In Olly Richard’s Intermediate Short Stories in Japanese you will be introduced to 11 stories from different genres, all written to match an intermediate readers vocabulary and grammar knowledge. I addition to these stories, it also includes vocab lists and reading comprehension quizzes after each chapter.
Author: Olly Richards
Publisher: Teach Yourself
Length: 240 pages (11 stories)
If you are interested in Japanese novels, but have been reluctant to read them because of their length, I can highly recommend this book of short stories. Unlike other short story collection for learners of Japanese, this one includes 11 longer stories devided into chapters that are about 4-8 pages long. This allows for plot to build up a bit more naturally while still maintaining a length that is comfortable to read for intermediate readers.
Each story has its own genre. There is Japanese medieval fantasy, slice-of-life, mystery, sci-fi and more. With the book covering that many genres of stories, you will encounter new useful genre-specific vocabulary as well. This is reinforced at the end of each chapter through a glossary of interesting vocabulary, summaries in Japanese and well thought out comprehension quizzes.
I also thought this book had a great use of furigana to help you remember the readings. If a word has already appeared on the page with furigana, the second time only a part of the word will have furigana. I also appreciated the choice to make vocabulary from the list at the end of the chapter bold in the text.
What has to be mentioned with this short story collection is that what Olly Richards originally wrote was not in Japanese. “Intermediate Short Stories in X” is a series with graded readers for several foreign languages such as German, Spanish, Russian, French, Arabic and many more. In these books, the 11 stories always stay the same but are adapted for the respective language e.g. by changing the names of the characters and cities.
The method works well regardless and I must say that I really did enjoy these short stories more than I did other graded reader short story collections. If you want to try it out for yourself, you can get this book for example through Amazon Japan (affiliate link).