One great way to improve your Chinese skill level is to drastically increase the amount of language input you receive through both intensive and extensive reading. We have several other blog posts which discuss online tools that you can used to scaffold your Chinese learning, such as pop-up dictionaries and reading apps. However, it’s helpful to have a physical copy of a book you would like to read so that you can take it with you on-the-go if you’ll be out in the sun, at the beach, or just if you want to give your eyes a break from your screen. Amazon is a great place to find such books, so this short post is going to show you have you can find a book that interests you.
First of all, run a Google search for “Amazon Simplified Chinese books” or “Amazon Traditional Chinese books.” This will take you to the main page for books in Chinese. Here are the links for simplified and for traditional books on Amazon.
Once on this page, you can search for books by categories on the left menu pane and try to find something that interests you.
If you want to look for the Chinese version of a specific popular book, you can try that too. If a Chinese version is available, searching the title and “Chinese edition” will usually do the trick.
If you would like to be able to search from a wider selection, another option is to buy a book directly from China through JD.com. I recently wrote another blog post about how to order books from JD.com. The shipping can be expensive from China, but sometimes (especially after registering a brand new account) JD.com will give you a coupon for shipping fees which can make a book purchased from there almost half the price as ordering from Amazon. JD also offers big discounts annually on June 18th (“618”), so it’s always worth checking to see what deals you might be able to get on this day and in the weeks leading up to it.
Obviously, you’ll need to know quite a few characters and words to hit the plateau where reading a physical book is more approachable. We recommend using JinbuPal to build up your skills with at least 80% of characters by frequency so that you can start approaching reading physical books without it feeling too daunting. So if you’re not at that point yet, keep working away on your JinbuPal account and you should be on your way to approaching this sort of content soon! But it doesn’t hurt to go ahead and pick out a book that you would enjoy reading, this can help you to get confident in seeing how many characters you already know, by scanning through and trying to sound at all the characters you’ve learned. 加油！