Graded Readers and Parallel Texts "Book Club"


I have read my first story in months, and my first in the Ask series (lvl 0, vol 1, #1 桜 / さくら). This club got me back into reading, cheers!

I was interested to learn that @Radish8 and I have nearly opposite approaches to tackling the books and audio (Radish8’s way here); I like to listen without the book first, having only seen the cover and title as a hint to the content to see how much I can pick up (listening has always been my weakest point); then read without audio to take my time with the kanji and any new vocab (3 items this time); and finally read aloud along with the audio (shadowing). Also unlike Radish, I prefer to do it all in one sitting (easy at lvl 0, we’ll see how I get on when the stories get longer).

(@Toyger, does it feel to you like there may be a poll brewing around our approaches to graded readers?? :wink:).


Haha, interesting!

I definitely think your approach sounds good for optimal listening practice - that’s also one of my weakest points, so perhaps I’ll try doing it differently in future (though I’d probably do a second listen after reading it to see how much more I picked up). I was always focused on the reading, with the listening as a secondary bonus, and I worried I wouldn’t understand anything on a first pass :sweat_smile:


That’s a great idea!


I love polls :wink:
Feel free to put one up! =D

I’ve been sort of lazy lately… partly cause finding the sound was harder for some that don’t come with CD, and partly cause some don’t even have one. So I’ve just done a once read through without any audio for my most recen’t reads. I might go back and do them several times over, but most likely I’ll move on to harder material and only start using the audio then.

What I used to do; Read, Listen (while looking in the book), shadowing


I added to the wiki but it does not look right (my first time doing this…sorry) :blush:


A great addition! =D
We love free resources!
No worries, I moved it to where it belongs =)


Read my first one of these in a while (クリスマスプレセント from Ask Level 2 Vol 1) and the first word was

which took me a while to get… I’ve never seen a year written like that before. Guess it’s an old-fashioned way of doing it.

Also, was surprised they wrote a page at the back telling you about the author’s life. That bit took more dictionarying.


I think it’s actually a more modern way to write numbers (usually vertically. I don’t think I’ve seen it horizontally yet). It’s common in small shops, like ramen places, for displaying prices.

edit: can’t find a source about it being a bit modern, so that’s just my impression


The traditional method is by Emperors’ reigns, so I would agree this is more modern. I would also agree regarding orientation - I, too think this is the method for vertical writing, while arabic numerals would tend to be used horizontally.


Oh I see. So numerals don’t get used vertically. it was the ○ I was surprised by initially, not the orientation, but that makes sense, too.


This maru seems to be used in years to keep the same four numeral / character format, and I have seen it in a sample essay format for ‘scientific’ measurements where there were zeros.

Rummages around in her disorganised study materials…

Circled in orange, measurements with ‘zeros’ replaced with maru

Image from Wikipedia: Gus Polly - ja:ファイル:Genkoyoshi.jpg

(Turns out my study materials were organised, my recall of where I organised them to was a bit fuzzy :woman_shrugging:)


Thanks! That’s interesting to see more uses of it.


Finished my first full volume this evening :tada: (easier with the Ask series as it is only 1 lvl per volume). The accountability I feel to this club is working well - no pressure of deadlines, but I know others are working their way through these too, so I don’t feel alone. :smiley:


Yeah, same! I made this group to inspire more people to read the books, and have found I ended up reading a lot more than before myself too! =D

I’ll go level by level, and I’m currently on lvl 2.

And though I intended to read all the ask first, I got inspired to pick up the Oxford one instead, and actually finished it in just a few days! It’s basically a whole volume 2 of Ask, just in one book.
It was the comments here that let me know it was about lvl 2, i had no idea! =D


Might as well say hi since I’ve been reading some graded readers too, hi.

I’ve been reading in tadoku, the level 0 were basically “this is this thing, it’s this color” lol, the level 1 was doable, a bit more kanji, grammar, and vocab, I started level 2 and just finished the ようこそ別府へ, boy it was harder, I’ll probably have to re-read it at some point.
Also just for fun I tried reading a story in the JP version of Love Live, I mean… I got a few small phrases here and there, and I understood when Maki said betsuni, that counts right ?


I’ve finished the grade 0 free ones from Tadoku. I’ll keep reading these for a little while longer. I can’t wait until I get to Japan when I hope to pick up some graded readers more cheaply than I can here. (Less than a month now until I go!)


Great job. Grade 1 does kick up in difficulty… smaller font including furigama, actual sentences and a plot. They seem to go from easier (the dog story) to medium (autumn in Japan) to whoa (post war house). There is a lot of repetition in the third one though.
Please take pics of kanji you recognize in Japan to share with us.


Good to know. And I’ll try! (I’m a bit bad at sharing, haha…)


The next chunk of the Ask Graded Readers arrived today. Turns out it was much cheaper to ship them via compared to buying them from Kinokuniya in Austin.


Yeah. Way cheaper since the cost at Kinokuniya is double Amazon JP. And shipping is not bad if you amoritize it over multiple items. The wait was also only two business days when I received mine.

I still do go by that Kinokuniya in Austin for individual Japanese language manga volumes since buying one at a time at Amazon Japan is way too expensive with shipping. Or I go by the half price books a mile or so away and buy used manga people sell from Kinokuniya.