Why hello thar, lovely humans.

You thought I fell of the off the edge of the earth, huh? You thought I turned my back on all things bloggy and skipped off into the ether, leaving a trail of hanzi in my wake. Nope. Still here. Still alive and kicking, still in Beijing. Perhaps you will excuse my absence if I let you in on the reason for my LOA: I’ve been holed up working on a whole new Chinese Reading Practice.

This site design, as you may have noticed, is a shambling, mummified fossil, and looks horrific on mobile devices. Opening it gives me the sadz. And as I do not like having the sadz, I decided it was time for a refresh.

Plus, I keep opening these emails from you guys demanding more, more, more posts. Truth is, I can’t afford to devote the time to writing those posts unless I’m charging a little bit for it. I’m a freelancer, every time I update CRP, it eats into my billable hours.

On the other hand, I kind of love that CRP is a free resource for casual learners. My favorite thing about the internet is that it represents so much collective good will. You ever heard that term, “cognitive surplus”? Neither had I, until I watched this rad talk by Professor Clay Shirky. In it, Shirky basically defines “cognitive surplus” as the way we use our mental downtime. Look at Wikipedia, right? Most of the contributors to Wikipedia are volunteers. They use their mental downtime – their cognitive surplus – to edit articles about like, the lifecycle of jellyfish and the population of Singapore. They get nothing tangible out of this, so why do they do it? What is the root of that compulsion? I don’t have the answer to that question, but I do know that that’s the spirit of the digital age. I have some pretty strong feelings about how important it is that we use some of our cognitive surplus to help educate each other. So I’m not really comfortable making CRP entirely pay-to-play.

That being the case, I’m gonna do a little experiment here. I’m gonna try to do both. The new CRP shall feature a new free post every darn week for you Sunday-morning-over-coffee readers. There shall also be reasonably-priced memberships for you Chinese reading diehards, with a member’s library and new Member’s Only posts daily. We’ll see how that pans out.

I’m looking at a Feb 27, 2017 launch date, or thereabouts. Until then, enjoy the archive here, and 加油, my friends.

28 comments to "An All-New Chinese Reading Practice is Coming"

  1. will there be some place to sign up or to receive an email when you’ve launched, thanks

  2. I’d rather have this site have some ads, but still making all of the material accessible to everyone (instead of 1/7th). This way you could still earn some money while the users can still acces everything

    • I hear ya, but I’m afraid you have to have several hundred thousand visitors a month for ad revenue to be worth the disruption, which I most certainly do not. But the good news is, everything that’s accessible on the site now will remain available, and there will still be free posts on a weekly basis, which is more than what I’m putting up now.

  3. I find this website’s very useful for self-learning people like me, there are many lessons levels, english translations and detailed words meaning. So don’t mind if there’re gonna be some ads or lots of ads here =))
    From Vietnam with love <3

    • Glad you find it useful! We’ll see how the new layout shakes down, hope it continues to be so.

      • Hey Girl,

        Glad to see that you are charging for the website. this is an invaluable resource and I think you should be paid for your work. Keep On Keepin on. I will be happy to pay for a membership ;-)

  4. Thank you so much for this site! As American born Chinese who can speak the language but have a limited grasp of written language, I’ve been looking exactly for something like this for some time, and I’d gladly pay a membership for more like this. Is it possible to also have your Chinese text in traditional (fan ti zi) as well as in simplified Chinese? Keep up this great work!

  5. Yay! You’re back!
    My class uses this site fore homework ;)
    You’re a great person ;)
    And,my teacher told this my class about this website. You’re the best. Good for learning chinese, too.

  6. Awesome work! Perhaps you could go into schools/universities and various organizations that would be interested in accessing your resources for a monthly fee, that way the burden of cost is on the establishment and not the learner. It might also be worth aligning certain content to HSK levels, personally I would be happy to pay a small fee to access content that I knew would bolster any award schemes I would be working towards, especially as I would also be paying for other teaching materials for the HSK certifications. Honestly I feel this site is far more valuable than any other resource I have picked up, even if I do feel like a 5 year old when I’m reading it (and that’s the best part!!)

  7. Can’t wait to see your new site. Even if it is not 100% up and running. :)

  8. Sooooo good to read this. I just got an e mail and checked the page. Hadn´t done that in ages. Your work is super valuable and needed. Send you good vibes for the new website. Can´t wait to see it.

  9. Reply Sara Sharick says: May 28, 2017 at 7:38 am

    I love this site! I’ve been using for a few months now, still on the beginner sections, reading and rereading, as I build up my vocabulary.

  10. 大家好!I’m a native Chinese, and I like Kendra’s website! But it hasn’t updated for a long time. So I try to build another Chinese reading website with my language learning partner, Richard. It has recordings and detailed explanations. And we expect your feedback:

  11. Some updates would be great!

  12. I’m all about it! I’m a programmer studying Chinese who also occasionally has some cognitive surplus – hollar if you want a helping hand!


  13. Can’t wait xx

  14. Hey Girl,

    Glad to see that you are charging for the website. this is an invaluable resource and I think you should be paid for your work. Keep On Keepin on. I will be happy to pay for a membership ;-)

  15. Dear Kendra,
    I am a retired translator of Russian, my second language (UCLA). I am trying to acquire vocabulary in Chinese mostly for speaking. You can really help people like me, who want to meet the Chinese and bring goodwill while trying to find common ground. (In my case, missionary work).
    I don’t understand why you don’t create a reader for intermediate students in the US or UK who desperately need stories like these to acquire vocabulary after reaching the lower-intermediate level – either to be able to read or to be able to see how kids, adolescents, and adults actually speak. I mean, textbooks are, well, bookish! We find books that jump to traditional stories, but they seem designed for graduate students! Yes,I am saying that we older people who want to learn vocabulary on our own while in our home countries are forgotten! ( Of course we will eventually have enough saved up for a trip to China!) FORGOTTEN! Except for your stories that allow us to get away from college vocabulary and have a cute story at the same time! So go for it – find a publisher and sell the book around the world on the internet! You’ll have your “cognitive surplus” satisfaction and lots of moola too! What do you think? And by the way, where are you?:)

  16. Nice… very helpful keep up good work…

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  17. Will the material presently available always remain public or will it be archive behind the paywall?

  18. To speak quite frankly, I’m beginning to feel a bit faint, so I might have to take a breath quite soon.

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  25. Reply Steven Lin says: July 14, 2019 at 9:08 am

    Hello, I am a fan of this website, but Kendra seems to not updating the website anymore for 2 years so I started looking on another source :(

    For now, I am using

    I do think that it is an invaluable source of Chinese reading materials. It has audios, it has full English translations, the topics are very varied (which is similar to Kendra’s style), and also the website is updated daily, so you will get to learn new things every day

    Go try it and see if you like the website or not

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