Becoming an advanced reader

I’d like to hear your thoughts about how you became or are planning to become an advanced reader.

I’m about to hit 3 million words read, about one quarter of my way to my goal of 12 million. I plan on becoming an advanced reader, able to fluently read anything in my target language of French. I base my “12 million” goal on comments by linguist Stephen Krashen who says that research shows it takes about 1200 hours to become an advanced reader.

Currently, I read at about a rate of 10,000 words an hour. 10,000 x 1200 = 12 million. An arbitrary goal, but we all need something to aim at. It’s the journey along the way that really matters.

For comparison, I can read my native English at 2.5 times the rate of French with better comprehension. I could read French faster, but I try to keep it at 10k words per hour so that I am sure I am understanding it correctly.

One day I hope to be as fluent at reading in French as I am in English. The speaking is important, but the reading even more so. How about you?


Excellent goal! My short term goal is to read through the mini-stories and Coraline. My long term goal is to make it through all the Harry Potter books in Spanish.


I’m at about 20k Korean words at the moment, I want to ramp that up to 30k within 2 months if possible. As I accrue vocabulary, it becomes easier and more enjoyable to read. This lets me read more and accrue more vocabulary with the same amount of effort compared to when I knew less words.

For now I’m reading 1-2 chapters of a webnovel series in Korean per day, it takes about 2-3 hours to do so at the moment whereas in english it would only take me 10 minutes. I want to slowly push the threshold so that I am reading 3 chapters a day, 5 chapters a day, 10 chapters a day.


Interesting goal. I‘m changing all my learning languages strategy so I don’t have an answer for that.

Although, I’ve just started to pay attention to the daily, weekly and monthly statistics on how many words I read because I definitely want to improve that in every language. Reading and even more listening actually because the latter was my weak point, now I’m not sure about it.

For me it’s not the number that’s important but what’s converting more for 1 hour of time spent. So quality before quantity.

For example, when you start to become more advance you’re going to read faster. But if you notice your eyes will move faster and start skipping everything. Your brain optimize energy so it’ll grab the concept but won’t care about other things.

Instead, I believe something else is listening, reading, repeating loudly when necessary and pay a lot of attention to the words you read when you are reading them. Slowing down instead of speeding up and increase curiosity on how the language is written, how the phrases are formed and so on.

With French, orthography and pronunciation are different so if you deep focus on the words you might have a better writing experience, a better pronunciation understanding and so on.

I know it’s just a goal and as you said, we put goals just to make the journey, but pay attention to not fall in the numbers trap.

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This is why I stick to the 10,000 words per hour limit. I can actually read double this rate if it’s easy enough, but I don’t want to cheat. The average imported book gives lessons in 2K chunks. If I read more than 5 lessons in an hour I know I’m reading too fast. If I read slower than 5 lessons in an hour the book is probably above my level and I leave it for another time.

안녕하요! Do you have a reference for Korean webnovels that can be copy-pasted / imported into LingQ? The ones I’ve come across on kakao or naver seem to be in uncopyable viewers.

Well, I intend to learn as many words as I can during my first 90-Day German Challenge, and then get to read The Metamorphosis by Kafka. I don’t know how hard it will be, but I’m going to do it anyway. Before that, though, as a preparation, I’m reading a book on the History of Germany.
I believe I can get at the end of the Challenge with a reasonable vocabulary, so I can read The Metamorphosis without great difficulties.
And… That’s it for now :slight_smile:


Hey Henrique, I like your idea although I will definitely read probably less than you in this period. But as I’m studying German too and I love The Metamorphosis by Kafka, that would be an awesome target for me as well. Keep on reading! :slight_smile:


A suggestion if I may, you can take it or leave it.

Reading books in their original language is always better, if you can manage it. If you like Harry Potter, great, so do I, and I read one or two of the books in French once. But I didn’t really get much out of it - you can just read Harry Potter in English, which will be a better reading experience to begin with, and it’s also something that you don’t need to learn another language for.

