10 Famous Spanish short stories online

Reading Spanish books and short stories for beginners is a great way to increase your vocabulary and improve comprehension. Short stories take less commitment than a book, but they are just as helpful if you read them regularly.

Below you will find the list of famous Spanish short stories online to get you started, plus several other resources with plenty of short stories in Spanish for beginners

6 Spanish stories online that every beginner can read

Before you start, let me share with you a piece of advice that my Skype teacher from Italki would always give me.

Reading short stories in Spanish out loud every day for at least 10 min will develop your comprehension abilities.

When you read aloud, your native language will not be the one on your mind, the sound of your voice and the Spanish words will be everything that you hear. And these Spanish short stories are the best for this practice.

1) Short story: “Estrellita de Oro” (Little Gold star)

The length of this story is 700 words.

This short story was written for children; therefore, it is great for complete beginners in Spanish. It’s similar to the Cinderella fairytale but with a different and funny twist in the end.
Free to read here

2) Short story: “La Llorona” (The Crying Woman)
image of a ghost woman standing in the forrest

Length: 500 words

This story of the crying woman was created in Mexico and was told and retold for many centuries. The story is about a ghost woman who killed herself. But you will find out why she did it when you read this short version of the story for beginners with only 500 words. The legend says that she still wanders the earth, and parents sometimes use it with their children to keep them away from streets late at night.
Free to read here

3) Short story: “The Sihuanaba” (Ugly woman)
animation of a ugly woman

Length: 440 words

The Sihuanaba (Ugly woman) is a very famous legend in Central America, especially in Salvador, perhaps the best known of all.

Similarly to La Llorona (The Crying Woman), it is a story about a ghost woman who is haunting men. Legends of this genre are very popular in Latin American culture.
Free to read here

4) Short story: “La Ratita Presumida” (The Vain Little Mouse)

Length: 500 words

This story is great if you have just started reading in the Spanish language since most of it flows as a dialog. It’s about a bride-to-be mouse, her suitors, and a cat.  The story has existed for centuries and is used in many children’s books due to its moral and educational value.
Free to read here

5) Short story: “Garbancito” ( A little bean)
An illustration of a smiling boy walking in a green field.

Length: 900 words

Funny adventures of a boy who was born so small that he was no bigger than a little bean.  His size didn’t stop him from having a normal life. This beautiful story tells us about important values, such as effort and overcoming. Little Garbancito teaches us a great lesson by demonstrating that we must strive to overcome all the obstacles that we encounter.
Free to read here

6) Short Story: “La esposa sorda” (The deaf wife)

Length: 330 words

A short story in Spanish by Argentinian bestselling psychotherapist and writer.
The story is very short and easy to read for beginners in Spanish. Additionally, it’s quite a funny story with a moral.
Free to read here

7) Short story: “What happened in the forest”

Length: 6 minutes

This is a short story narrated by Maria from “Why Not Spanish”. While Maria is telling the story you will be able to read it at the same time. After the short story in Spanish, there will be a quiz to check how much you understood.

A short story in Spanish

3 Short stories in Spanish for Intermediate learners

8) Short story: ”Something very serious will happen to this town”

Gabriel García Márquez
Length: 730 words

This is a short story in Spanish by an amazing Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez. The story starts with a woman telling her children that she woke up with a feeling that something very serious will happen to the town they live in.
This story gives an idea of how we sometimes create our own doom.
Free to read here

9) Short Story: “El Amigo Fiel “( The Devoted Friend)

Oscar Wild
Length: 1800 words.

This story is a darkly comic short story written by Oscar Wild in 1888. If you are looking only for short stories written exclusively by Spanish authors, you can skip this part as this work has been translated from English to Spanish. But if you are up for reading an entertaining short story translated for easy comprehension in Spanish – then this classic story is for you. This moral tale is based on the subject of friendship. The good thing about this story is that you can easily find the English version online.
Free to read here

10) Short Story: “La Muñeca Menor” (The Youngest Doll)   
illustration of a doll with the open mouth.

Rosario Ferré
Length 2170 words ( 2 pages and a half) 

This short story was written by Puerto Rican writer Rosario Ferre and, until now, it has been frequently used in literature classes in schools.  The story is about a woman that received a bite from a river bug after taking a bath in the river. It badly damaged her leg, leaving her disabled. Her family doctor decided to take advantage and pretended to cure her for his own monetary gain. The story is classified in a genre of magical realism, but it’s entertaining and also symbolic as it teaches readers a lesson.  It’s quite famous, so there can be many translations found online.
Free to read here

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Other sources of great Spanish short stories and legends online

A book on a desk with a candle and a clock next to it
Must read Famous Spanish and Colombian legends

Here is the list of the websites that provide completely free short stories online.

