For a long time, I dismissed reading Spanish books as a way to learn to speak Spanish, because the written language used in novels, magazines and newspaper articles doesn't resemble the way people speak at all. That's why I usually say listening to Spanish podcasts or watching Spanish YouTube videos will help you get fluent much faster.
However, I recently discovered there's a whole range of excellent books for Spanish students that DO actually focus on conversational Spanish and that'll teach you many chunks you can use in real-life situations.
Obviously, that changes the game.
So in this article, I've compiled a list of 15 useful Spanish books that'll actually help you acquire Spanish speaking skills too.
I still recommend you complement with tons of listening, but these books will give you a solid foundation. Also, you might want to use this reading skills strategy to make the most out of the books.
1. Spanish Short Stories for Beginners: 25 Engaging Tales to Build Your Vocabulary and Learn the Fast & Fun Way!
Learning Spanish by reading a book has never been so easy. This book offers 25 outstanding and easy-to-read stories you can use to develop your skills. They are pretty engaging and you’ll want to read them all at once. This book even offers a list of vocabulary that will help you expand yours and help you communicate better. And the more words you learn (in context), the better you can express your thoughts.This Spanish book is definitely a must-have if you’re starting to learn Spanish.
This book is among the best Spanish books when it comes to learning with a “recipe”. Even though this is a grammar-based book (and you are now probably scared because of the “G-word”), it teaches Spanish in a “different” way.
With this Spanish book, you can start speaking from day one by learning not only essential structures but phrases with those structures. So, if you’re seeking to speak Spanish fast, this is definitely a great choice. You can either buy the Kindle version or the paperback version here.
3. Learn Spanish For Adult Beginners: 3 Books in 1: Speak Spanish In 30 Days! (Learn Spanish For Adults)
Finding Spanish books that “have it all” can be hard. Yet, with this book, you will get everything you need to start your learning journey. This book is among the best Spanish books since it combines three book types in just one.
With Learn Spanish for Adult Beginners you’ll learn essential Spanish words and phrases. Also, throughout the book, you’ll find fun and engaging stories to learn new verbs, conjugations, and many other things. After reading this book, you will speak Spanish and sound like a native.
4. Spanish Short Stories for Beginners: Learn Spanish Fast with Basic Stories in Spanish and English
Alex Torres’s book makes learning Spanish from short but engaging stories possible and accessible. It’s undoubtedly one of the best Spanish books for beginners these days, especially because it offers dual language content (as in, a parallel translation in English next to the Spanish story).
For languages that are quite similar (like Spanish and English), parallel translations are one of the best ways to learn Spanish fast. They’ve been the backbone of all the courses I’ve created so far (for example, the radionovela course at Spring Spanish) because they allow you to learn chunks in context.
This book follows the same principle, and the stories are very easy to read. Even if you’re a total beginner in Spanish, you’ll still be able to finish and learn from the book.
PS Want to learn more about Conversation Based Chunking and learning with parallel translations? Make sure to request your free Spanish Chunking Starter Pack, which contains tutorials, examples, and even sample Spanish lessons.
This book from Olly Richards is a work of art for Spanish learners. Olly (a friend of mine) has designed this book to give a sense of achievement and, even more important, enjoyment. This is indeed in the top 10 Spanish books for beginners. If you’re looking to improve your skills and learn more about European culture, you can’t hesitate to buy it. You can also get the audiobook to practice your listening comprehension.
6. Spanish Short Stories for Beginners: 20 Captivating Short Stories to Learn Spanish & Grow Your Vocabulary the Fun Way!
What makes this Lingo Mastery book different from the others is that it doesn’t only offer 20 engaging stories, but also quizzes to test your reading comprehension, everyday Spanish phrases, and useful dialogues. (I love dialogues. They’re full of useful chunks.)
At the end of each story, you can read the summary either in English or Spanish to help you get a better understanding of everything. If you want to start your Spanish learning journey in a fun way, get this book.
Lingo Mastery has many Spanish books that can help you learn Spanish from scratch.
