Free Resources for Learning to Read in Spanish

So you’re currently learning Spanish—that’s great! But what do you do for practice when you’ve run through all of your assignments and class readings? It can be hard to track down outside reading material that’s engaging and easy to read in your new second language. Luckily, there are several resources to help you find books you can read in Spanish, and we’re going to help you find them!

For the Beginning Spanish learner: If you’re taking Beginner 1, 2 or 3 with us at the Spanish Institute, you’re probably looking for something simple with vocabulary you can recognize. That’s where children’s books come in handy! There are some great Spanish kids books such as “El Soñador” by Pam Muñoz Ryan (and all of her other books as well!) or something with both languages, like “The Little Mermaid/La Sirenita: Bilingual Fairytales” by Oriol Izquierdo.

For the Intermediate learner: If you’re in Intermediate 1, 2, or 3, you’re ready for something a little more complex. Young Adult books are a great option—try “La Rosa de Vientos” which is specifically written to help Spanish learners, and deliberately uses all tenses. Another great way to practice is reading the Spanish translations of popular English-language books. Reading through familiar stories makes it easy for you to figure out unfamiliar vocabulary through context clues. Try Las Cronicas de Narnia, Harry Potter or any number of Spanish translations!

For the Advanced learner: If you’re at the Advanced Reading and Conversation level, you have the option to read Spanish literature of all kinds! It may be helpful to work your way up through the options mentioned below—kids books, young adult books and Spanish translations of English books—before you move on to the heavy literature. Try a classic, well-known Spanish-language novel like Don Quixote de La Mancha or the poetry of Pablo Neruda.

All of these books can be purchased online and some will be available in your local bookstore. For free options, search through online book archives like Project Gutenberg or Archive.org.

If you find yourself struggling with your new books, don’t forget that Spanish Institute offers private lessons for brushing up on your grammar and vocabulary! Or take the next level of Spanish with us and move on to new levels of learning!