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What are you reading?


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On 7/30/2022 at 9:41 PM, becky82 said:

Reading non-fiction is more my style: I'm not only learning/practicing Chinese, I'm also learning about other things.


This seems like an amazing way to learn Chinese, and if I had been able to access these kinds of textbook bundles in the beginning, I would have loved to do it that way. Like you said, you learn a lot of stuff beyond the Chinese language itself. Also, the books are written for the sake of clarity and teaching, so they're never too obscure or flowery in their language. They're filled with fun illustrations. They reflect the kind of education a Chinese person would have while growing up. They promote a knowledge of Chinese culture (especially those books about history and "morality and law").


I've only read a few non-fiction books in Chinese so far (most recently, a book on the history of quantum physics). The fun thing about reading those books is that I feel like I'm never the target audience. I sometimes wonder if the author expected some midwestern American guy with no Chinese ancestry whatsoever to pick up the book, read it through, and learn a lot from it. There are a lot of English language books about quantum physics, and the history of quantum physics is overwhelmingly European (though that's changing). Yet I learned about it through a Chinese source! My knowledge of that topic is indebted to an anonymous Chinese author who was writing for other Chinese people.


Fiction has been an extremely rich source of vocabulary acquisition, but maybe too much so. When I read more practical sources (like news stories on the internet), I don't encounter the flowery language I get from novels. 

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