If the adolescent fantasy genre interests you, I HIGHLY recommend checking out the Spanish author Laura Gallego, and in particular, her epic trilogy Memorias de Idhún. She has published about 30 books by now and I have read and loved nearly all of them. My other absolute favourites are the Guardianes de la Ciudadela trilogy and the stand-alone books Finis Mundi and El Libro de los Portales. Most of these books aren’t translated into English, so knowing Spanish gives you access to them in a way that it doesn’t give you any special access to Harry Potter.

The first chapter of all Laura’s books are available for free download on her website:

I also have all three Idhún books imported as private lessons in LingQ. I’d be glad to share them with you if that’s possible (technically or legally speaking).


That’s a great goal. Here’s a parallel text that I read (in French) but they have many languages available


Great suggestion! The only reason I chose HP is that I did enjoy the series and there are a LOT of “normal” conversations. I bought the Kindle of all of the books in one volume. An advantage of that is that I can do a search of all 7 books at once and find examples of a word or phrase I’m curious about in context and usually in multiple locations.

The only Spanish authors I’m aware of are Borges, Márquez, and of course Cervantes. Well above my level. So, thank you very much for the lead on Laura Gallego. I will definitely buy the first book. Thanks for the offer of sharing, but it’s not legally possible.

It appears the Memorias de Idhún series won’t be available until September. But the Guardianes de la Ciudadela series is and the first book will be on Audible in a few days. Cool!

Do you know of any recent hard sci-fi Spanish authors?

I absolutely agree with jungleboy. I usually read novels written originally in my target languages. I find that it helps you understand the culture better, plus sometimes translations do not reflect idioms so well.
@Mycroft, here you are some suggestions about sci-fi/fantasy Spanish authors:

One series that is considered hard sci-fi (disclaimer, I haven’t read it yet) is this:

Thanks for that ftornay, do you know where I could buy ebooks of José Antonio Cotrina’s works? Neither Amazon nor Google Play Books seem to have them.

I’m not sure where to find them as ebooks. I’ll try to find some place. In the meantime, I just remembered an author that I like. He specializes in books for young people (a bit in the Harry Potter line) with sci-fi and fantasy themes: Joan Manuel Gisbert en Libros y Ebooks de Joan Manuel Gisbert

Oh, and Spanish Amazon does have some books by Cotrina. “Mala Racha” itself is only available in paper but there are a few others:

Yeah, too bad you can’t buy from Spanish Amazon unless you have a Spanish credit card and a Spanish Amazon account.

In the old days, like a year ago, you could fake out the system and change countries to buy an ebook, but not anymore sadly.

I hate publisher limitations. They make no sense at all.

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I found a lot of books here:

Hello Mycroft, I have read some of the Harry Potter books in Spanish and in French and I really don’t think it matters to an early level learner that these books were not originally written in Spanish. Once you get to a more advanced level It is nice to read Spanish authors but at first, reading something fairly simple is what I enjoyed most. Also, Harry Potter is cool because audio version that matches the translation is easily available (be careful about Latin American Version vs Continental Spanish version), and you can get the English versions in Paperback from any used books store to cross reference if you get a little lost with what’s going on. I have read a lot of Spanish Language versions of English novels for which the audio version was available and it was super fun! Even though at first is was almost impossible just to keep up with the reader, I persevered and now I can understand audio books in Spanish without even reading along! Listening to the sounds of Spanish was so important for me to develop a reasonable accent and to be able to understand spoken conversational Spanish in real life at the super fast speeds that native speakers usual speak! Like Steve says over and over, do what you like and do it a lot, and especially read and listen! Since I started tracking with LingQ in February of this year, I have passed 1 million words of reading and 150 hours of listening in French. That’s 200k words of reading and 30 hours of listening a month. Now I am listening to live French radio from CBC Radio Canada and I am able to follow the broadcasts and even pick up on some of the humour! Buena suerte y disfrute tus estudios en Espanol!!


Thanks for that. Good to know!!!