Its a chicken-and-egg problem that I presume many other scholars of Japanese also have. Books with simple kanji are often targeted at younger audiences and can be painfully boring for adults. Books targeted at adults assume a kanji level much higher than I currently have. The end result is you get bored by either the content you're reading or the constant turning to your dictionary.
So my new Japanese study pipeline involves:
- Scan a chapter at 300 DPI greyscale.
- Run OCR over it.
- Correct any errors. (I am seeing about a 95-98% accuracy rate so this is quick.)
- Save the text as UTF-8 HTML.
- Use Rikai-kun as necessary to get super-quick dictionary lookups when you need them.
This process is not as involved as it sounds. Its probably about 30-60 seconds per page on average amortized across all the conversion tasks. I would have spent MUCH longer than this fumbling with my dictionary if I'd tried to read it the traditional way.
Also as a bonus, I am now building up a personal digital copy I can carry with me much more easily than the 3 hard cover books on the shelf!