Graded Readers and Parallel Texts "Book Club"

Oh I feel that way too! I have all the readers, finished some, but not all, and keep thinking “I should pick those up again” but then never do XD
I’ve started a new Reader type book. I’ve been planning on adding them to the list.
I keep finding new stuff and start reading those instead of the old, so I’m still only part way done with everything XD


It is such an easy thing to do. It is like I started Fruits Basket in January (didn’t get very far before I got busy) instead of picking up Sailormoon again, because starting something new just seemed easier. xD


I picked up that one too, cause there was a club for it!
I keep falling in the club trap XD
I join so many I can’t keep up, and rather than finish the past ones I join new ones XD
I’ve only recently been able to say “no, if I don’t own it, I will not join it!” :stuck_out_tongue:
…But I already owned Fruits Basket… ^^;
I was actually glad when the club decided to stop after a few volumes, as people lost interest =P


I didn’t know that. Good to know. ^^ Well, I’m getting back into Sailormoon and finishing that first. Then I might tackle Fruits Basket again, or I’ll pick something else from my library.


I want to finish it some day, but there are more recent stuffs I’d much rather be reading, like Boruto. So will save it for later, and read in my own pace.


Hey y’all graded reader lovers💚

I started a survey about graded reader recommendations for a new article for Tell me about your favorites and help me (& your fellow Japanese learners) out, please!


I was slacking at the beginning of the year… but since the start of summer have been trying to read every day. trying to chop down on my pile of graded readers.


I’ve been slacking too, and Kanae asking actually triggered me to pick them back up again =P
I did restart though, since it’s been so long. But gotten through a good bit already, soon back to where I was and can start on the ones I haven’t read before =P


I see you did the same thing as me. Restarting from scratch.

I have a question. what is considered real reading? For graded readers, I just read without a dictionary. But for manga that’s hard to do because of the many new vocabs poping up.

I recently ‘Read’ through a ten-volume manga series using kanjitomo to look up the unknown words and after finishing a page or two I would look at an English translated version to see if I understood correctly.

Is this considered reading or just looking up words in a dictionary and looking at pictures.

I have a feeling I am not really reading, so I went back to start reading the pile of graded readers that I have not finished or gotten to.

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Rather than “real” reading, I think it’s more helpful to think about it in terms extensive vs intensive reading.

Extensive is where you read without a dictionary - like you’ve been doing for the graded readers - and just read as much as possible, not getting too caught up in in the nitty gritty. Advantages to extensive reading is that it helps expose you to a lot of native material and helps build reading speed. When there is only a handful of vocab you don’t know, you can also usually infer the meaning from context, which helps build vocabulary. In order to become fluent with any language, it is really important to get massive exposure to a language. Extensive readings helps you reach that.

The catch, however, is that for extensive reading to be at its most effective, the material has to be just a slight step above your level (the famous “n +1”). This is really hard when you are still at the beginner and lower intermediary stages of language learning! Graded readers are designed to help fit that role, but once you graduate from those, it can be hard to find native material that provide that perfect amount of difficulty until you reach a higher level.

Intensive is where you slow down, look everything up and make sure that you understand everything. This is valuable because it allows you to tackle more difficult material, learning new grammar and vocabulary along the way. It also means that you go back to easier stuff, it will feel like a breeze in comparison! I have found that a lot of my “breakthroughs” in reading Japanese have come from intensive reading.

I remember the first week of reading コンビニ人間 I though I’d never get through. But after working through it line by line with a dictionary, and reading through other peoples breakdowns of difficult sections, my ability to read long compound sentences with modifiers sky-rocketed. I still needed to look up a lot of vocab (probably 10-15 words per page) but sentence structure was just no longer an issue by the end.

The downside is that if you only ever do intensive reading, you won’t be getting the repetitions necessary to really absorb sentence patterns and structures as well as building a more varied vocabulary.

I think both approaches are valuable for the reasons I outlined above. In the beginning stages, you might do more intensive reading, and as you get better, probably switch to more extensive reading.

One thing I will sometimes do with manga is mix up both approaches, where I will first read through a chapter without looking anything up. You might be surprised how much you can understand! And then after that, I will do a second pass where I do an intensive read through.


Any reading is good reading! :wink:
I go for exposure myself, reading is a way to test what I have learned and something I do for fun.
So I am “Team Extensive Reading” :wink:

I have done the more intensive look up method a few times, but it slows me down to a point where I lose interest, so it isn’t for me. When I join book clubs I try to read what everyone else share of breakdowns though, so have learned a lot through others.

I also do the dual read a lot. Combine with English. When I first started I did bubble by bubble. First Japanese, then English, then Japanese again to see if I could actually pick out the words. Later switched to whole page, then whole chapter. And now I sometimes only barely skim the English to see if I missed anything, without going back a second time.

No matter the method though, any reading that gives you joy is a good reading. If you push yourself where you no longer find any enjoyment it is less likely to be beneficial. I find it is better to read a little bit every day than a lot somedays for the same reason.


Thanks so much for this resource.

I just started with this and I am already confused. Why is the kanji for blue and green the same. Why, Japan, why?

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It isn’t that the kanji is the same, it’s that the delineation of what is ‘blue’ and what is ‘green’ is a little different. In Japanese, living things are often described as being ‘blue’, so blue apples, blue trees, and blue traffic signal means go.

Blue あお 青
Green みどり 緑


Im not exactly sure what みて this is meaning?
Since the name of this chapter is くちべに paired with the illistration my best guess is 廻る to go around. But that doesnt seem quite right. Can someone confirm or correct me?

The second line Im guessing means “(I’m) waiting a little.”

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It’s the て-form of 見る which is used as a mild command here: “Mum, look!”

This is also in て-form so it’s also a mild command: ”Wait a moment"

Happy reading! :blush:


I didnt know て form could be used as a mild command, I was trying to fit it into a continuous form. There isnt any way to tell how the て form is being used besides context, is there?

Thank you!

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The full form would be ~てください, but in casual speech the ください part often gets dropped. Here is a Tae Kim article about it if you would like to see some more example sentences.

Context is of course a strong indicator. Also if there is nothing following the て-form, that would also be some kind of hint. Although in casual speech it might indicate that somebody just started a thought and never got around to finishing it… I think telling this apart is something you will get used to with more practice.
(And it’s especially hard in my opinion to read very short sentences in direct speech, because there is so little context…)


I didnt know you cold say ください without saying ください

Wouldnt the て form is a continuing verb be at the end of a sentence without anything else too.

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It’s casual speech only, e.g. when talking to friends or family. It’s of course less polite when you leave it out, but it’s ok in many situations.

The てform, when used as continuous form, has the meaning of “and” or “and then”. So it would only make sense to have something before it and after it, like e.g.

りんごを食べて、お茶を飲みました。I ate an apple and drank tea.

In regular Japanese, e.g. normal written text, you wouldn’t have a standalone “continuous form” at the end of a sentence. I have only seen that happen when somebody speaks casually and has a train of thought and gets stuck in the middle, like for example when talking like “I did X, and then I did Y, and then I did Z, and then” but nothing follows afterwards because they ran out of steam from talking or something.

Does this make sense somehow?


Yes, some how I got the impression て form was like the english -ing. Now everything is much clearer. Thank you.

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