Books I’ve read in Chinese so far

Last week, I wrote an article about a reading plan for taking my Chinese to the next level. In order to have a clearer starting point and allow others to understand better what I’m doing and how things are going, this article details all books I’ve read in Chinese so far. I will keep it updated as I read more books.

The following list consists of all books I’ve read in Chinese so far. I have only included…

  • …books written for native speakers
  • …books not written for children
  • …books I’ve read from cover to cover

That means that I haven’t included dozens of textbooks for foreigners, untold numbers of newspaper articles, papers, theses and so on, neither have I included books for children or other learning materials which aren’t aimed towards adults. I might have forgotten a book or two, but this list should be almost complete (with approximate dates). In case I have written something about my experience reading the book, I have provided a link.

Naturally, there’s a huge difference in time spent per book. 《實用現代漢語語法》is 500+ pages of grammar and probably took ten times longer to read than《茫點》, which is a fairly short and easy-to-read novel. Even though my own Chinese ability also influences speed, I would argue that the main reason I didn’t read more earlier is simply because…. I didn’t read. Obviously, reading《潰雪》(that’s Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson) in 2011 took some serious time and I could have read at least five easier novels in that time, but this isn’t important. Regardless of how I measure reading in Chinese, the measurement is going to be crude and I’m fine with that. Book length and complexity probably balances out in the end anyway.

Books I’ve read in Chinese so far (2013-12-14):

  • 2010-07: 《孔子的部落格》 陳峰、夢亦非
  • 2010-09: 銀河公民》 羅伯特·海萊因
  • 2011-02: 《鍊金術士》 保羅·科而賀
  • 2011-04: 《世界大戰》 H.G.威爾斯
  • 2011-11: 《潰雪》 尼爾·史蒂芬森
  • 2012-03: 《華語文教學規範與理論基礎》 葉德明
  • 2012-06: 《空想科學》 柳田理科雄
  • 2012-08: 《漢語語法:修訂版》 李納、湯姆遜
  • 2012-11: 犀照》 倪匡
  • 2013-01: 《天觀雙俠》 鄭丰
  • 2013-01: 《華語語音學》 葉德明
  • 2013-02: 《實用現代漢語語法》 劉月華、潘文娛、故辭
  • 2013-02: 《跟狗狗一起學物理》 查德·歐澤
  • 2013-02: 茫點》 倪匡
  • 2013-03: 《三體》 劉慈欣
  • 2013-03: 《漢語音韻》 耿志堅
  • 2013-04:《世界之眼(上)》 羅伯特·喬丹
  • 2013-05:《世界之眼(下)》 羅伯特·喬丹
  • 2013-05:《謝謝你離開我》 張小嫻
  • 2013-06:《大狩獵(上)》 羅伯特·喬丹
  • 2013-07:《大狩獵(下)》 羅伯特·喬丹
  • 2013-08:《在世界盡頭遇見台灣》 羅聿
  • 2013-09:《活著》 余華
  • 2013-09:《漢字書法之美》 蔣勳
  • 2013-09:《黑天鵝語錄》 納西姆·尼可拉斯·塔雷伯
  • 2013-10:《老子的部落格》 曹鴻濤
  • 2013-10:《真龍轉生(上)》 羅伯特·喬丹
  • 2013-11:《真龍轉生(下)》 羅伯特·喬丹
  • 2013-11:《飢餓遊戲》 蘇珊·柯林斯
  • 2013-11:《空想科學読本(2)》 柳田理科雄
  • 2013-11:《棋王》 阿城
  • 2013-12:《星火燎原》 蘇珊·柯林斯
  • 2013-12:《科幻世界的哲學凝視》 陳瑞麟
  • 2013-12:《空想科學読本(3)》 柳田理科雄

Books I’m currently reading:

  • 那些年,我們呢一起追的女孩
  • 空想科學読本(3)

2013-03-21 update

As you can see, I’m well on my towards reading 25 books this year. I have already read six books so far, which is almost equal to the number of books I read in 2011 and 2012 combined. If we extrapolate this number, I will end up with 25-30 books before the end of 2013.

If I keep that going, I will reach 100 books in about three years. Of course, steadily improving reading speed should increase the number of books, but there will inevitably be periods when I read less, which cancels out any speed improvements. I will update this article whenever I finish reading a book, although I might not write reviews of all the books I read.

2013-09-19 update

Apparently, I didn’t read as much as I planned to during summer, so I’m somewhat behind schedule. Considering that I read one extra book early, only started falling behind in June. Providing that I read one more book this month, I will be three books behind schedule (or four since the goal is actually 25 this year, not 24 or two books per month). That’s quite a lot considering that I still read fairly slowly. Still, I have some interesting books available and I’m sure I can find the time. I haven’t given up yet, 25 books is still within reach!

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  1. Malte’s avatar

    That’s quite impressive. Do you look up every character you don’t know (I got the feeling the number of unknown characters ain’t that high in your case)?

    Reply

    1. Olle Linge’s avatar

      The number of characters I don’t know is very low, I can usually read several pages without encountering a single one. The number of words I don’t know is obviously much higher than that, but I can almost always use the individual characters and guess from context what a word means. I only look it up if I think it’s a word I’m likely to want to use in the future. So I guess I spend about 1% in a dictionary and 99% actually reading. That’s a policy rather than the result of good reading ability, though. I simply don’t think that it’s a good idea to look things up unless they are very important or interesting for some reason.

      Reply