I'm looking for some medium level Chinese books to read. Most of the books I can find in Chinese are aimed at more fluent speakers or for the very beginners but I'd like somewhere in between. Ideally the book would have Chinese and Pinyin, or English as well, but any recommendations are welcome! Thank you! :)

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    Quick point that it's Pinyin (拼音), not "pinying". I'm also not sure how much luck you'll have, given that pinyin really is only meant to be only a tool for learning it (and computer input), so it's generally used for children, and chinese learners. Of the two, children are much more common.. – sqrtbottle Jul 9 '15 at 18:54

Kindle books in Chinese, and Clavis Sinica texts, already have pinyin and English available as electronic look-up. Both formats have a good variety of things already available.

Furthermore, even a low-tech computer user like me can learn to make Kindle files, or Clavis Sinica files, from pretty much any Chinese text you find on-line. So you can use this to read classic poets, or 20th century works now in the public domain like The True Story of Ah Q, or any number of things archived on various sites on line.

You can make such a book, or shorter article, out of pretty much any Chinese text on-line. Note this kind of file conversion is legal when the text itself free to reproduce. Pirated texts of works under copyright are another matter.

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When I was at university there were books that had the English version alongside the Chinese version. This was either the complete Chinese text plus the complete English version or one page Chinese one page English. However, in my own experience these are not very common.

Another option is to get something which you are familiar with and then buy the Chinese version, for example Harry Potter.

This is how I progressed past this level; I got my hands on the Chinese primary school student books. Pinyin is available up to the 5th book 第五册. If you study hard and learn everything up to the 5th book you will also be ready to stop using pinyin.

You can get scans of the textbooks online.

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You can try books from the chinese Wuxia genre which discusses adventures with martial arts and kung fu fighting and is generally aimed for young adult to the early adult years but can also be enjoyed by a general audience. These books usually have some more in-depth content in them but are usually suitable for medium-level readers and are pretty interesting too. I believe you can find pinyin versions for them too as they're very popular in China.


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  • Maybe at least you need to provide an example. "Popular" doesn't mean we can find the pinyin versions. Colin's comment seems more viable. – Stan Jul 10 '15 at 1:56

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