I finally took the leap. I purchased the Easy French Reader by R. de Roussy de Sales. I will review the book at some later date. I have completed about half the book and, so far, I have enjoyed reading it immensely.
The earlier you start reading French text, the more confidence you will gain. Books that fall under the category of ‘Learn French’ tend to spoon-feed you. That element of spoon-feeding is missing in this reader. I am encouraged by my success in rapidly reading pages after pages without having to refer to the dictionary. Languages, in general, are so context dependent that one need not know every word to understand the meaning of a sentence or a paragraph or even an exchange.
In fact, in some cases, even a beginner should be able to grasp the meaning. All you need to know is a bit of English. Here’s an example from this book …
JULIE Je ne comprends pas porquoi tu es si ignorant!
MARC Je proteste! Je ne suis pas ignorant! Ce n’est pas moi, mais autre Français, Charles Cros, qui a invité le phonographe!
JULIE Ce n’est pas vrai. C’est Thomas Edison.
Even if you do not know a word of French, it is easy to see that two people are arguing about who has invented the phonograph. It is also obvious that one is from America and the other from France. See how context based a language is!