jumped in :-). Ordered ASK all three level 0 books as well Taishukan volume 1.

5 Likes

Thats a great place to start! <3

2 Likes

Got my books from Amazon.co.jp in 3 Days to Poland. Yuupiii!

8 Likes

My main question about the ask readers is why do all the animals die?

And what is up with the O Henry translations? He’s a chore to read in English, Japanese does not help…

3 Likes

I have noticed a trend among the Japanese fairytales and folk lore stories I have read (both in graded readers and elsewhere): they are often sad and far too often tragedies. Almost no one escapes in the nick of time.

6 Likes

I find our fairytales here in Europe quite grim as well though, I don’t feel it’s just a Japanese thing :thinking: I think fairytales are often dark as they were supposed to teach children lessons about why they shouldn’t do whatever the point in the story is.

I know the Disney interpretations have happy endings but the original versions of the likes of The Little Mermaid, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty are a lot darker.

2 Likes

Ah yes, many of the fairytales we grew up with have been re-written for sure!
They are quite dark!

My sister had a whole series of fairytale books for her kids. When reading for her toddler I decided to take one of the books out to my sister and told her to hide it away until she’s older. Every story in that book was absolutely horrible with death and cannibalism with not a single trace of hope! And that despite being against “Disneyfying” all the tales, these were NOT meant for children! In fact many Fairytales are for adults.

3 Likes

That is true. But the protagonist does often manage to get out of it, such as Little Red Riding Hood and others. Not saying they ended happily ever after, but they also didn’t tend to end: and everyone died, or the love of their life died, or than they were forever sad. Which I feel like a lot of Japanese ones kinda imply or even states.

I also remember folk lore tales from my childhood, and whether they were sanitized for children or Swedish ones just tend to let the hero escape without serious heartbreak, well, I’d have to look into them as an adult to know. Although I know we have many mythological creatures that are mostly about killing people or making them insane, so…

But even outside fairytales and such I’ve found a certain fondness for sad stories among Japanese stories, which is not my cup of tea. :disappointed:
(Obviously not everything, but stories I was handed in Japanese class in Japan, or writing assignments I was asked for, often had a focus on sad and/or negative experiences.)

4 Likes

Many of our fairytales, including Little Red Riding Hood, has been sanitised too.
Some versions, probably the more original, leaves them eaten and the wolf “lives happily” instead. No, the versions where they get rescued is a sanitised version for kids :wink:
Also the story (the action of getting swallowed specifically) is a euphemism for sex, the red hood a symbol of fertility (or getting their first period). The story is supposed to warn young adults/pre-teens against “predators” who wants to rape them. Getting saved after makes no sense.

3 Likes