Finally started reading

After a while of spinning my wheels trying to figure out when and where to start reading, yesterday I decided to just try out some Level 0 graded readers and see where I stand with those. I haven’t read through very many yet (like only 5 or 6) but first impressions have been good. There’s the occasional word I don’t know or just didn’t recognize because it was written in kana (kind of ironic since I’m guessing that’s done to make it more accessible to beginners) but they’ve been comfortable reads. Grammar wise I’ve understood pretty much everything. I know reading at Level 0 isn’t anything impressive, but I’m happy that I’m finally breaking the ice with reading. Makes me feel like my time spent studying grammar has been worth it. :smiley:

Been thinking about seeing if I could find any native reading material that lines up with Level 0.



You won’t find native material around level 0. Basically everything will have a much bigger vocabulary and higher grammar level.

But judging by how easy it is for you at level 0 you shouldn’t have much of a problem with level 1 also. So there are lots of stories still waiting for you :smiley:


I don’t really think such a thing exists, tbh… Because natives of course understand a lot of stuff already at age 2 or 3 :exploding_head: and like you discovered, reading stuff for very small children can be quite frustrating because of the missing kanji.

But you could check out the Absolute Beginners Book Club // Now reading: Horimiya // Reading Next: Miss Shikimori is not just cute! - they might be a bit above your level with their picks, but if you study some grammar beforehand or just learn stuff as you go, you should be able to make something out of their picks rather sooner than later.


Well, don’t I look smart for assuming native content exists at level 0. :sweat_smile:

Yeah I might give a Level 1 reader a try and see how that goes.

Hm, the beginner’s book club has a new book coming up later this month? I might try jumping in on that one. It would give me some time to study a little bit more grammar (and ofc acquire the book itself.) I tried a beginner’s book club a while back, but I had trouble keeping up with the time commitment. I might be able to squeeze in a book this time around.

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You will probably grow with them faster than you can imagine :wink:

You mean 耳をすませば (Beginner Book Club) — 〜Extracurricular Reading〜 ? It looks pretty cute! You can even check out the first few pages on Bookwalker (there is a link in that thread).
Have fun :blush:


I meant the Hunter x Hunter book the Absolute Beginners club is starting on August 27. Sorry, I forgot there are separate “Beginner” level and “Absolute Beginner” clubs.

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Same I started to read Tadoku Stories just yesterday, it’s such a good feeling to be able to understand a “full” story !

Congrats on getting where you are now :clap:


I know reading at Level 0 isn’t anything impressive…

I’m going to have to disagree with you here. You are reading. In a whole other language. With three new writing systems. That’s a big win.

Congrats and keep up the good work!


Oh, I see! One of my Japanese friends is a big fan of that series, so I hope you will enjoy it as well :+1:

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To put it into perspective, I believe up to level 2-3 graded reader is about on-par with native 1st-2nd grade (although they will be able to easily read much longer passages). I tried looking for direct comparisons but the results were all over the place.

Still, that doesn’t diminish what you have accomplished so far. Level 0-1 graded readers are pretty much 1:1 with native children’s picture books. You ARE reading at a native level in some regards :slight_smile: Once you get to reader level 3, you should be able to understand and interact with the language much more richly. You got this.


Reading at any level in a language that isn’t your native one is an awesome achievement :sunglasses: Be proud of yourself for what you’ve accomplished.

Reading the free tadoku books will give you mileage in reading and help you out further down the line when making the jump to longer native content and it’s a massive victory to understand what you’re reading in a language you’re learning.

I found that once I started reading those it helped my understanding of grammar and vocabulary in context as well as helped improve my reading speed and there’s some interesting non fiction ones about Japanese culture so you get a decent mix of both fictional stories, myths and non fiction as well.

Good luck in your reading journey. :blush: