Textbooks for complete beginners

Hello! Beginner here, the only thing I know about japanese is the radicals, kanji and vocab words I’ve learned in the 10 levels I’ve completed in WK.
It’s suggested for me to complement the studies with a Japanese Textbook, so I was looking at the recommendations and I see that one of the best is a book called Genki. The thing is, that is not suitable for self learners such as myself, so I’m back in square one. And all the other books don’t seem to be as good or efficient as Genki. More than money spend in a book, I’m concerned about time and efficiency, so knowing that I study completele by myself, would you still recommend Genki? Are there better options for me?

I’m planning to order the grammar dictionary for beginners (and maybe intermediate) anyway, because it’s a must have, but that’s a dictionary, which means I should use it as a reference book. I still need to complement the studies with a more linear book or text book that teaches foundations first and more complicated things later.

Sorry for misspelled words or grammar errors, I’m not a native english speaker. :smiley:
Thanks a lot for your replies in advance!

I used Genki by myself and it taught me basic grammar quite well. There are some exercises that require pair work, but you can easily skip them or even do them by yourself. It also has a reading and writing section at the back of the book, which allows you to start doing some reading which includes only the grammar/vocab that you have already learned. I can’t say anything about the workbook though since I haven’t used it, I don’t know whether it is suited for self study.

Some say it is a bit dry, but I liked having a structured approach and nicely explained grammar points.


I’m self-learner, and I’m using Genki I (textbook and workbook). I don’t think that it’s completely unsuitable for self-learners. Many people of forums went thru Genki I and II without a class. There is a discord server dedicated to Genki for people who want to study together.

Also your post title made me think you are asking for reading materials (as in easy books to start reading), not grammar textbooks. There two master topics which will give you more than enough information to start:


Also a beginner here, and I’ve just started using Genki myself. It’s not so bad! Just came here to say if you want a buddy for the pair exercises, I’d love to work together!


I’d also recommend checking this thread.


Thank you!
Yes, about the title, my english played against me, I should be more clear.
Thanks a lot for the information you posted, I’ll take a look.

1 Like

Nice! I’ll order it and let you know.

1 Like

Thanks! I’ll check it out.

1 Like

More about Genki, today I started using Genki Exercises - 2nd Edition | Genki Study Resources which allows to do exercises from textbook/workbook online and check your answers, love it so far.


I’m also self-studying with WaniKani, Genki and Bunpro (the Genki path). So far, it’s working out great for me (currently at Lesson 3). Also, the webpage that @sansarret gave (Genki Exercises - 2nd Edition | Genki Study Resources) is great for doing your workbook exercises!

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.