So currently, I’m on the last chapter of Tobira, about 60 grammar points away from completing N3 on BP, about 150 words away from Core2k, and about 7 months since I reached 60 on WK.
My reading is soooo much better than it was in January (read non-existent). But there’s still a lot of words I don’t know.
I’m currently reading キノの旅, and yeah, even though this is an “easy” book there is still a bunch of words I don’t know. However, right now my mentality is that all the things I’m do outside of “studying” (i.e. playing video games, watching anime, reading, etc. all completely in Japanese) is for fun. So, I don’t force myself to look up every single word. I only look it up if I’m curious or I just need to since it’s the focus of the paragraph or whatever.
And honestly, you don’t need to know every word to understand what’s happening. I started with watching anime and it really helps. Because it’s annoying to keep pausing it to look up things. Eventually you just start going with the flow and not worrying about every word. Video games also are great because sometimes the dialogue is automatic as well. I saved reading for last because there’s more of a temptation to look up everything. But I don’t. I just keep reading and learning through context. And I think that’s why I can easily watch 1-2 episodes of anime, read a chapter of a Japanese book a day and play through a Japanese game on the weekends despite not of it actually being easy. Because I think of it as, first and foremost, entertainment, not studying.
So, すなわち、it’s still not enough to make reading easy, but it will, for sure, make it easier! : )