Level+1 Reading Challenge 📚📈

Have you found yourself only reading things around the same Natively level, not pushing yourself to read more difficult books? Is there a “green level” book (i.e., LV 34-40) you desperately want to read but you’re currently in the purple zone? Do you just have no idea what to read next? Do you just like challenges?

If so, you may be interested in the Level+1 Reading Challenge!

The idea is simple: read a book from each level! When you finish one book, go up 1 level (hence the name Level+1). You’ll be reading slightly more difficult books each time. This will help if you:

  • tend to stick with books at the same level for a long time
  • tend to jump too far ahead, getting overwhelmed

You can count books you’ve already read before this challenge. If the level changes due to gradings, don’t worry too much about it. You can choose to either count it at its current level or the level it was at when you read it.


  • When can I join this challenge? Any time! There is no time limit or official start date.
  • What counts? Anything as long as it’s at a level you haven’t read yet.
  • Can I count books I’ve already read? Yes :smiley: Or, if you don’t want to count books you’ve already read before this challenge, you don’t have to.
  • Do I have to start from a certain level? Nope! Your starting point can be anywhere: level 1 graded readers, level 14 manga, level 30 if you’re already at that level… wherever you want. As long as you keep pushing forward! You can go back later and fill in levels you haven’t read yet as well.
  • What happens if a book changes levels? Does it still count for X Level? This is up to you. You can choose to keep it at the level it was at when you originally read it, or you can move it around. Personally, I’m going to keep it at the level it was at when I read it unless it’s a drastic change. But you can do whatever you want.
  • Is this a competition? No, we’re not competing against each other. So don’t worry about speed / number of books / anything like that

tldr for faq: this is a very casual challenge simply meant to push you to read more difficult things, so do whatever you want. The only rule is that when you finish a book for this challenge, the next book should be that level + 1.


Feel free to document your challenge in this thread. I’ve made a template if you want to keep track here (or make your own!):

| --- | --- | --- | --- |
|19|https://learnnatively.com/series/fd9ca1b298/ |Manga|May 16 2022|
|22|https://learnnatively.com/series/bcd64d0785/ |Children’s Book|July 13 2022|

Which looks like this:

Level Book Type Finished
19 ふらいんぐうぃっち (series) | L18 Manga May 16 2022
22 夜カフェ (series) | L24 Children’s Book July 13 2022

About this template:

  • Make sure there is a space after the link so the table formats correctly.
  • The blank lines are so you can know which level books you still need to read in case you’re counting already-read books towards the challenge.

Okay, I think that’s everything I need to add for a challenge home post. I may have to update this post later; this is my first time making a challenge, so I’m not sure what all is necessary info. Anyway I hope other people are interested in this idea! :smiley: Now let’s get reading :open_book::books:



This poll is a separate post just in case any edits need to be made to the main post since I’m pretty sure edits mess with polls

Would you like to participate?
  • Yes!
  • Maybe, I’m thinking about it
  • No

0 voters

Ok here’s my own home post to start us off:

I’m starting from LV 19. I’ve read things above that level but since 1) I’m getting back into reading after a break and 2) I’m already reading a level 19 book, I’m starting from here.

When I first came up with this challenge I was thinking I wanted to count books I’ve already read, but thinking about it I’m not going to count books I finished before today.
Actually I’ve changed my mind, I’ve decided to count books I’ve already read. Went with whatever I finished first

Level Book Type Finished
19 耳をすませば | L21 Manga September 28 2022
20 少女終末旅行 (1) | L22 Manga June 30 2022
21 ゆびさきと恋々 1 | L21 Manga June 20 2022
22 シャドーハウス 1 | L24 Manga September 3 2022
23 夜カフェ 1 | L22 Children’s Book July 13 2022
24 神さまがまちガえる 1 | L23 Manga January 7 2023
25 極主夫道 1 | L25 Manga January 11 2022
26 寄生獣 1 | L26 Manga March 23 2023
27 up next!

Interesting idea! To my surprise, I’ve apparently read something from every level from 17 to 36. Technically 31 is missing right now, but 本好きの下剋上 was at 31 for months before moving to 30 recently, so it seems fair to count it. I don’t have any books outside of that range on my radar right now, but maybe I’ll look for something later.


