There are numerous readability measures like Flesch Readability test, Wiener Sachtextformel, etc. But is there someplace I could actually find common books listed with their respective reading ease scores? This source could be based on any of the major readability measures (Lesbarkeitsindex), The list would ideally be clearly categorized in terms of type (fiction, non-fiction, specialist texts, etc.).

I am an intermediate learner of German, and I am looking for books that are readable for someone like me. I can imagine such a source of scientifically measured readability would be helpful for all learners, so it would be wonderful if someone can suggest such an information source.

Edit: 8 years later The following resources are available for identifying the readability of German texts Psychometrica Deutschland. https://www.psychometrica.de/lix.html Supertext Schweiz. Schreiblabor. Wortliga Deutschland. Leicht lesbar Schweiz.

There is a Calibre plugin for sorting german ebooks as per readability scores, so this might help learners in collecting several Ebooks and then working through them as per readability scores

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    I suggest contacting a library, university, publishing company or book review agency, or maybe a catalogue company like Bertelsmann or even the Goethe Institut, who deal with this sort of thing for a living.
    – Kevin
    Apr 30, 2012 at 5:29
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    I suggest to write a seperate answer based on your latest edit.
    – Arsak
    Feb 25, 2021 at 12:54

2 Answers 2


When I was at a similar point in learning english, I thought childrens books are quite good, so I read Harry Potter. Also, when I read Charles Dickens, there may be many words I've never heard before, but the meaning is pretty obvious from the context. So in my opinion, this was quite a good choice.

I also watch comedy (big bang theory) or read comics (manga), because they use quite a narrow group of words and if you've seen them all, it get's very easy.

So similar stuff in german would be books aimed at a younger audience, german tv-soaps or comics.

I personally like Andreas Eschbach. He does not only write "normal" books for everyone, but also such for teenagers and his style in writing is quite good. Also, those books don't really have that kind of childrens plot you may expect, but a serious one.

Good luck with you progress!

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    Thanks, this is a helpful comment, but doesn't really answer the question which is more about finding a source for readability scores measured according to one of the established metrics. May 3, 2012 at 12:56

Using the OP's first link, https://www.psychometrica.de/lix.html, I used it to calculate the "LIX" score (0-100) and its corresponding subjective difficulty label, for the entire first chapters of:

"Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen": 37, niedrig (low)

"Für S.", a learn German by reading novella by Angelika Bohn: 28, sehr niedrig (very low)

"Digital in Dresden" the ninth book in the "Dino lernt Deutsch" series by André Klein: 41.6, niedrig (low)

that page explains that "unter 40: Kinder- und Jugendliteratur"

The results surprised me a bit, for two reasons. One: subjectively as a beginning German reader, I found Digital in Dresden the easiest, and Harry Potter the most difficult, of the three.

Two: using readability formulas for English at https://readabilityformulas.com/free-readability-formula-tests.php (but inputting the German texts) ranks Digital in Dresden as 4th grade level, Für S. as 5th grade, and Potter in German as 9th grade (Potter in English is scored as 5th grade).

Whether or not the grade levels are accurate given the language differences, both the order and the relative scores of the English formulas more closely match my subjective impressions: I read both Digital in Dresden and Fur S. with only a few dictionary lookups per page, each over the course of two days which felt more or less like leisure reading; Potter requires more lookups which makes it, for me for now, impossible to read easily.

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