Nonetheless, if you’re planning to travel or you need to make your skills work from day 1, you must get this book. In this book, you’ll learn over 1500 essential phrases (or chunks, as we call them at Effortless Conversations) to help you have effortless conversations. In other words, you’ll get a whole arsenal of useful Spanish “chunks” to communicate with others. With this book, you’ll boost your speaking skills like never before.
Cuentos de la selva is a Spanish classic and a must-read if you’re learning Spanish. Horario Quiroga made the book mostly for children and it has conquered the heart of a big amount of people around the globe. The book tells the story of life in the jungle. The characters are mainly animals and it shows how humans can be a friend as well as an enemy of nature. After reading this book, your life will no longer be the same. AND you will learn great Spanish words and phrases. What’s not to like?
This wonderful book by Pablo García Loeza is indispensable for every traveler or anyone thinking about traveling to a Spanish-speaking destination soon. In this book, you’ll find useful travel Spanish for eating, shopping, asking for directions, and many other essential things when traveling. Of course, they’ll also help you in daily conversations at home or work. You’ll even learn what to say during a visit to the doctor. Complement with the tips in this Spanish for Beginners guide for optimal results.
10. Advanced Spanish Step-by-Step: Master Accelerated Grammar to Take Your Spanish to the Next Level (Easy Step-by-Step Series)
With this book, Barbara wanted to give advanced Spanish learners a great tool to achieve high proficiency in a short period of time. It’s intended to boost your confidence by teaching you essential grammar structures first and then moving to advanced topics. You’ll need an advanced level of Spanish to make out the most of it, but when you’re at that level, a Spanish book like this one will help you overcome any challenge.
11. Spanish Conversation Book Intermediate II: Spanish Dialogues (Spanish Conversation Book for Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced Students)
Iris Acevedo A. made this book for those Spanish learners who seek to learn more than just how to speak. With this book, you’ll also learn about the culture of Costa Rica. In the book, you’ll find separate dialogues (yay!) with a wide variety of subjects. Iris says it’s a book made for everyone. But, most readers say it would be better if you have at least an intermediate Spanish level.
This Spanish book by Steve Aiston is excellent. Regardless of your Spanish skills, it’ll take your reading comprehension to a whole new level. In the book, you’ll find 15 Spanish texts with questions and answers.
13. 101 Conversations in Intermediate Spanish: Short Natural Dialogues to Boost Your Confidence & Improve Your Spoken Spanish (Spanish Edition)
As mentioned before, reading skills don’t always carry over into conversation… But this Spanish book wants to change that.
Olly Richards designed this book to actually help you have natural but effective conversations in Spanish. It’ll boost your confidence and improve your spoken Spanish. It’s not surprising that this is one of the best books to learn Spanish.
14. Cuentos que contaban nuestras abuelas (Tales Our Abuelitas Told): Cuentos populares Hispánicos (Spanish Edition)
Alma Flor Ada wrote a children’s book full of stories every grandparent tells their grandchildren. This is book is one of the best Spanish children’s books. With it, your kids will develop their Spanish skills by learning common phrases while listening to engaging stories. And since the language is quite easy, it’s perfect for adult Spanish learners too.
Cien años de Soledad is a book inspired by the civil wars in Colombia between XIX and XX. It’s one of the most acclaimed Spanish novels. Although this Spanish book isn’t aimed at teaching you Spanish, it helps you get a better understanding of Spanish and develop your skills. Since it’s a novel, you’ll see many words that aren’t really used in everyday speech. Regardless, learning them is good when it comes to writing stories or similar tasks. To make the most out of this Spanish book, you’ll need to be at an intermediate or advanced level.
- Author: Lukas Van Vyve
- How to learn any language without memorizing word lists and grammar rules
- A 4-step method to identify common word combinations (chunks) and imprint them on your brain so they roll off the tongue in conversations
- Set up a study plan to make more progress in the next 12 weeks than all of last year
I can't compile a list of books on my website without mentioning my own Effortless Conversations book. It's not only about learning Spanish, but gives you a methodology to learn any language fluently without having to memorize word lists and grammar rules. Thousands of students have read the book and transformed the way they learn Spanish and other languages. You can be next 🙂
There you go: my recommendations for the best Spanish books that help you speak Spanish. I suggest you pick one or two and start with those; and if you discover you enjoy reading in Spanish, continue with some more from this list.