6 Interesting books to practice Spanish for beginners

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In this article, I’ve reviewed the six best Spanish learning books for beginners which are easy to read.

There are many other ways to learn Spanish, such as enrolling in language schools, finding an online tutor or using apps.

However, if you prefer to learn the language at your own pace, using the traditional book is a great approach.

In this post you will find the following information:

The List of 6 Best Spanish learning books for beginners

Here you can find the list of 6 Spanish learning books for beginners and pre-intermediate level students.

Conversational Spanish Dialogues by Lingo Mastery

3 animated children on a book cover
Conversational Spanish by Lingo Mastery

Type: Dual-language book ( Spanish and English Edition). Over 100 conversations and short stories collected in one book.

Length: 279 pages

The Plot: Each chapter is a new short dialogue between two people who are trying to solve a common issue, which is related to everyday life.

You will learn from these short stories how to set a meeting in Spanish, how to rent a car or how to tell a doctor that you don’t feel well.
What to expect: It’s a good book for beginners and intermediate level students.
The book is great for practicing real-life Spanish conversations.

Check the price here

Manolito Gafotas by Elvira Lindo

An animated boy with big glasses on a book cover
Manolito Gafotas by Elvira Lindo

Type: Adventures of a middle-class kid in Carabanchel. A good book for beginners in Spanish.

Length: 190 pages

The Plot:  A story about a ten-year-old kid Manolito that talks about his family, school and his friends. Each chapter is a short story of something that happened in his life.

He talks about situations when he is being bullied, his pranks or his girlfriend. His friends call him Four-Eyes, because of his extra thick glasses.
Manolito is a cheerful child that tends to be involved in a greater than an average number of accidents. He doesn’t see his father very often but he spends a lot of time with his grandfather that he loves very much.
He constantly ventures up and downtown, meeting famous personalities and even once participating in a demonstration. Everything that happens in his life looks dramatic and life-shaking for him.
He strongly feels that life is good and tends to tell everyone how adventures add flavors to every moment.
His chattering mouth causes him to end up at school psychologist once. When he started telling his life story to the psychologist with every little detail, the psychologist had to get rid of him!   

What to expect:  Even though it is a children’s book, it will also keep adults engaged and amused. You might find yourself laughing out loud as “Manolito ” described his life and adventures.

It has some difficult vocabulary sometimes, so you will need the power to simply dismiss the fact that you do not understand every word. However, it feels like it’s possible to ignore some words in the descriptive part and still to understand the action part. If you quit the habit of checking each word in the dictionary the story will still explain itself. The Manolito Gafotas is quite a popular character in Spain. And if you’ve never met him, this is a great chance to do so.

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“La Casa En Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros

The book cover with a name in big letters "La Casa en Mango Street"
La Casa en mango street by Sandra Cisneros

Type: Novel, written from a teenage girl perspective which makes the language easier to understand. A good book for beginners in Spanish. 

Length: 110 pages

The Plot: The book is about a girl from Mexico, Esperanza Cordero, who is struggling with her life growing up on Mango Street in Chicago. The story is written by short vignettes. 
Some heartwarming, some terrifying, these vignettes tell the story of a girl who is trying to discover who she is and how to live in the world around her.  You will learn in this book what freedom means for Esperanza and what feeling oppressed is like.

What to expect: While the book may be aimed at a younger audience, it is still enjoyable by adults. The chapters can be read as stand-alone stories. The style and language are easy to read. This book has tones of great reviews on Amazon. Definitely, a must-read!

Check the price here

“El túnel” by Ernesto Sabato 

Animated tunnel on a book cover
El túnel by Ernesto Sabato

Type: Psychological Thriller.  Written for an adult audience. 

Length: 160 pages

The plot:  “El Tunel” is a psychological novel of obsessive love. The main hero is an artist named Juan Pablo Castel, who describes from a prison cell his murder of a woman named María Iribarne.
Obsessed from the moment he sees her examining his painting, Castel dreams for several months about meeting her again. When they finally meet one day, the romantic relationship develops between the two that convince him of their mutual love. Castel’s paranoia growing day by day leads him to destroy the only thing that he really loves. 

What to expect: a catchy story that will keep you hooked until the end of the book. Try not to use a dictionary too much letting the story flow. Constantly looking up the translations just kills the pace of a thriller. 

Check the price here

“El Príncipe de la Niebla” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Animated castle on a green mist background
El Príncipe de la Niebla by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Type: mystery and Horror young adult novel. Great book for a person learning Spanish.

Length: 256 pages

The plot: The story is about a Carver family that moves from a capital city to a small coastal village during wartime. But as soon as they enter their new house strange things start to happen. The spirit of the previous owner’s son, who died by drowning, still lurks in this mysterious house. 

What to expect: Even though Carlos Ruiz Zafon wrote the book for young adults,  he still wrote in the introduction, that the book can be enjoyed by anyone from 8 to 80. 
And you will find yourself so caught up in the story that you might even forget to look up words in a dictionary and just pick up meanings and grammar as you read. 

However, if you are only starting to learn Spanish you need to understand that this is a classical Spanish book, and even though the book is targeting young adults the language might be a little bit complicated.  But if you are up for a challenge and ready to move to an intermediate level of Spanish – do yourself a favor and get this wonderful book to learn from. 

Check the price here

“La sombra del viento” by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Animated street on a book cover
“La sombra del viento” by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Type: Another great best seller in a mystery genre. Good for an intermediate level of Spanish. 

Length: 487 pages

The Plot:  It’s a story set in Barcelona in 1945, after the war, when a man takes his ten-year-old son Daniel to a library called the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Daniel can choose only one book from the library and he picks up a book written by a man named Julian Carax. This book may be the last in existence by Carax. Someone has been finding the Carax works and destroying them!

What to expect:
This novel will perfectly suit those who love mystery and who would like to know more about after Civil War Spain. The book is very catchy and keeps you hooked till the end, however, it requires a basic knowledge of Spanish.

Check the book here

I recently became an affiliate on Amazon, therefore I am using affiliate links in this post. Keep in mind that I link these books because of their quality and value they can bring and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases.

Spanish Language Blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Importance of reading books to learn Spanish

Reading exposes learners to more sentences and more new vocabulary per minute than the average TV series, movie or song. (1)

This is the reason why students who read books in a foreign language speak more fluently than students who don’t, even if they have taken the same amount of classes. (2)

Here are some benefits of reading books to learn Spanish: 

  1. Reading allows you to learn new vocabulary in a context. 
  2. You get exposed to the same words many times, which allows you to remember them better. 
  3. When you read, you contextualize all the vocabulary that you have already learned during your Spanish classes or other methods you are using. 
  4. Many words in Spanish have several meanings(3). Reading allows you to learn the different usage of words in different situations.  

To find out more about this topic, you can read this article.

How to choose a book to learn Spanish? 

Find the genre that you like

It is essential to choose the book that you are genuinely interested in.

There can be nothing worse than keep pushing yourself to read a book that you don’t like. It will only feel like torture. So it’s vital to choose a genre that you would enjoy and would be interested in keeping reading till the end.

Don’t choose a very long book.

It is easy to get too overwhelmed by a book that is too long. If you are not ready with books, you can even start with these short stories online in Spanish.

Find a book for your level in Spanish.

If you don’t understand 40% of what is written in the book, then there is a possibility that you will get tired of checking the dictionary at some point and give up.

If you understand 100%, it’s great to enjoy the book, but we are looking for something to improve the level of your Spanish, so we need something more complex.

Target the book where you can understand 80% of the Spanish language. It is a good ratio that will help you to enrich your vocabulary.

Here is a very good article on how to choose the best books to study a language.

Where to find more Spanish books online

I usually use two websites where I find some of the best Spanish learning books for beginners. It is, of course, Amazon.com, where you can find tons of best easy to read books in Spanish, and the second website is Bookdepository.com. This website has a wide variety of books to choose from, and it also offers free and fast delivery to many countries. 

On both of the websites, you can search for books by the categories that you like. When you find a book, check for the preview available to understand whether this book is suitable for your level of Spanish.

There is plenty of other sources. Check this article with the list of 21 Best Places to Buy Cheap New & Used Books

So, there you have it! Pick one or two books that you would like to start with and get the most out of it. Best of luck in your Spanis learning process and never stop reading!

Set yourself a goal to finish one book at a time. There is nothing as satisfying as the feeling of accomplishment when you turn the last page. You have done it! You’ve read a book in a new language!

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