How much were you reading, at what level, after reaching level 30 or so?

Just wondering what people’s reading habit is like among those of you who have made it to level 30 or so.

I am at level 33 and have slowed way, way down on new lessons in WK. The combination of WaniKani to learn new kanji and lots of reading and immersion to make the words stick seems to be the only thing that works for me. I just can’t get into a groove with Anki - I think WaniKani is as much SRSing as I can do in a day.

So, I am trying to do a lot of reading. I’d be curious to hear if anyone else ran into this kind of slowdown, and what the mix of WK to reading is in your own study habit!

If anyone would like some reading recommendations, I’d be happy to share some of the titles that have worked for me.


I think I averaged an hour a day maybe around level IIRC. It was so many years ago it’s hard to remember, though.

I read hoshi ori yume Mirai at the time. A normal visual novel aimed at adults.


Unfortunately I don’t read very much, at level 20, I started a manga, 2 volumes long, completed it in like 2 weeks, I also read like 2 graded readers that were far too easy. The manga, I didn’t search anything up, so it wasn’t all that beneficial maybe, it had a lot of unknown kanji, I understood the gist of the story though.

And then like 3 months ago, I started a far too difficult manga because there was no english translations after a certain point, and started translating it myself. It was only like 3 volumes missing in translations, so that’s what I did, I got someone to proofread my translations and I get some explanations on my mistakes, so it’s a small process of learning there.

At this point, I can speed through kana no issue, and I’ve become a bit more efficient with kanji, but sometimes I get stuck on words I know but forgot the reading for. I need to read more, but I don’t think I have the energy to do so until I complete WK (December)


i havent read all that much the past couple of weeks but ive read a decent amount every day before that and id say it helps a lot

ive been slacking on wk too


I am about that level. I am currently trying to get more used to vertical text by reading the Reading Practice passages on Bunpro. Log in - Japanese Grammar Explained | Bunpro I like that you can switch the text between horizontal and vertical. Currently I am halfway through the N3 texts.

I also read Twitter in Japanese, some people are easier to understand than others.


I think I started in the late 20s. Went on a manga binge. WK got in the way and then I decided to just stop doing WK for 3 years and keep reading. It had its advantages, but I recommend sticking with WK and just slowing down. You should be able to start reading manga now with some look ups here and there. You should definitely try to learn grammar too, that was the first roadblock for me when I started reading. I knew the kanji but not the meaning in use.


I’ve been very inconsistent with my WaniKani usage, so even though I’m only at level 28, I’ve been studying Japanese for 4ish years and passed the N2 last year. My WK level often has not corresponded to my overall Japanese level lol. I consider myself to be doing pretty good if I do my WK reviews nearly every day haha. I mostly view WK as a review and a way to catch any kanji/ vocab that might have fallen through the cracks

I’m pretty inconsistent about reading (regardless of the language), but I started reading pretty much from day 1. I read lots of picture books mostly in the beginning. I think I started trying to read manga around the N3 level (I think I was at WK level 12ish?). I can now go through a volume of slice of life manga in like an hour or two?

Now I’m working my way through the Japanese translation of the Percy Jackson books. I’m moving through them pretty slowly, but that’s mostly just a consistency issue. When I do actually sit down to read, I read a 20-30 page chapter in like an hour or so, I think?

I think a lot of reading ability and reading speed has more to do with how much you read than necessarily with your WK level. It also depends on how you’re reading. Do you read digital or paper? Do you read intensively (looking up unknown words) or extensively (not looking up unknown words)? Personally I tend to read extensively using paper books.


Yeah, I slowed down too. I was playing Machi and Tales of Destiny: Director’s Cut (I actually still haven’t beaten either one) and watching Evangelion, all in Japanese. I’d actually never seen Evangelion and it was my first immersion practice. Here’s my review.

I think I still went too fast in WaniKani on average. I’d already started making extra kanji and vocab decks for myself. I would’ve hit immersion much harder. I did plateau on purpose a few times, but I still feel like I stuffed too much information into my brain and didn’t get enough non-SRS practice to cement it. Even now, I brain fart on words I burned a little more often than I’d like.


I started reading at level 12 :sob: I’d just finished the two courses on Lingodeer and had about beginner N4 knowledge. It wasn’t cockiness; it was 100% impatience, because I’m an avid reader and couldn’t wait.

Started with a novel. Was it stupid? Maybe. Learned a lot though, because I read it intensively, i.e. translating every little thing. Stopped after 3 chapters. Would I recommend it to people? Eh. Maybe with a lighter novel, or a manga. I didn’t have anything else that interested me back then but that book (it was こころ, f it lol)

I read more or less consistently until level 22 or 23, when I stopped WK for a few months and just did nothing but read and read. It was great, but you don’t feel that same progress, imo. I returned to WK and since then I’ve done 3 new kanjis a day and about 5 vocabs here and made a point to read every day. I try to do 10 pages a day if it’s a physical book, or 1% if it’s Kindle. This is the balance I found without overloading or burning myself out; consistency is key! :slight_smile:


I started reading a lot after level 30, but I had a bit of a unique situation happen haha :sweat_smile:. Basically, I was near level 30 and almost done with book one of Minna no Nihongo (so I was above N5 but not yet at N4 in terms of grammar ability) when my favorite pro wrestling translator left the two companies he was translating for, including my favorite company, and they did not replace him (one of them has since gotten a new translator, but the other still hasn’t).

