I’ve been thinking of getting a Kindle to read Japanese books once I finish Genki 1 to increase my reading speed and comprehension and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for books I could download from Amazon that more or less fit the level of Absolute Beginner Book Club. Thank you!
Anything that’s been nominated for the Absolute Beginner club?
Honestly, at N5 level it’s probably not worth trying to read any books. You can’t build an entire book out of 私は犬です。
If I were you, i’d focus on consolidating grammar to least a strong N4 level then trying an easy book along with something like flofloe.moe.
As @temeraire said, an N5 understanding is probably not enough to have meaningful reading practice, but if you’re up for it, you can start here: https://tadoku.org/japanese/en/recommended-books-en#level-0. These are graded readers. You start at the lowest level and work your way up ideally. Some people swear by them, but I personally have never used one to study. https://www.satorireader.com/ is an online reader you may also want to check out. Tofugu (Wanikani guys) were/are working on something similar to Satori Reader, but it’s been so long since we’ve heard anything that I forgot what it’s even called (not joking, what is it called?).
If you don’t want to pay somewhat ridiculous prices for curated reading material, you can always try to just pick up Japanese children’s books. But be forewarned that such books assume you know a whole lot that a Japanese child would know intuitively (of course) but you haven’t necessarily studied. i.e. Onomatopoeia.
You may also want to try to put Japanese in your face as often as possible. That’s really hard to do if you’re not in Japan, but what I do is follow a lot (a whole lot) of Japanese people on Twitter. My timeline is pretty much nothing but Japanese.
I got a Kindle a few months ago to do reviews on the road. It turns out they do have N5 level digital stories. Here are some that I ordered (many are free or nominal cost). Kindle also has a J-E dictionary that sometimes works. It has not been good with vertical text though.
Slightly Eaten Pie (Japanese Edition) This is a short story for children… good for vocab… not interesting though.
. First Japanese Reader Japanese Graded Reader (Japanese Edition) This is a parallel text with explanations of grammar and cultural notes. This is part one of a series of books.
Photos We are Street Cats in Summer 7 (Japanese Edition) basically a picture book
The kind detective (Japanese Edition) A full story with vertical text. It was too advanced for me at the time of purchase but is probably OK now.
I don’t know why, but I can’t stop laughing at this.
Imagine being on a flight with you kindle sitting next to someone in a sophisticated bussiness suite. They ask you what are you reading. You reply 私は犬です。
Of course, if you answered 吾輩は猫である, you’d look cultured.
Funny enough that seems to be the difference between cats and dogs.