Spanish is not only one of the most widely spoken languages in the world but also one of the most widely read! Learning Spanish gives you the great opportunity to read some amazing works in their original language. So what are you waiting for? Discover some of the most amazing books in Spanish below!
But before we start our selection, here are a few tips for reading in a foreign language:
- Choose a book that is suitable for your level. Ideally, you should understand 80% of the words on the page. If you are not sure, try reading the first pages before you buy the book. If you can grasp the idea, that’s a good start!
- Try not to look up every word. Be strict with yourself and use reading strategies, such as deducing the meaning from the context. Of course, reach for the dictionary if you are completely lost!
- Read about topics that you genuinely enjoy. In that way, you will be more motivated to read in Spanish.
- Take it slowly. Your reading skills will inevitably vary from one language to another. Even just reading one or two pages at a time is a big achievement!
Now, check out these amazing books in Spanish! They have been divided according to their level so that your literary search is easier. Enjoy!
#1. El libro de Gloria Fuertes para niñas y niños (2018) – Gloria Fuertes
This is a great compilation of verses, stories and biographical aspects of the great author Gloria Fuertes. The edition includes charming illustrations and photographs that will make the reading process easier and more enjoyable. An essential book to introduce children’s literature to your home or Spanish lessons!
#2. Conejito y el Zorro Misterioso (2021) – The Wacky Prof
Looking for an engaging book for young learners? Then you’ve come to the right place!
Conejito takes his first adventure through the forest to help Papa Rabbit make his favourite treat: a carrot cake! But all doesn’t go as planned! The first of a new bilingual children’s book series by the Wacky Prof, this opening adventure serves as an excellent language learning tool for young learners – and for adult novices, too!
What we love about this book: Text and illustrations have been carefully structured to help develop vocabulary and draw links between English and Spanish.
#3. Spanish short stories (2018) – Sergio Rodríguez
A great book for students who have a basic knowledge of Spanish and are looking to improve their vocabulary and have fun with short stories. This book offers 20 stories that range from science-fiction to romance and everything in between.
What we love about this book: You will find a brief questionnaire after each story, which will help you remember and put new words into practice.
#4. Zipi y Zape – José Escobar
Meet the most famous twins of the Spanish literature, Zipy & Zape! These naughty and unruly brothers are one of the main symbols of the Spanish popular culture, and their adventures and misfortunes have amused children and adults of several generations.
Why is reading a comic a good idea? If you’re a beginner, this is a great option since the illustrations will help you understand even if you don’t know some of the words. Other popular comics in Spain are Mortadelo y Filemón or 13 Rue del Percebe, both by Francisco Ibáñez, another great strip-cartoonist.
#5. Fray Perico y su borrico (1984) – Juan Muñoz Martín
This is definitely one of the best books to get started in Spanish literature. In this society full of pride and competitiveness, this is a tacit reminder of essential human values. The story is set in a 19th-century monastery in Salamanca, where friars lead a peaceful life. Fray Perico has just joined the order and, despite his kindness, he is so clumsy that he ends up turning the quiet monastery into madness!
An easy and endearing must read for all ages.
#6. Manolito Gafotas (1994-2012) – Elvira Lindo
If you want something fun in Spanish, this series is for you! Manolito is a small, unpopular 10-year-old that lives in Carabanchel, a working-class neighbourd in Madrid. The series revolves around Manolito’s family, school and friends. These books are an ideal source of colloquial expressions and idioms.
In every book of Manolito Gafotas, each page is funnier than the last. We can say that the author, Elvira Lindo, really understands kids. Her imagination gave birth to one of the greatest books in Spanish ever written!
#7. 24 Horas: Historia de un secuestro (2017) – Ramón Díez Galán
Looking for some crime?
24 horas tells the story of Roberto, a police inspector who is challenged to solve a mistery within 24 hours. Will he achieve his goal?
What we love about this book: it includes pictures, maps and exercises to practise Spanish grammar. Highly recommended!
#8. Memorias de Idhún (2009) – Laura Gallego
You can’t go wrong with Laura Gallego.
Memorias de Idhún is a fantasy and adventure trilogy based on three children: Jack, Victoria and Kirtash. They take part in a series of events that will affect two worlds, the Earth and Idhún, which is now ruled by a necromancer and his serpent allies. A very entertaining book for teenagers!
#9. La ciudad de las bestias (2002) – Isabel Allende
We love the stories of Isabel Allende. Although La ciudad de las bestias was conceived as a book for young people, it is also recommended for adults. Allende presents here a very interesting story about an expedition to the Amazon Rainforest, which makes us reflect on how far human greed is capable of going.
What we love about this book: It reads easily and uses common, modern vocabulary and few exotic words, so you will hardly have to look in the dictionary.
#10. Como agua para chocolate (1989) – Laura Esquivel
Como agua para chocolate is a classic of the magic realism genre. Laura Esquivel portrays a traditional Mexican family who uses cooking to escape their dull lives. The characters are restrained by society’s expectations and prescribed gender roles, so this is a quest to express their feelings and fulfill their dreams. By reading this book you will also learn how to cook some delicious Mexican recipes!
#11. La sombra del viento (2001) – Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Without a doubt, this is one of the best thrillers ever written in Spanish. The discovery of a forgotten book leads our protagonist, Daniel Sempere, to a hunt for a mysterious author that may or may not be still alive… This story brings 1940s Barcelona to life, with the streets vividly painted by Zafón.
La Sombra del Viento is a spectacular novel of love and tragedy that has managed to sell more than 15 million copies worldwide, which makes it one of the most popular books in Spanish.
#12. Cien años de soledad (1967) – Gabriel García Márquez
Gabriel García Márquez is probably the first author that comes to our mind when we mention literature in Spanish. Cien años de soledad tells the story of the different generations of the Buendía family, who live in the fictional town of Macondo. This novel symbolises the history of Colombia, its civil wars and fate, and it is considered one of the most iconic works of magical realism in any language.
#13. La casa de Bernarda Alba (1945) – Federico García Lorca
Completed only two months before Lorca’s execution during the Spanish Civil War, La Casa de Bernarda Alba is considered the author’s best play. It marks the end of an intended trilogy (Trilogía de la Tierra Española), which aimed to condemn the Spanish society of the early 20th century, thus portraying the oppression of women through social prejudice and authoritarian structures.
If you like La Casa de Bernarda Alba, you will be fascinated by the other plays that conform this intense and tragic series: Bodas de Sangre (1933) and Yerma (1934).
#14. Sin noticias de Gurb (1991) – Eduardo Mendoza
Eduardo Mendoza is, without a doubt, one of the brightest Spanish authors. Sin noticias de Gurb is set in Barcelona, where the alien Gurb disappears. But the main character is in fact his crewmate, who is sent to Barcelona to find him. What follows is a hilarious series of events as his crewmate clashes and collides with the local people and culture. Yes, it helps if you know Barcelona but, even if you don’t, it’s a very funny and witty story to read.
#15. La sonrisa etrusca – (1985) – José Luis Sampedro
If you have a good Spanish level, you MUST read this novel. La sonrisa etrusca is probably one of the most moving, tender stories that Spanish literature can offer. This book tells the story of Bruno, a very old-fashioned farmer who, facing a terminal illness, goes to live with his son in Milan. The amazing twist comes when he starts seeing life in a different way through his new-born grandson, Brunettito. We cannot recommend this book enough!