How to Start reading

I just got to level 20 today and wanikani suggest that i start reading japanese. I am currently doing wanikani, kamesame and bunpro together. I wonder if it is possible to fit reading with that. Beside time(and effort) .my grammer isn’t that great. Under JLPT 5 material in bunpro. I would like a suggestion on how i should pursue that
Thanks in advance.


Just find some “easy” manga (look at the book clubs on here), or read some NHK News Easy articles. I like manga as pictures give context, making reading easier, I feel.
I won’t lie, it will be extremely frustrating. You’ll feel like you can’t read anything, and will be looking things up constantly. But just stick with it, and take it slow. Couple pages here and there.

I’m currently fighting my way through よつばと! at a very slow pace.

  1. if you’re doing Kamesame primarily for Eng->Jap, stop now, as it doesn’t help with reading. If you’re using it mainly as Core vocab study, then keep going. WaniKani is great for kanji, but you’ll want to supplement that with the most common words and kana vocabs, and such.
  2. Go through a bit more grammar. Getting to somewhere in N4 is a good goal for now and will open up a lot of things to you.
  3. Try some graded readers now to see where you’re at. The low level ones are quite simple.
  4. Join the absolute beginner’s book club! We’re starting レンタルおにいちゃん in about 3 weeks, you should read it with us! I also read ahead and it’s super cute and I love it

Do you buy physical copies? Read them digital?
How do you save your progress. I haven’t really looked into book clubs. How do they work?

Yeah its pretty tough at first. I just finished the first volume of yotsuba and it took me awhile, but towards the end of it i noticed i started understand like 50% of what i was reading without having to look it up. that doesnt sound like a lot but its a big improvement from maybe 10% when i first picked it up.

Like Stay_coolXD said, start with some super easy ones. Yotsuba is the only one i can recommend because its the only one ive read but its not too hard to start with.

Im guessing you just have to kind of jump into it and itll slowly get easier to read with time, just like learning to read in english.


im also wondering how the book clubs work because ive been wanting to get into one but dunno if ill be able to keep up with it or not


Physical all the way. Old man no like digital.
Bought my stuff from Amazon Japan.

I’m only on volume 5, the club is starting 14, so I’m not really in the “active” club. But, if you have a question about something, ask in its accompanying thread, and you’ll quickly get some answers.


i don’t know what you mean but i am doing the core 10K
I get reviews for both ways i guess

I just started reading にゃんにゃん探偵団 from the absolute beginners club, and I have studied all N5 grammar from Bunpro. With that I can understand a good enough chunk for me to learn at a decent pace. I do have to look up vocab a lot though.

The hardest part about reading native material I would argue is colloquial nuances, like how い is often dropped form ている in casual speech for example.

The book clubs are by far the best method. All of them provide vocab guides aswell, and the discussion in the thread is excellent, I just replied to an almost 2 year old thread and I got a reply in under 2 hours


Kamesame used to be a service for training only Eng->Jap for WaniKani vocab (and kanji I think?? odd times), I wasn’t sure if you were using it that way. If you want to save yourself some time to get to reading faster, you can turn off the Eng->Jap part of the core deck and focus only on recall.

I am in a situation similar to yours. I read NHK Easy with rikaikun to translate words that I don’t know. When I encounter a grammar point that I don’t know I do a Bunpro search and study this grammar point on the spot.

  1. Pick up book
  2. Follow reading schedule to best of your ability!
    2.5 Rely on/add to community generated vocab sheet
  3. Post your questions to the weekly or book thread.
  4. Enjoy reading with others (maybe even out loud through discord!)

if you fall behind the reading schedule, the resources from the other members will still be there, and you can still always ask questions from older parts of the book.


Any online e-book store will have an apps (for smartphone, Windows, and maybe Mac) that you can read the e-book in. Some (not all) also allow reading in a web browser. The viewer application will remember the page you last left off on, so when you open the e-book again, you’re right where you left off.

When a book is decided on, a start date is set to try and give readers time to buy the book. (The upcoming manga, レンタルおにいちゃん, has the first two chapters available for free online, which should help for anyone buying a physical copy who have a delay in shipping.)

From the start date, a set reading schedule. A certain number of pages to read are assigned for each week, and a discussion thread is created for that week’s material. This allows a sectioned off place for questions and answers for those pages.

I highly recommend considering jumping into the レンタルおにいちゃん book club starting next month, and using this as an opportunity to learn new grammar along the way. (I’d even go so far as to recommend stopping new lessons in Bunpro when the book club starts, and let reading the manga be your source of lessons. You could even do lessons in Bunpro that cover what you learn reading the manga.)

Different people learn in different ways. If you haven’t tried this method for learning new grammar yet, this is the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

Based on what you wrote about your experience having read the first volume of よつばと!, if you join, you should feel pretty good working your way through レンタルおにいちゃん.


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