Mónica Beviá, senior lecturer of Spanish at Cornell University suggested that if you want to learn Spanish you’ll have to spend at least an hour a day reading, writing, listening, and speaking the language. In this article, we’re going to suggest material for reading.
Reading in your target language can provide very valuable contact hours with the language. You won’t only be entertained but you’ll learn sentence structure, new vocabulary, and maybe a deeper appreciation of the culture. You will also see how people speak in conversation and take note of grammatical patterns.
There are many Spanish books out there just waiting to help you on your language journey. Here are a few we recommend.
Spanish Novels for Beginners
- Papelucho by Marcela Paz
Papelucho is the name of a little boy who is the main character of books in a series of children’s books. The books are written like diary entries. Even though these are children’s books, they’re perfect for absolute beginners. You’ll learn basic phrases and vocabulary.
- Ana, Estudiante by Paco Ardit
This book is about Ana, an Argentine student who is studying Psychology. You’ll read about how she goes out with her friends, prepare for her exam, and falls in love with her professor. The book is also riddled with Argentine slang.
- El Principito by Antonie de Saint-Expuery
Follow a young prince around the universe visiting various planets. It’s a nice little book about life even though it’s a children’s book. The adventures will have you hook and you’ll be learning Spanish while being entertained.
- Fútbol en Madrid by Paco Ardit
This book is about a soccer-crazed man in his cities who dreams about playing with his favorite players in the top league in Spain. Soccer is definitely a big part of the culture in Spanish-speaking countries so this is a great pick.
Spanish Novels for Intermediate Language Learners
- La Vida Imaginaria by Mara Torres
An exciting novel that speaks about lost love. Perfect for a learner who is not a beginner and looking for more complex sentences and vocabulary.
- Como agua para chocolate by Laura Esquivel
This book is a coming-of-age novel about a young Mexican woman who is also a chef called Tita. She wants to be independent but is having problems gaining it from her traditional family. The novel is also described as a love story. Note the role food plays in the story.
- El Príncipe de la Niebla by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Following a move from their war-torn town to the countryside. There, Max and his little sister find that something is wrong. They’re still able to feel the presence of the past owners. There is also a character called the Prince of Mist who can grant wishes. Follow the kids through this entertaining trilogy as you pick up more Spanish vocabulary.
- Llamada perdida by Paco Ardit
The story follows a young Venezuelan woman called Belén who starts receiving phone calls from a stranger. At first, she isn’t worried but the caller started revealing more and more information about her and this frightens her. Imagine the fear and suspense!
Novels for Advanced Spanish Speaking Learners
- La Fuga by Paco Ardit
The book is about four prisoners who are planning to escape from a maximum-security prison in Chile. A feat like that requires teamwork, can they do it? This book is perfect for advanced learners because of the tenses and vocabulary.
- Paranormal by Paco Ardit
This book follows a Miami-based writer called Karen. Karen had a typical and predictable life until she met a man in Starbucks that introduced her to a paranormal world.
- La celestina by Fernando de Rojas
This book is an oldie but goodie. It came out in 1499 and is like Romeo and Juliet. This was the first Spanish bestseller. According to its Amazon description “Fernando de Rojas’s exhilarating mix of street wit, obscenity, and cultured rhetoric mark Celestina as a masterpiece: an original, explosive, genre-defying work that paved the way for the picaresque novel and for Cervantes.” If you’re looking for a book to challenge you this one may be the right pick.
- El Día Del Juicio by Paco Ardit
If you love murder mysteries then you’ll like this one. A wealthy Argentine man called Carlos was found dead in his swimming pool the day after his birthday. The judge in charge of the case, Amanda, has quite the task ahead of her. She will do the impossible to find out what happened. Read to see how it all pans out.
As we’ve said, reading alone won’t make you fluent. However, hiring a Spanish language tutor will definitely help you on your path to fluency.
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