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Find the PERFECT book with Lexile Scores!

How to find TONS of books PERFECT for your skill level.

Reading is one of the best ways to boost your vocabulary! However, when you’re a beginner or early intermediate, finding reading content that’s at your level is a bit of a challenge, and you often end up choosing books that are WAY out of your league — leaving you demotivated. 

I’m guilty of this.

If I see a nice cover and a good description, I’m jumping in head first, no questions asked.

In English, this isn’t a problem because it’s my native language. However, in your target language, this isn’t exactly the best strategy. I’ve started and abandoned too many books to count (but that’s the topic of a future email).

I wasted a lot of time starting and stopping books that were too hard for me, so I started looking up the difficulty of books by referencing their Lexile Score before purchasing.

 

Seriously, just LOOK at this cover? I didn’t even think twice before buying….

A Lexile what?!?

Long story short, some really smart people developed a system to rank books mathematically based on their difficulty. They use factors like average sentence length, amount of unique words used, and a few other factors to determine the difficulty of a text.

When I first dove into reading, I found that I could tolerate books in the 600-700 Lexile range as long as I had access to quick lookups with tools like Kindle or LingQ.

"Look ma, I’m smarter than a 2nd grader… barely."

Before you look up the score, here are a few things to keep in mind:

 

  • Not every language has a Lexile score system. Some languages use Lexile scores, others have their own system, and others have nothing at all. Research your language and see if they use a system for your language.
  • No Lexile scores for your language? No problem! Well, kind of. You can use Lexile scores to estimate the difficulty of books in your target language, but you’ll have to rely on the English scores of those books. If you’re fine with translations, this shouldn’t be a problem. I tried this for Spanish and found the difficulty levels to be mostly accurate.
  • Don’t shy away from looking up books written for an adult audience. Just because a book is written for kids, it doesn’t mean that the book will automatically be easier. Look up the score of any book you find interesting because you might be surprised by its readability! For example, Frankenstein has a lower Lexile score than Harry Potter!
  • Not every book has a Lexile score, even if it’s available in English. To get around this, you can try looking up other books by the same author and guestimate the score of the book based on that.

How do I look up lexical score?

Here’s the site I use: https://hub.lexile.com/find-a-book/search

There are a few ways to search:

  • By book or author
  • By Lexile score
  • By genre

Protip: I usually have an idea of what I want to read, so I like searching by book or author name. However, if you’re not sure what you want to read, you can browse books by genre, score, or even both!

 

Well, that’s it for today’s blog! Thanks for reading! Leave a comment below and tell us about any interesting books or surprising Lexile scores you find. We’d love to hear from you.

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