What level should I be able to start reading things?

Hi WaniKani Community!

This is my first topic, but looking at the forums, this seams like such a friendly community.

I have recently hit level 4 and started my subscription (Super proud of myself). I was just wondering at what level others have found reading material? I have looked in a few places and at some “easy” books but level 4 seems to still be too low.

Has anyone found something that was 80-90% readable at level “X”? Preferably low level stuff but I’m happy for people to post things to help others who are a higher level too.

I should say that I am also using the Human Japanese App which I think is great to help my grammar.

Thanks in advance
Nick (ニック)


Hey, welcome to WK. ^^

It all depends on how well you study grammar alongside WK, since vocab alone does not constitute an ability to read. ^^ (If only, right? wistful sigh)

Other than that, I’d say browse around in the reading section - where most advice on paid and free reading resources can be found.Like this thread:

A thread that could be of interest to you:

Keep at it, and good luck! :muscle:


Welcome to WaniKani!

The team behind Human Japanese has also created Satori Reader where you can read articles and short stories written by them. It is a subscription service, but the first two articles of every series are free. Every word is manually annotated, so you can get by with limited vocabulary knowledge. The main hurdle is probably grammar, so I would recommend starting after you’ve finished Human Japanese Intermediate.
“Sakura and Suzuki’s Long Distance Relationship” was a pretty easy series if I remember correctly.


In addition to what @Omun mentioned, you can also join one of the reading clubs we have in the fourm. I believe the Absolute Beginner Book Club is right for you, but only after you get the basic grammars

If you find it to be hard, then maybe you can start with one of the Graded Readers

I think WK Level and Kanji knowledge won’t be nothing to be concern for most people that start reading.

You’ll surely bump into grammar issues initially and vocab all the way. So a rough reference could be something like 500 (of the most common) words and half Genki I (or similar; see the online ToC compare with your current textbook) … that will let you read Graded Readers for japanese learners in the first levels… and then you can just go along…

Naitve books aimed a kids will be a thing probably when in the thousands (2-3K)… and then you can pick more a more material mostly as you vocab increases. :+1:

Tons of bookclubs here. lot’s of recommendations too :wink:


Wow thanks for all the help and recomendations! You have given me lots too look at. I’m sorry I didn’t find those threads you posted, @Omun. I propably didn’t look as hard as I could have.

I will keep up my studies!


While I get where you’re coming from, I don’t think this is the way to look at reading when you’re starting. No matter what level you are, you will encounter a lot of new things, be it grammar or vocab.

The advice I’d give you is: just start.
In the beginning everything will seem hard, but you will catch up quite quickly. Use https://jisho.org/ frequently, perhaps in combination with an anki deck, and try to make the best of reading without spending too much time on the details; with regular study you will get to those parts.
Also, use the forum. There are threads for grammar questions and people mostly will be willing to help if you’re willing to listen.


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