The 10 best books for learning Spanish

Did you know that reading is one of the best ways to make progress in learning a language? Then discover our selection of the best books for learning Spanish!

Whether you want to learn Spanish for a roadtrip to South America, for work or for your own personal culture, there are many options open to you: traditional courses, podcasts, mobile apps, films and series… But the most traditional way – and still one of the most effective – is reading.

So if you want to learn, improve or even perfect your Spanish, there’s nothing better than a good book. After all, it’s an undeniable way to improve your grammar while expanding your vocabulary. And what could be better than quenching your thirst for culture from the comfort of your armchair or towel by the sea?

And to make sure there’s something for everyone, we’ve put together a list of books to suit all tastes and levels. Discover the 10 best books to learn Spanish!

1. The lighthouse at the end of the world

Livres apprendre espagnol : Le Phare du bout du monde

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Defbarboza

  • 🕜 Number of pages: 122
  • 📖 Book style: novel with learning exercises
  • Required level: beginner
  • 👍 The book’s plus: an accessible language, ideal for beginners

Let’s start this selection of the best books for learning Spanish in the fascinating world of Jules Vernes. This didactic work breaks the story down into bite-sized chunks, making it easy to read.

The translations are simplified and punctuated with fun exercises to enrich your reading comprehension and vocabulary. Specially written in accessible language, this Spanish language book is ideal for beginners.

2. Learn Spanish by reading short stories

livres pour apprendre l'espagnol

Photo credit: Shutterstock – nito

  • 🕜 Number of pages: 119
  • 📖 Book style: dictionaries, languages and encyclopedias
  • Required level: beginner
  • 👍 The book’s plus: perfect for beginners who love stories

This book of short stories is a simple and effective way to learn Spanish. Written in the present tense, the stories make it easy to learn the basics of the language. Perfect for beginners to take with them wherever they go!

In addition, this book will help you learn useful vocabulary for everyday life, with typical phrases often used in Spanish dialogues. ¿qué cuentas?

3. El Principito

El Principito

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Denmorganstudio

  • 🕜 Number of pages: 93
  • 📖 Book style: novel
  • Required level: beginner
  • 👍 The book’s plus points: ideal as a first novel to be read in Spanish

You’ve probably already heard of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry. And if you’re familiar with the story, it’s even better to learn it in Spanish!

While this book is ideal for beginners, we still recommend that you know the basics for fluent reading. But as the story is fairly short and rather well-known, this book is still an effective way of adding to your vocabulary list.

Tip: get yourself a little booklet in which to record your vocabulary. That way, every time you come across an unfamiliar word in the text, you can add it to your lexicon to help you remember it.

4. La sombra del viento

Livres pour apprendre l'espagnol : La sombra del viento

Photo credit: Facebook – Palabras

  • 🕜 Number of pages: 524
  • 📖 Book style: novel
  • Level required: advanced
  • 👍 The book’s plus: a must-have bestseller in Spanish literature

A historical novel combining love, suspense and literature, La sombra del viento by Carlos Ruiz Zafón is a must-have in Spanish literature. Released in 2001, it quickly became a worldwide bestseller, translated into thirty-six different languages. In short, a book that will never leave your hands, provided you already have a certain level of Spanish.

The story takes place in Barcelona in 1945. Daniel, a young boy who plays the main character, finds himself in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. In this secret library, run by his father, he discovers a book that will completely change his life: La sombra del viento!

5. Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal

Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Wachiwit

  • 🕜 Number of pages: 256
  • 📖 Book style: novel
  • Level required: intermediate
  • 👍 The book’s plus: an entire saga to take you further.

If books from the Harry Potter saga are often the first to be chosen and recommended for a first reading in a foreign language, it’s because they have definite advantages. In fact, reading Harry Potter in Spanish is highly recommended for progress, as the level increases with each volume.

Start with the first book in the saga, Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal. Then continue the challenge with the increasingly complex and vocabulary-rich tomes that follow. Well translated, the works of the famous wizard are waiting to be read and learned from!