10 Most Famous Colombian legends online
In this article, you can read 10 the most famous Colombian Legends that have centuries of history but until these years they are being passed from one generation to another. They include different elements like mystery, magic, supernatural powers, love with heartbreak, etc.  These stories are rich in symbolic and historical content and are must-read if you want to learn about historical events and cultural world views of this beautiful country. There are 10 very short legends listed in one article, each of them is about 200 words.
Read online here

10 Famous Spanish legends
Similar to the Colombian legends these 10 Spanish legends are being transmitted from one generation to another mainly by word of mouth. They are full of historical data, fantastic characters and supernatural powers. the rich symbolic content presented in these short stories is useful for knowing the peculiarity of Spanish culture. These 10 stories are 150-200 words each. 
Read online here

31 Spanish Tales for Beginners
Also, here you can find a collection of free Spanish short stories online.
It’s an e-book edited with a collection of 31 Spanish fairytales for beginners edited by Elijah Clarence Hills, PH.D., Litt.D.
When the editor was collecting the stories, he was following these rules: the stories should have been well written in easy Spanish and they should portray well the Spanish lifestyle. And it seems he managed his task pretty well.
Read online here

E-Stories Website
Another great source is the E-stories website which was launched in 1999. Do you like sci-fi, love stories, mystery, horror or crime? Or you’re a fantasy fan? You can enjoy plenty of free short stories in Spanish online, you can browse the stories by any genre that you like. These stories are written by different authors that submit their stories to the website.
Read online here

Lingq website
This website is just great to read short stories in Spanish online.
you can register for free and read one story a day (or more). You can choose the level of difficulty and you will have the opportunity to click on each of the words and get an immediate translation. After you finish reading a page you have the opportunity to practice the new vocabulary in a short quiz.

screenshot with s short story in Spanish online

Here are a few reasons why reading Spanish short stories for beginners are great:

Simplicity
They are designed to be simple for people who have just started to learn Spanish. The grammatical structure is simple and vocabulary is basic. The author usually limits the story by describing the basic elements.

Sentence structure 
The sentences are usually short which allows for easier comprehension. Spanish short stories are especially good to learn how Spanish words and phrases are used in sentences. When you read, you can automatically identify the usage of new words from the context.

The length
The stories are short and simple, which means they are more digestible by learners.  Since they are so accessible you can easily target 2-3 stories per week, thus helping you grow your Spanish vocabulary fast. You can also find an author you like before committing to reading novels.

You can read them several times
You can reread the story twice or more times, and try to pick up the meaning of most of the words without using a dictionary. My Skype Spanish teacher always recommended not to translate from Spanish to English as I read but to practice reading and understanding in Spanish. Constantly trying to translate every word will slow you down and prevent you from gaining a real fluency in Spanish, which also includes thinking in Spanish.

Accessibility online
Famous Spanish short stories are easily accessible from online sources. They will have translations, summaries, or any other additional sources that can make reading as stress-free as possible when you are just starting.

Useful phrases
As a beginner, you will find many phrases useful to use in real-life conversation. And by reading short stories regularly, you might come across the same phrases that will stick in your mind. And at some point, you might realize some phrases just flow naturally as you speak.

Interesting plot.
You won’t be bored with famous Spanish short stories. They became well-known for a reason!

So, if you have never given short stories a try, start today!

Useful tips that will help you maximize your learning with Spanish short stories

A boy with a bulb, having a new idea
Tips to Maximize your Spanish learning

Before you start choosing from the famous Spanish short stories that I have collected for you in this article, you should read through these tips that might be useful in maximizing your learning experience while you read.

Tip No. 1:
If you have a basic understanding of Spanish, try to read the story without a dictionary. If you don’t understand everything, you can read the story several times until you comprehend the meaning of it. When you understand it on your own, you will feel a sense of achievement. Try it!

Tip No. 2:
When your knowledge of Spanish is close to zero, or it is too little compared to the level of Spanish in the story, feel free to take advantage of the English translation of the story. You can read the story first in Spanish and then in English to test your understanding.

Tip No. 3:
Start a notebook where you can write down new vocabulary and phrases from each story that you read. You can go through these notes before going to sleep or after you wake up.

Tip No. 4:
Practice your writing. Write a summary of the story that you just read, in your own words, in Spanish.  Even if you write it in a few sentences and in your own words, it will still help you with vocabulary and writing skills. It will also help to memorize the new phrases that you just learned.  

Tip No. 5:
Retell the story to a conversational partner, trying to incorporate the new vocabulary as you do.

Tips No. 4 and Tip No. 5 are very important if someone wants to learn the Spanish language quickly. People learn much faster and more efficiently through an active learning process that is based on writing and speaking.  Passive learning is where you learn by reading and listening.

By following these tips, you can gain valuable learning from a single Spanish short story.

Now you have plenty of short stories to choose from, I hope you will enjoy them as I did!

Don’t forget that to develop a good language intuition – listening is as important as reading. It’s a bit more difficult but also more beneficial as it helps to improve comprehension and pronunciation. Combine reading with listening to audiobooks for beginners.

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