Jump to content
Learn Chinese in China

The 'Share Your Shelves' Thread - post a photo!


Recommended Posts

@lechuan:  Great to see someone else with the Taiwan Practical Audio-Vis Chinese series!  We have the equivalent of books 3-5.


What's your opinion of that 'side by side' book?  And the 'Using Chinese' pair?  They're all on my Amazon list, so I'd be interested in your thoughts on them.


@ Ruben:  So the book is parallel text?  Bilingual?  I'm not at all surprised at the propaganda element, but will keep my thoughts on this to myself!! :lol:


Re buying books:


I've just had a quick count up on my main Chinese collection shelf and it seems that about 40 of the texts were bought by me in bookshops, be they high street ones, Chinatown in London, Leeds uni bookshop/East Asian department for course requirements, second hand shops or bookshops in Taiwan whilst studying there.  There'll be another dozen or more that Sir bought too.


Around a dozen seem to have come from on-line shops, mostly Amazon UK more recently.  I too like to look at a book, but there aren't that many stockists of decent Chinese resources and, frankly, on-line shopping is cheaper - an important consideration when you're on an 'expenses only with the odd treat here and there' budget!  As many books on Amazon now have a really good 'look inside' function, I don't mind not having seen them for real, so to speak.


The other part of the collection were freebies of one sort or another.  The majority of the freebies (about 20 or so) came from 'Free books!  Please help yourself' boxes in my old department (and I still call in from time to time and help myself!), which appear when academics are having a clear out!!  Bring it on, say I!  The others were brought for me from China.  Often when friends (Chinese or others) are going to China for a while, or even parents are coming to visit, they'll ask if there's anything they can bring back for us and so I can count about 10 that have come through them.


In future it'll continue to be mostly the second two sources - freebies and on-line buys (I loathe the work 'purchase'! :twisted: ).  Sometimes, if I'm lucky enough to find a book in a physical shop, then I'll almost always evaluate it there and then buy on-line - Marketplace etc if poss.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

Yes, this is how a random page looks:post-51349-0-77349400-1394105091_thumb.jpg (only that mine is a German edition, obviously)


Although some articles are 2 pages and longer so you don't have both languages on opposing pages.


Actually, when I took it out of the shelf right now, I was reminded that it really is a good book (despite the slight bias :P  )! Especially because the texts are so simple (again, not in a negative way), and because the topics are so extensive. I bought it online, second hand but in excellent quality, and it's defenitely worth it.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Herzlichen Dank, Ruben!  Actually a German/Chinese version would be great for me to practice both languages!!  Maybe I should consider one of those!  Looks great though and, yes, considering who wrote/published it, I knew what to expect.  Can't be worse than some of my early 80's mainland textbooks, where everyone is working hard to build socialism and their lives and food production levels are all so much better than before the 'liberation'!! :mrgreen:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can't resist this kind vanity and voyeurism. Here's my bookshelf here in Beijing. I brought a number of English language history books with me because I have to write quite a long essay by the end of the year. Mostly everything else was bought here over the last year, and are mostly either partially or entirely unread. Apart from the textbooks of course, which I'm sick of the sight of.


post-52849-0-47973800-1394111146_thumb.jpg post-52849-0-26451800-1394111170_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites



What's your opinion of that 'side by side' book?  And the 'Using Chinese' pair?  They're all on my Amazon list, so I'd be interested in your thoughts on them.


Side by Side: Chinese and English Grammar:


This book is basically teaches you:

1) Grammatical terms that pertain to English/Chinese

2) Basic English/Chinese Grammar

3) The differences between Chinese and English Grammar


I'd consider it a supplement to a regular grammar (ie. Modern Mandarin Chinese Grammar). The examples/explanations are quite technical and terse. However, unlike other grammars that assume you already know the grammatical terms, this one does a great job of explaining the grammatical terms first, and their uses in English and Chinese. It also covers what Chinese Grammar doesn't have (from a perspective of an English speaker), which can be useful for avoiding common translation mistakes. If you'd like to brush up on your English grammar, grammatical terms, and compare/contrast with Chinese Grammar, it's a great book. If you're looking for a primary Chinese grammar, or despise technical grammatical terms, then you might not like this one.


