Any written material you find in Chinese will help you improve your reading skills, but the goal of this page is to help you find interesting material that is relevant to what you want to learn. Below is information on books, news/articles, apps, reading tools, translations, and language blogs to help you find the right reading material and assist you in maintaining your reading skills.
The American Mandarin Society is in the process of creating a bookshelf for recommended books in English and Chinese related to U.S.-China relations and policy issues. We will be informing members of any new functionality on our website through our Facebook page.
Douban is a website that provides reviews for books, movies, and music and is your best resources for finding Chinese books. Although Douban does not sell books, it compares prices at major Chinese online bookstores and provides you with links for where to purchase books. You can register for free here and start browsing through their reviews. Once you find a book you want to purchase, you can add it to your shopping list (加入购书单）and then go to your shopping list to compare prices.
China International Book Trading Corporation (CIBTC) is a Chinese publisher that runs @ChinaBooksChina and an Amazon storefront of Chinese language books. This is a great resource if you prefer to read hard copies over e-books.
Kindle 中文电子书店 has Chinese e-books to download to your Kindle.
Duokan.com is a platform offering many different genres of Chinese e-books. It is now also featuring a special section of books to celebrate the CCP’s 70th anniversary: 庆祝新中国成立70周年专题
Purpleculture.net is a good resource for Chinese textbooks.
AMS Facebook Page– The American Mandarin Society facebook page regularly posts policy documents in Chinese related to current issues. Reading these articles is a great way to keep updated with policy and to ensure you are capable of speaking about current issues in Chinese.
Chinese news sources are obviously the best way to find good reading material related to current events. Caixin does a great job of covering most topics and is especially good for analysis on financial and economic issues. People’s Daily and Xinhua are both closely tied to the party and are especially useful for getting a view into government opinion on current issues. Lastly, Southern Weekly and South China Morning Post are more liberal papers from Guangdong and Hong Kong respectively
South China Morning Post （南华早报）
People’s Daily （人民日报）
Southern Weekly (南方周末）
There are also many non-Chinese news sources that publish articles in Chinese and have very good analysis on current issues. Below are the best news/analysis sites from non-Chinese institutions.
Weibo is a social networking site focused on “micro-blogging” and is similar in structure to Twitter. Weibo is especially useful for reading practice because you can use it to find material you are interested and follow important political and academic figures, as well as notable social commentators.
Apps are a great learning tool to improve your reading skills and there are many Chinese apps available for Android and iOS. Most of the news agencies above have their own apps available in iTunes and Google Play so if you are biased towards any specific news agency, you can usually find their apps for free. However, there are a few apps that aggregate news and are particularly useful for quick news updates as opposed to some of the more analysis focused sites above. Below are the news apps we recommend most for mobile devices.
新浪(Sina) is the most comprehensive news application available for mobile devices as the articles are fairly balanced between longer analysis articles and short news updates.
网易 (NetEase) is the best for quick news updates. The articles are usually shorter than sina and other news websites and you can easily switch between Entertainment, Finance, Sports, and other categories. There is also a useful feature that gives you daily short news titles in your notification window.
Hanzi Reader is an annotation tool for mobile devices that annotates any Chinese text you input into the program with definitions and pinyin. See the description for mandarin spot below.
Mandarin Spot– Every once in a while you will encounter an article so difficult that you only recognize half of the words. The main issue with these articles is that it is too frustrating to go back and forth between the text and a dictionary to look up all the terms you do not know. Reading annotation tools can help you avoid this problem and show you the definition and pronunciation of all words in a Chinese text on the same page, saving you the frustration of looking through a dictionary. There are a few annotators available for free online, but Mandarinspot seems to have the best one.
Clavis Sinica offers a language toolbox, including flashcards, a text annotator, vocabulary extractor, dictionary downloads, and more.
Having both the English and Chinese versions of a document can not only teach you how to express English phrases in Chinese but can also help you get a more accurate understanding of the meaning of Chinese sentences. Translations can also help you learn technical and specialized terms that wouldn’t show up in an ordinary dictionary.
Yeeyan– Similar to The Marco Polo Project, Yeeyan is a database of translated Chinese articles that can be used for reading practice. The main advantages of Yeeyan compared to The Marco Polo Project is that there are many more articles (100,000+), and you can more easily search for reading material by topic. The articles come from a variety of sources, including The Economist, The Atlantic, news websites, and blogs. If you are feeling ambitious you can even sign up to be a translator and translate articles yourself!
Gengo- Gengo is a translation platform that connects translators with businesses and individuals needing translation services. If your reading skills are very good, and you have decent writing abilities in English, you can use Gengo to practice your translation skills while making some money on the side. This resource is only for very advanced students, as the tests for passing as a translator are fairly difficult.
CNKI– The CNKI dictionary page is a good resource for finding translations. Enter in a term in English or Chinese and CNKI will provide you with excerpts of scholarly articles in both languages. This is more useful for improving understanding of technical topics.
Paper Republic promotes Chinese literature in English translation, and focuses on new writing from contemporary Chinese writers.
Chinese Text Project– For those interested in classical Chinese, the Chinese Text Project has thousands of passages available for free, with most containing English translations, definitions of words appearing in the text, and annotations in Chinese.
Chinese Text Sampler – Hosted by the University of Michigan, this sampler offers a collection of Chinese texts as a resource for students of written Chinese from the advanced beginner level onward. The selections represent a wide range of periods and genres, but all are well known in modern-day China and worth reading in their own right.
Chinese Voices Project is a collection of mini-essays with mp3 audio for students of Chinese language and culture. All of the selections are written by savvy young Beijingers and are read in their own voices. Each piece offers a perspective on modern life in Beijing you won’t find in a Chinese language textbook or the China Daily.
Sinocism– If there is one newsletter you want to sign up for, it is Sinocism. Sinocism collects the most important articles and news stories each day related to current issues and public policy in China. Many of the articles sent out are written in Chinese, so you can use these articles for reading practice while keeping yourself updated with the most current issues in China.
Hacking Chinese– Hacking Chinese is a great blog/website that has articles about learning Chinese. The author primarily writes about HOW to learn Chinese as opposed to WHAT to learn. The articles are very useful and give great advice on the best ways to study.