I think it’s a really great idea for lower levels… for me personally, it’s less practical…
I have already collected all levels 20-32… after that, it gets sketchy… :rofl:

I think I’ll fare better reading mostly around the 30-35 mark before progressing beyond that again… :face_with_peeking_eye:

but trying to increase your level and seeing that you can actually read higher than you think, is surely a good thing. :slight_smile:


I really like this idea and totally want to snoop this thread and cheer people on. For myself however it’s a similar situation to Biblio - I already read kind of all over the levels. I have some rougher reads planned starting in October though (三体、糞尿譚、then probably 半落ち + 黄金仮面 in Nov/Dec) so as far as “personally challenging reading” I’ll be with you in spirit!


I’m not going to participate but this is basically the reading strategy I’ve been using for the past year and a half, as best I could. Natively and the current selection of reader-graded books wasn’t available for some of that time, so I had to estimate the difficulty level of many of the books myself. Although I didn’t manage to read everything in order, it turns out I can check off all the levels from 22 to 35. At this point I’m feeling a bit tired and like it would be good to take some time to consolidate and reinforce what I’ve learned, and I’ve found a couple of series that I enjoy, so I’m just going to hang out with my favorites for a while. And I’m glad the strategy worked to get me to a level where I can actually do that. I definitely recommend it!


checks highest level read 雪国 | L47

Errr, the challenge is going to be “finding something that counts”.

Well, technically I own two books that are listed as harder, so I technically can do it.

Edit: wow, except for level 38, I have everything between 19 and 41. Well, I’ll aim for that then.


Do you like poetry? ア、秋 | L35
I marked it a short story but eh, it’s probably closer to poetry. I gave it such a hard rating due to how it was written. Since it’s currently a tentative 38 you could knock out the missing level pretty quick!


I do like poetry! Thanks for the recommendation.

… Oh, that was short indeed. But it’s on the site so it counts. :joy:

I liked it a lot.



I spent a couple minutes trying to understand


, gave up, and then saw



That’s the only part I couldn’t figure out. Still not sure if it means anything or if it is meant to be nonsense. :sweat_smile:

Anyway, I did read it so I guess I’ll add it to my list as well. It wasn’t that hard to follow besides the one part. There was a slight delay in mental processing for the katakana, but even that wasn’t too bad!

After my ratings it’s now a tentative 36. :sweat_smile:


I really like the idea of this challenge! I don’t think I’ll participate, at least not yet; I’ll probably reevaluate when we get closer to new years. What would interest me is doing this when the audiovisual of the site is integrated; I would definitely get a ton out of level + 1 for that.


Yeah I expect the rating to fluctuate all over. Just by the nature of the way its written I had no idea how to compare it to other writing :sweat_smile: I liked it though (I usually do like 太宰) so I’m glad others are reading it. :smile:


It’s just a bunch of half formed ideas jotted down. They are not connected with each other (or maybe they used to be, but the connection is lost).

Haha, I avoided rating it on purpose to keep the level. Oh well. Time to find something else.

Edit: I did grade it, which changed nothing (still level 36), but it’s interesting to see the gradings. It’s really hard to grade something so short. I’m basically going by how it would feel if I took an extract of the same length from the book I am comparing it to, but that’s probably not consistent.
It’s funny to see that @seanblue graded it easier than 魔女少女育成計画, while I said the opposite :sweat_smile:


Obviously it’s very hard to compare something this short to a full length (light) novel. All I can really go by is:

  1. I didn’t have to look up that many words in this, while in 魔法少女育成計画 I looked up a ton. (It’s possible that the short length is skewing my perception of this.)
  2. Only one section tripped me up, and it’s the section that’s not really supposed to make sense.

Of course, if this was a full length novel and I got tripped up this badly once every five pages that would be a problem. Not to mention, if I had to deal with the katakana okurigana for 200+ pages my head might have exploded. But yeah, hard to compare, so I did the best I could.

Looks like it settled at level 37 by the way.


This looks quite useful for me, since I’ve been wanting to work on scaling up my ability!

