Improve Your German by Reading

Today we are going to focus once again on learning German outside the classroom. We already got to know two of many methods in the blog posts Tandem Language Learning and The Best Free Podcasts to Learn German. These were mainly about speaking German and listening to German. Now we want to look at another skill: reading.

As a matter of fact, there are many opportunities for you to read in German. However, this first blog post is only about reading books. More specifically, we want to give you an overview of German literature from A1 to C2 level and encourage you to read. Why? Because while you read, you not only increase your vocabulary, but you also strengthen your spelling, punctuation and grammar skills.

Book recommendations for beginners

You can already start reading German texts and books at A1 level. How about the short novels Lese-Novelas (A1)from Hueber? Here you can find the books.

Hueber also offers the reading booklet series Leichte Literatur (Easy Literature) (A2). Examples are Die Räuber (The Robbers) by Friedrich Schiller and Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Here you will find German literature in easy language.

At Hueber, young people will also find what they are looking for. Their books for young people, Lektüren für Jugendliche (A2), which you can find here, are stories about the lives of teenagers.

Book recommendations for intermediate learners

If you are already an intermediate learner, the books for adults, Lektüren für Erwachsene (A1-B1), also from Hueber, might be something for you. Whether you are at A1, A2 or B1 level – find all books here.

If you need more suspense, then check out the Spannende Lernkrimi (Exciting Detective Stories) (A1-B1) by Hueber or the Tatort DaF (A2-B1) series by Klett. You can find the former here and the latter here.

Click here for more books for teenagers at A1-B1 level by Hueber and here for the series Beste Freunde (Best Friends) (A1-B1), also developed by Hueber for teenagers.

For level A2-B2, click here for the Hueber reading booklets Deutsch als Fremdsprache (German as a foreign language) (A2-B2).

Klett also offers entire series of books for levels A1 to B2. You can find an overview here. We especially recommend the following series:

  • Stadt, Land, Fluss … (A1-B1)
  • Leo & Co. (A1-B1)
  • Wer ist eigentlich…? (A2-B1)
  • Easy Readers (DaF) (A1-B2)

Book recommendations for advanced learners

From level B2 to C2 you can read books that are also read by native speakers. Do not worry! You do not need to understand every single word. It is enough if you can follow the story. Here is a selection of German literature suitable for learners at a level B2 to C2.

  • Corpus Delicti (Juli Zeh)
  • Das Muschelessen (Birgit Vanderbeke)
  • Das Parfüm (Patrick Süskind)
  • Der Vorleser (Bernhard Schlink)
  • Die Entdeckung der Currywurst (Uwe Timm)
  • Ein fliehendes Pferd (Martin Walser)
  • Festland (Markus Werner)
  • Léon und Louise (Alex Capus)
  • Scherbenpark (Alina Bronsky)

It is also worth taking a look at the SPIEGEL bestsellers from time to time, which you can find here.

Enjoy your reading!

Reading is a great way to improve your language skills. Start with shorter texts or short stories and choose literature that suits your language level. You will find that reading in a foreign language becomes easier and easier with time, and you will also notice how proud you are of yourself when you have “struggled” through to the end of a book.

With this in mind: Happy reading! And feel free to write your experiences and book recommendations in the comments!

von Nelly Müller – Sprachen Akademie

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