Not another textbook! I’ve had enough of the boring drills, lame vocabulary and memorizing translations. I need something interesting, maybe a good Spanish book. But how can I read in a language I don’t understand? Learners may not be able to read a book like you would in their native language, but can use a book as a tool to learn Spanish.
Can you learn Spanish by reading Spanish books?
Absolutely, yes you can learn Spanish by reading books in Spanish. They are a great source of words, phrases and sentences. Audio is the another kind of source. What makes books ideal is their flexibility and availability to practice your Spanish language skills.
What you can learn reading Spanish books:
- Read aloud and reading activities to practice all language skills
- Mining for new words
- Mining samples of words in use
- Transform new words into passive and active vocabulary
- Analyze sentences for grammar patterns
Really, any kind of reading material is a good source for you to study Spanish.
What Spanish books should I read?
The best Spanish books to read are the ones you will read. There is no point in getting a book that you don’t like. That will steal your motivation to learn. The most common problem for learners is reading a book they can’t understand. This cannot be avoided, since that’s the nature of learning a foreign language. All this to say, you should read books that meet these requirements:
- Easy to read
- Interesting topic
- Simple to break down into smaller parts
- A variety of genres and styles
More details to follow below. For now, you’ll find my recommendations for some good books to read in Spanish. These are the books in Spanish that will help you achieve your language learning goals.
Learn Spanish Books
Quite an unusual start, nevertheless this reading strategy book is the perfect resource for learners who read Spanish books to learn Spanish.
This book will give you plenty of tips for how to read and learn. Written by a teacher, the strategies are good to learn on your own as well.
Next, the books for learning Spanish….
What is a good book to learn Spanish?
I have a hard time answering this question, because most Spanish learning books fail miserably. So, the best solution is to look elsewhere for a good book that teaches how to read Spanish. These books are called “silabarios” which means book of syllables. They go through each letter and syllable. Examples of words and sentences are given with pictures usually.
Learning to speak Spanish books
Besides reading, another key skill that can be learned from books is speaking. The essence of speaking is pronunciation. Spanish is mostly a phonetic language. It sounds how it is spelled. However there are some key differences between English and Spanish. Every reader needs a good reference book for pronunciation.
Learning Spanish books for adults
As an adult, you know how to read in English already. You really want to focus on the practical stuff, such as going to the store or out to eat. Pair this one with the sounds guide above and you’ll be speaking in no time.
These are shortcuts to build your Spanish vocabulary based on the English you already know. Perfect for adults to expand their existing skills into a foreign language. A real time saver for learning Spanish.
Spanish Books for Beginners
The best books for beginners will teach you the basics of letters, letter sounds, syllables and basic vocabulary.
Which is the best book to learn Spanish for Beginners?
Truly, the absolute best book for beginners to learn Spanish is any ordinary book. They are full of a wide variety of words and example sentences. These are the same books read by native Spanish speakers, both children and adults. In fact, children’s books are by far the best books for beginning Spanish learners.
Spanish Books for Intermediate
Being caught in between is no fun. When you’re not a beginner and definitely not advanced, where does that leave you exactly? This is a good in between intermediate Spanish book.
This one helps create a Spanish learning routine. Each activity is 5-15 minutes and gets you into the habit of using Spanish on a regular basis. For high-beginner to low/mid intermediate
Where can I read Spanish books online?
All the books so far are shipped, but that has limitations. Some learners prefer digital books. Many of those are available online. A large collection of Spanish ebooks are available on Kindle Unlimited. My search turned up 60,000 titles specifically for Spanish.
Where can I find Spanish books for free?
On the other hand, you may want free Spanish books. There are at least two options where you can find free Spanish ebooks. The first is Project Gutenberg which has a large selection of Spanish ebooks you can download. With this file you can read on your desktop, tablet or mobile device or print it.
Second, you can search the entire world for free Spanish books on WorldCat. The search results list books and their availability in your local libraries. It’s simple to use.
Instructions for World Cat
Enter a keyword, title or author into the search. Then on the left select language > Spanish. This will filter your results to books written in Spanish. Choose the book you want. Next enter your location with your zip code. It will list the books availability at all your local libraries.
Famous Spanish Books
Of all time, the most famous Spanish book is Don Quixote de la Mancha. This classic tale of a deluded knight and his squire is quite entertaining. Their adventures are full of action and dialogue. It’s a good read for intermediate and advanced Spanish readers.
Is it hard to read Don Quijote?
If your intention is to read the story, a classic novel such as Don Quijote is not good for a beginner for a couple reasons. First, the reading level is advanced and it is a long story. Secondly, the language is outdated since it was published in 1605. It’s sort of like reading Shakespeare or the King James Bible in English. Third, a lot of the writing becomes confusing in the funny parts because of changing perspectives.
That being said, for advanced readers, I recommend reading it parallel with an English translation. Or beginners can read smaller parts. Keep in mind, it takes awhile to read since the book is over 2 inches thick. The story is a great classic for advanced Spanish readers.
What is the most read book in Spanish?
More than any other book, the Holy Bible is the most read book in Spanish, as in all languages around the world. There are many different translations in the Spanish language. You can read in parallel with your favorite English Bible too.
Tips for Choosing a Spanish Book
Start with Easy Children’s Books
Children’s books are the best books for beginners. The writing level is easy and usually has pictures. The easier the book is, the more motivated you’ll be. No one gets bonus points for struggling to read an advanced-level book.
Try Different Kinds of Books
Reference, fiction, and non-fiction are all different and important for a solid Spanish language foundation. There are a lot of reading materials to choose from:
- dictionary, encyclopedia, thesaurus…
- children’s stories, preschool board books…
- newspaper, magazines, blogs…
- speeches, famous quotes, poems, plays…
- classic literature, biography, historical fiction, best sellers, mystery…
- science, mathematics, history, …
How to Find Good Examples
Some books are better than others. A lot of that is based on your preferences and purpose for learning Spanish. However, a well-written book will have these characteristics:
- a main point and lots of supporting details
- message that provokes thought or inspires
- organized by chronological order, persuasive argument, theme, narrative, prose, analysis, comparison, and contrast
- unique style of author and tone
- language that is descriptive and precise enough to create images
- sentences have rhythm and vary in structure and length
- follows mechanical rules, such as spelling, accents, punctuation, capitalization
- correct grammar and usage
Your Next Steps
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