Level Book Type Finished
18 https://learnnatively.com/book/ec98c0404c/ Manga February 25 2022
19 https://learnnatively.com/book/6fdc8b6241/ Children’s Book December 12 2021
21 https://learnnatively.com/book/314d3ac890/ Manga January 13 2022
22 https://learnnatively.com/book/f105763cf7/ Manga August 21 2022
23 https://learnnatively.com/book/3c31002a1e/ Manga December 12 2021
25 https://learnnatively.com/book/852c2fa34b/ Children’s Book September 28 2022
26 https://learnnatively.com/book/08d0825c68/ Manga December 13 2021
27 https://learnnatively.com/book/10faf248fe/ Novel October 7 2022
28 https://learnnatively.com/book/d1852394ce/ Manga April 1 2022
29 https://learnnatively.com/book/b20c9220d1/ Manga February 5 2023
30 https://learnnatively.com/book/3e8a7c91e4/ Light Novel February 13 2022
31 https://learnnatively.com/book/82ee8e4a8d/ Novel July 17 2022

フルーツバスケット (1) | L26 is 24 if you’re looking for reccs to fill in the gaps :smiley:


ありがとう!I think my local library has it, so that’s perfect.

1 Like
Level Book Type Finished
14 チーズスイートホーム 1 | L15 Manga 2022/05/14
15 天国の犬ものがたり | L15 Manga 2022/01/19
17 にゃんにゃん探偵団 | L17 Children’s Book 2019/02/22
18 よつばと! 1 | L18 Manga 2019/05/20
19 考える力・知的好奇心を育てる 子どもに教えたいふしぎのお話365 オールカラー | L19 Children’s Book 2019/12/31
20 少女終末旅行 (1) | L20 Manga 2019/04/14
21 やさしく、つよく、おもしろく。 | L21 Manga 2019/02/23
22 ソマリと森の神様 1 | L22 Manga 2020/10/26
23 わたしに××しなさい! 1 | L23 Manga 2019/09/10
24 タッチ 1 | L24 Manga 2019/05/28
25 時をかける少女 | L25 Novel 2019/06/13
26 あせとせっけん 1 | L26 Manga 2019/11/13
27 ゆるキャン△ (1) | L27 Manga 2020/06/13
28 Fと成りうる者 | L28 Novel 2019/11/05
29 キノの旅 1 | L30 Light Novel 2019/06/03
30 夜市 | L31 Novel 2020/08/07
31 ダンジョンに出会いを求めるのは間違っているだろうか 1 | L31 Light Novel 2020/06/23
32 氷菓 | L32 Novel 2020/02/02
33 累 1 | L33 Manga 2020/03/11
34 スナックちどり | L34 Novel 2022/02/17
35 限りなく透明に近いブルー | L36 Novel 2020/06/30
36 薬屋のひとりごと 1 | L37 Light Novel 2022/05/08
37 Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活 1 | L37 Light Novel 2019/08/31
38 道化の華 | L38 Novel 2022/10/12
39 人間失格 | L39 Novel 2021/09/30
40 乳と卵 | L39 Novel 2021/10/12
47 雪国 | L47 Novel 2021/01/16

An interesting idea~ I went with whatever I finished first at each level, providing it wasn’t a temporary grading. Looks like I’d need to find something for 16 (difficult… はなにあらし (series) | L17 looks potentially interesting, but I don’t feel like buying anything specifically for this challenge) and 38. 38 has more to choose from as well as a couple free ones, so I guess I’ll start with that. :slight_smile:

Potential candidates

38 (沖で待つ | L38) (バッカーノ! (series) | L38??) 道化の華 | L38 蟹工船 | L38 (宝島 (series) | L38) (流 | L38)
41 (小さいおうち | L41)
42 (風立ちぬ | L42)
43 幼女戦記 (series) | L43
44 夜は短し歩けよ乙女 | L43
45 (宮本武蔵 1 | L45) (道化師の蝶 | L45)
46 (この本を盗む者は | L46??)
48 吾輩は猫である | L48
49 三国志 1 | L49
50 ??
51 ??
52 ?? ドグラ・マグラ | L52?? 春琴抄 | L52??


I attempted a different work by that author and it turned me off them entirely. Graphic animal cruelty was the main plot point. It very much seemed like gore for gore’s sake. I mentioned it to a Japanese friend and they basically were like “yeah, stay away from that author”.

Depends on your own limits of course, but felt I should warn.