Thoughts about reading Dutch books
When I first decided to learn Dutch, I bought a Dutch dictionary and I bought a book in Dutch. Duolingo didn't exist at the time. I did take a class later, but for six months I just read one line at a time. Let me tell you, the first thing you get confused by when you try to read with a dictionary and no teacher is you find out that dictionaries do not have verbs conjugated. I took a 10 week class and that cleared a lot of stuff up. I kept reading.
Since Dutch books aren't easy to come by here in the USA, when I first started reading books in Dutch I would get them off E-Bay. There are not a lot of Dutch books for sale on E-Bay. Some. Since I was eager to read Dutch, that led to some hasty purchases and I quickly learned to wait and buy books in Dutch that I would probably enjoy if they were in English as well. That's extremely important for me. I read by favorite authors and by certain genres.
It's gotten easier to get newly published books direct from the Netherlands now since I've got a Nook, but I still browse Ebay looking for stuff I would like to read in Dutch on paper.
If you look for "Dutch books" on E-bay, let me give you a tip. You will come to depend on the advanced search form because there you can:
1) Exclude certain items from your search. I always exclude: Tamar Myers, Pennsylvania, Dutch Schultz, Oven. Tamar Myers has written a zillion Pennsylvania Dutch mysteries with irritatingly cute titles like "Crepes of Wrath." Pennsylvania Dutch stuff isn't what I want (that Dutch is actually Pennsylvania Deutsch - German), Dutch Schultz has written a dozen religious self help books in English. There are a zillion Dutch oven books. There are about 20 other words I would exclude, but E-Bay puts a limit at about 10. Some of the other words I exclude include "phrase", "dictionary", "Elmore" and "Reagan".
2) I also use the advanced search to limit the selling price. For me, if I can't get it for less than $12, I'm not interested. There are Dutch books on E-Bay for a thousand bucks, first editions.
3) I limit the location of the seller to the country I live in. That's just to save postage.
One of the other place I find Dutch books is on abebooks.com. It's a world wide collection of book stores, and mostly I limit my search to the country I'm in (USA), but surprisingly there are some places internationally whose shipping rates aren't bad; they just take a while. Powell Bookstore has more Dutch second hand novels than any other bookstore in the USA. Amazon has a few Dutch novels, but not many.
If you've read this far, you must like Dutch books. Things change, but usually I have a few I've read that I will part with. I don't sell them. I send them to other Dutch readers when I'm overstocked. You can message me and let me know if you want a Dutch book. If I can, I'll send it on. It's true, I do appreciate a note with the cost of postage I spent to send it to you, but I don't sell my Dutch books. I know how hard they are to come by. Just paying it forward.
Thank you for that. I'm here working on Abstract Nouns, Part 2. I'm frantic to finish the tree so I can start the reverse course and try to consolidate what I've learned- so I can start reading Dutch. My goal is, of course, Het Achterhuis and then, at some point, Harry Mulisch's De aanslag. Of course, you've read the latter already but if by any chance you haven't, you must.
Thank you friend. I've read The Assault twice now and really like it. I'll look out for the Binet book. I'm trying to read kids books in Dutch and I've started working with a online tutor through Italki. This compulsion to learn Dutch started when a friend introduced me to Duolingo and I decided to "brush up" my French. Now it's Dutch, all the time. I'm going to Amsterdam to visit a friend in July so I'll pick up a few books!
If you already know enough dutch to navigate a dutch website you might want to try the site marktplaats.nl . It is like ebay with slightly different rules, but dutch people prefer it to ebay.nl . The main different is that bidding isn't binding and details have to be agreed on with the owner itself. Most dutch people speak reasonable English and you can contact them to ask whether they consider international shipping and international payment methods.
You could aslo try to read a 'digital' book. There are more of them available online, legally. Most of them are old books, so the language sometimes is a bit archaic. Have a look at http://www.gutenberg.org for example. Another good site is http://www.bulkboek.nl/klassieken . You can find short stories there, and dutch literary classics. I would recommend "Reinaert de Vos", as that is a very nice story to read. Hope you enjoy reading books!
If you liked that book try the books of Tonke Dragt en Simone van der Vlucht. They are childrens books but like de Scheepsjongens van Bontekoe it is about kids going on an adventure.
De Brief voor de Koning by Tonke Dragt has just been published in English- The Letter for the King. It has been published by Pushkin Press who also did a translation of Minoes by Annie Schmidt/The Cat Who Came in Off the Roof. I'm hearing very good things about The Letter for the King. It's a bit long but it was written for 12-15 year olds, I would guess, so it shouldn't be too, too difficult. Looking forward to reading it in English as a start. Next year in Jerusalem!
It is a great book one of my favorites. It is a classic knight story and indeed written for 12 to 15 years old. There is a second book as well. Geheimen van het wilde woud. Bloedgeld is a childrens book for 12 to 15 years old by Simone van der Vlugt and it is about pirates and the VOC so lots and lots of Dutch history as well.