Reading materials

Hello community!

I finally reached WK level 10, hurray :grin:. Fifty more lol.

That being said, I would like now to start reading some children book or any material that uses n5 up to n4 kanjis, so I can train my Reading skills.

Does it exist? Do you have any recommandation? I’m conscious that japanese writers will not write a book thinking about what jlpt level is such or such Kanji, but maybe some materials are more adapted than others.

Thank you!

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There’s literally graded readers that are designed to line up with the JLPT levels.

www.tadoku.org is usually recommended here, but there are others.

You may find them a bit dry/basic though, but they can be a good confidence boost.

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hey, it really depends on your grammar and how much kanji you want to see.

In terms of ease of reading, I thought it went like this (easiest to hardest):

ASK graded readers level 0-2, Satori reader, ABBC manga, ABBC children’s books.

But in terms of practicing your kanji reading, it’s not as straight forward:
ASK graded readers (and I think the Tadoku ones pembo mentioned) - use kanji as appropriate, but put furigana on all of them
Satori reader - perfect - you can link your WK and it will remove furigana for kanji you know
ABBC manga - ok, but will have furigana on everything, also, this is a tough place to start from zero
ABBC children’s books - hardest start (children know thousands of words and grammar beyond N3), and a lot of kanji words are written in kana. I still find these great to read, don’t get me wrong, but not for kanji reading practice.

So, basically, do a mix of the above, you’ll need different reading for different purposes. And if you keep at it, you can get past the painful hump at the start faster than you think so don’t give up!

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I second @pembo さん’s recommendation of tadoku.
Another great resource is

The Tile World Chronicles is another great free reading resource

And there is also

It’s not free, but it’s arguably the easiest way to get into reading.

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I agree with the Tadoku/Satori reader suggestions (and NHK easy).

For beginner manga, the least annoying I can think of are 小さいな森の狼 and maybe 桜井さんは気づいてほしい 1 | L15 though I can’t remember if that has furigana. There’s others rated below that in difficulty but they often have childish speech patterns or vocab that I find hinders more than hurts. よつばと! in particular is a beginner trap imho.

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You can try joining the absolute beginner book club here on the forum at this point. It will be a bit painful, but it always will be regardless of when you jump in. Sadly we’re right in the middle of our current pick (and it’s also recently hard), but the next one will start on the 16th of December

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I absolutely loved the Chrystal Hunters manga. It is meant for language learners and every volume increases difficulty and contains a free vocabulary and grammar explanation list to go with it.

Thank you all for your recommandations, I’ll look into each of them!

There are a lot of good suggestions here! One more if you’ve covered beginner grammar. Since I was actually reading it last night I realised it’s exactly what you’re asking for as it specifically removes furigana from N5/N4 kanji: Reading Road
This is just if you like essay / cultural reading. The book is a bunch of articles of general interest about Japan. You can read in any order. There are 5 themed chapters, and in each chapter there are 3 levels. Levels 1 / 2 remove furigana for N5 / N4 kanji, Level 3 also removes furigana for N3 kanji. The texts get longer and more complex with each level. There are some comprehension questions.

There must be a lot of ambiguity on what kanji is at what level, as just paging through it - 正月 had furigana, as did 人気. So perhaps it’s slightly on the easier end. I think it’s pretty approachable as there is a table at the bottom defining a bunch of the less common words, and a translation in the back if you really need it. It feels a bit like reading in Satori but on paper (maybe there’s a digital version as well, I have no idea).

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