6. Mi pueblo y otros escritos

Livres pour apprendre l'espagnol : Mi pueblo y otros escritos

Photo credit: Shutterstock – javi_indy

  • 🕜 Number of pages: 176
  • 📖 Book style: autobiographical stories
  • Required level: intermediate
  • 👍 The book’s plus: a bilingual work to understand everything

Published in 2008, Mi pueblo y otros escritos is a work by Spanish poet and playwright Federico García Lorca. The first texts in this collection are autobiographical, referring to the author’s youthful writings. They reveal his sensitivity at the age of 18. But they also reveal the mores and misery of his native village of Fuente Vaqueros.

This is followed by a humorous tale and a text on Spanish lullabies. As the text is translated, it’s easy to understand and assimilate the vocabulary. A very interesting book for learning Spanish while learning about the country’s culture!

7. Los Funerales de la Mamá Grande

Los Funerales de la Mamá Grande

Photo credit: Flickr – Bernardo Mora Cadavid

  • 🕜 Number of pages: 319
  • 📖 Book style: collection of short stories
  • Level required: intermediate
  • 👍 The book’s plus: immerse yourself in the world of a Colombian writer

If your command of the Spanish language is not yet perfect, Los Funerales de la Mamá Grande is an ideal collection of short stories to help you progress. In fact, this work is made up of eight tales with French translations. Enough to expand your vocabulary while revising your grammar. Representative of the magic realism movement, Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez presents his stories on the themes of time, memory, solitude and death.

For those who wish to go further, we recommend García Márquez’s best-known novel: Cien años de soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude). A masterpiece of South American literature, it tells the story of the Buendia family in a remote Colombian village, condemned to a hundred years of solitude by the prophecy of the gypsy Melquiades… A masterpiece that will delight those of you with a good level of Spanish.

8. Spanish from A to Z: Grammar, conjugation and difficulties

L’espagnol de A à Z : Grammaire, conjugaison et difficultés

Photo credit: Shutterstock – spaxiax

  • 🕜 Number of pages: 384
  • 📖 Book style: learning book
  • Required level: intermediate
  • 👍 The book’s plus: alphabetical classification and a detailed index for easy searching

Practical and complete, this book by Claude Mariani offers an effective method for easy everyday learning. It includes :

  • Over 300 corrected exercises for practice;
  • Grammar and conjugation rules ;
  • Words that are difficult to translate from one language to another.

Everything you need to learn Spanish is included in this book. All in all, the ideal guide for anyone wishing to improve their Spanish.

9. Spanish in 5 minutes a day

Livres pour apprendre l'espagnol : L’espagnol en 5 minutes par jour

Photo credit: Shutterstock – gguy

  • 🕜 Number of pages: 160
  • 📖 Book style: learning book
  • Level required: beginner to intermediate
  • 👍 The book’s plus points: paperback, practical to take everywhere

Do you want to learn or revise your Spanish, but don’t necessarily have the time to take classes? Is your Spanish losing its way through lack of practice? L’espagnol en 5 minutes par jour by David Tarradas will be your ideal companion!

Thanks to this book and its 60 lessons and exercises designed for effective day-by-day learning, the Spanish language will hold no secrets for you. Learning grammatical rules will be child’s play, as will the expressions you need to hold a conversation.

10. Spanish (book+4CD audio)

  • 🕜 Number of pages: 720
  • 📖 Book style: learning book
  • Level required: beginners and false beginners
  • 👍 The book’s plus: rich dialogue and audio recordings

With thousands of copies sold, this book by Jean Cordoba is a real nugget for learning Spanish. In fact, the book’s method includes dialogues that are rich in vocabulary, lively and up-to-date.

Discover idiomatic expressions and immerse yourself in Spanish culture with this book, which wonderfully illustrates the realities and evolutions of the Spanish oral language over time. What’s more, the included audio recordings are a real asset for effective learning.