So I ended up sort of taking over, or at least trying my best to. I started translating backstage comments and such from the show recaps, despite having nowhere close to the level of skill I needed to be doing such a thing. But it was either I do it myself or no one does it, and I wasn’t ready to give up on all of these characters and storylines that I’d gotten invested in.

It has been ten months now since I became a fan translator, and well, I’ve gotten a lot better at Japanese, and a lot better at translation! I’m also much quicker than I was at the beginning, and I make less mistakes because my vocab and grammar and reading speed are all so much better. I probably spend about the same amount of time on my translations, but I just am able to translate more text now than I was before.

So, short answer, yes, I started doing a lot more reading after reaching level 30 :sweat_smile:. I’m not sure exactly how much, but I’ve spent at least several hours on it pretty much every single week for the past year. I haven’t slowed my WK pace at all, though. I just added the wrestling translations (and then additional Anki time after I started mining words from the wrestling stuff I was translating) on top of the time I was already spending on WK and my textbook.

I’m planning at finishing WK at more or less the same pace I’ve been going for the past year and a half, which is about two weeks a level. I’ve also kept up my same pace with my textbook. I didn’t want to mess with the habits I’d already established, and I think this was a really good idea.

I do see the light at the end of the tunnel coming up with WK, though (not that I experience much strain from it, the pace I’m going at :sweat_smile:). I should be reaching level 60 early next year, and from that point, my WK time is going to taper off. But I probably will be putting that extra time into the other hobbies I’ve been neglecting in favor of Japanese instead of reinvesting that WK time into immersion.


1000% this!!!

1 Like

I started reading the LingoMastery Beginner and Intermediate Japanese short story books around or shortly before level 20. I’ve been reading manga since I’m done with those. Usually a chapter a day. Next to Wanikani I also do Torii and Bunpro. Rest of my time is spend on listening to/ watching Japanese films, shows, or Youtube videos. I should read more, though. Not counting Youtube comments.


I was reading a light novel series around level 30 (very, very slowly). By no means did I understand the whole thing, and I didn’t look up everything because I knew I’d give up if I took all the time to do that. But there was a marked difference in speed and comprehension between the first book and the last!
The series was 妖怪アパートの幽雅な日常 - it has an anime adaptation as well, which I watched before reading - That helped prime me for the start of the series, too! It was a fun series, I recommend it.

I also recommend コンビニ人間 and 木曜日にはココアを. Both are short-ish, interesting, and not too difficult in terms of grammar and vocab!


Oh Tales of Destiny DC, I should try that one some day, too :blush:

1 Like

Thank you for all of the helpful replies, everyone! Lots of reading material I haven’t heard of and some software, too - Torii looks cool, especially.

It sounds like everyone finds their own mix of WK and reading. I have done some intensive reading but am starting to think that adding extensive reading might be the thing for me at the moment. Definitely feel the need to plow through many, many pages in order to lock down the kanji and vocabulary I have learned so far.

I started reading early, using the graded readers from ASK publishing, which are great and come with audio. I have worked through Genki I and Genki II with the help of an online class through a local college. I’ve read Charlotte’s Web and the first volume of Kiki’s Delivery Service in Japanese and I have a shelf full of manga. Learning song lyrics has also been a great source for me. The songs of カネコアヤノhave a ton of great vocabulary - I did a rough estimate and her songs use at least 800 or so unique kanji.


Machi looks interesting - hadn’t heard of it! What system are you playing it on? The PSP?

1 Like

The Percy Jackson books seem like a good choice. I am going to try your approach of extensive reading. I also use paper books but have mostly been reading intensively, which can be torture. Currently on the second volume of “Kiki’s Delivery Service”, which is 400 pages long! It’s been taking months to get through.

1 Like

I think it was like level 25ish I was comfortable with Satori reader and would read a few pages a day until I done with that site. I don’t read every day, but if I do it’s usually around 3k characters give or take. Around the length of a moderately short web novel chapter and about halfish of a normal chapter in the Loopers VN book club. Put in a different context I start wearing out after about 20-30 minutes and usually call it a day by the 1 hour mark.

1 Like

I prefer Kōsuke Fujishima’s Tales games, but this one’s pretty cool. I like it much more than the PSX version. The encounter rate’s more reasonable and it’s really pretty! I’m hoping I can play this game and its direct sequel because I hear that the two together provide closure on Leon!

I own the PSP version as well, but I’m playing the PSX version on ePSXe because it’s easier with the way my stuff is set up. It’s a spiritual prequel to 428: Shibuya Scramble, my favorite visual novel that I’ve ever played. Machi has been a weird journey so far. I’ve been playing it as my Japanese has grown, so even though I’ve been at it for well over a year, it’s gradually become easier to follow. It’s kind of surreal getting better at Japanese and having a game world unfold in parallel!


I want to read more, but I feel like I’m at an awkward stage where most things are either way too easy or way too difficult to read. Like nothing in between, so it doesn’t feel rewarding to try reading a bunch. Wanikani is also starting to get pretty difficult so I’ve slowed down on that too.

The main thing keeping me motivated is I can learn more from playing video games in Japanese than I could before, and it feels nice to feel like you get the gist of what you’re reading. No where near reading a novel though.