What compact, varied, difficult Kindle books would you recommend to someone at an N3 level?

I’m a big fan of the dictionary and vocabulary builder features available on the Kindle. I just finished Tobira and know somewhere in the ballpark of 2000 - 3000 words but not much reading practice. I have a relatively high tolerance for difficulty and do not get easily discouraged–especially when I can easily look up words in the built-in dictionary and even track all translated words in a native Vocabulary Builder with flash cards and everything.

I was originally thinking about going through the original Harry Potter. My only issues are that (1) while the story is highly varied, it’s still just one story in one world by one author and (2) has a lot of fantasy vocabulary that I will not use and thereby quickly forget.

It would be nice to find Kindle books that have (1) more compact, varied content (e.g. one short and sweet book, a collection of short stories or essays, etc), (2) greater difficulty than graded readers, and (3) a higher density of vocabulary and speech patterns that are useful in real life.

What Kindle content would you recommend?


Here’s a sample of the first page of Harry Potter if you want to know what it’s like:

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If you are at N3 level you should be able to pick up any book you want. I mean it’ll be hard obviously but that’s how it’s gonna be until N2.(N3 is a good start/foundation to dive into native material)

Just pick something you like to increase your chances of sticking to it. I would say that’s the thing you should focus on. Even if you pick a light novel that is difficult you will be able to keep going despite the difficulty because you probably like the anime…for example…versus “Hey I need to power through this just for the sake of improving”.

If you want useful vocab, you can always focus on the slice of life genre, find a manga you like and go with that or pick the light novel instead.


You could check out some of the books the Intermediate Book Club has read together; you’d also have the additional support of the threads where people discussed sections and answered questions, and also a vocab spreadsheet.
Maybe コンビニ人間 could be something of interest, キッチン? both should have a pretty large amount of useful vocabulary I think.

For short stories I recommend 星 新一, he is awesome.



I’m not sure about the difficulty having never read them myself, but these "5 minute story collections” are really popular in Japan right now. I would assume they’d give you the variation you want while still having compact stories.

I linked to the original one, but if you look at the suggestions they have collections for mysteries, horrors, sad stories etc, so you can choose what ever holds your interest.

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I’m currently reading コンビニ人間 and highly recommend it too. It’s pretty short (some 160 pages) and the story itself is distinctively very Japanese.

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