Using Chinese - A Guide to Contemporary Usage:


One of my favorite Chinese-learning books. Accessible for all levels, but probably most useful for the intermediate/advanced learner. Contains everything you won't find in textbooks or traditional grammar books. There's a lot of useful and functional language here. Includes:

- homographs (characters with more than one pronunciation, with examples)

- contemporary vocabulary, like "DINK couple (double income, no kids)", "two-system family: either husband or wife is from mainland China and the other one from Taiwan", "people who demand high prices and try to make money without mercy", etc.

- Text messaging, blogging, and online chatting abbreviations/smilies (ie. 520, JJ, PLMM, 42, etc)

- Important quotes from classical literature

- Useful idioms/chengyu, proverbs and common sayings

- Literary Devices: Punning/Metaphorical allusions, Onomatopeia, Mimetopeia, Riddles, Tongue Twisters, Color-related expressions, Opposites (antonyms), Figurative Expressions, Vulgar Sayings and Insulting words, Issues in translation

- Functional Language: common Chinese names, places, landmarks/oceans/rivers/countries, festivals, holidays, family relationships, forms of address, social interaction, conversions between different measurement systems, Chinese Calendar, Currency, formal letters

- Grammar (not exhaustive, focuses mainly on the most useful grammar)


Also in the same series is "Using Chinese Synonyms", which basically explains the subtle differences between similar words in Chinese. For intermediate/advanced.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

Had to bump this one after posting in the deskies thread and remembering that I had been meaning to post in this one. :)


Two of my shelves are actually closets. One is very wide, so I have to be careful not to put too many books there or it sags really badly (as you can see).








Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Did you see the "share your dekies" topic? It was inspired by this topic.


Actually come to think of it, I am a little surprised not have seen a deskie from you :(


You can see the "deskies" topic here http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/46139-deskies-share-your-deskstudy-area/



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...

As requested: here some pictures of the books I bought in China. A few I had planned to buy, a few were random 'oh this looks kinda interesting' book shop (shu-store...) finds, most were recommendations from others and a few were gifts from various organisations or real people. It's mostly contemporary novels.


How I got all this home: I had only 17 kg on the way to China, so I though I'd have enough space and packed my suitcase lasagna-style: a layer of clothes, a layer of books, etcetera until it was full. The heaviest books I left out to bring in my hand luggage. This resulted in a 33 kg suitcase (I was allowed 23 kg). As an aside: if you're in the kind of hotel that has a gym, that gym may have a scale that can be useful to weigh one's luggage. Anyway, I took out about half the books (the heaviest ones), took the heaviest freebies that were actually not directly interesting for me out altogether, put the heavier books in my hand luggage and tried again. 24.6 kg, that would have to do.


I managed to stuff the heavy freebies back into the hand luggage (which I haven't weighed but must have been at least 15 kg if not more) and headed for the airport. The lady at the check-in desk said that she could perhaps allow me 24 kg but really not more, so I took out two more books (stuffed in the hand luggage), which brought the total to exactly 24.0, and then I was good to go. Nobody has ever weighed my hand luggage, fortunately.



  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites



China Southern allows me 23kg x 2, so usually I pack a soft fold-up case inside a hard one, buy more books than I can possibly read (but they're so cheap!), and fill both cases coming back. I'm paranoid about putting books in the soft case in case they get wrecked, although that hasn't happened yet.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

China Southern. I've only flown Air France once and I don't recall them weighing my hand luggage then. I was allowed 1 x 23 kg, I think another 23 kg suitcase would have cost money (100 US$ or something like that).


These days a lot of books come sealed in plastic, which protects them quite a bit I think. I also buy more books than I can read, but prices have gone up quite a bit. Chinese novels used to be around 20 yuan or so, but this time I didn't find any under 30 yuan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...