Trying to learn a new language as an adult is difficult, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. All it really takes to learn a new language is a bit of patience, perseverance, and being exposed to Spanish literature and Spanish writers.
Even though you may have study materials, workbooks, and tapes to help you understand the language, when you start reading the best Spanish books, you can pick up on tricky grammar like irregular verbs and subjunctives, but also help you understand when to use the proper verbs and conjugations correctly.
In this guide, we’re going to share some benefits of reading
Benefits Of Reading Spanish Literature
Reading and comprehension are a necessary part of learning a new language. As a beginner, the more you read Spanish, you’ll find it easier to read and understand the language, thus improving your confidence when you need to speak or listen to it.
Let’s take a better look at some of the benefits:
Your workbooks and flashcards may give you a lot of vocabulary words to learn, but when you read Spanish literature, you’re being exposed to so much more vocabulary than without. When you’re having a conversation with someone, the same words are going to be used over and over. However, when you’re reading, you’re going to be exposed to so much more new vocabulary because written language is different (and more colorful) than spoken language.
2. Visual Aids
When you’re reading, your brain has the chance to make a connection between the written word and its meaning. This visual cue helps to make the word more memorable and easier to recall.
3. Context Clues
As you’re reading and taking note of the connection between the written word and its meaning, context clues are also going to help you figure out and remember what certain words mean. It also helps you to remember how words are used when you attempt to write or speak Spanish with others.
4. Quiet Time
Learning Spanish isn’t (and shouldn’t) be all about listening and repeating what you hear. When you’re listening and having a conversation in Spanish, your brain has to work overtime just trying to understand what’s being said, but also how to respond correctly. However, by reading Spanish literature, you’re giving your brain a chance to relax and focus on the words and their meaning.
5. Learn at Your Own Speed
Not only does reading give your brain a chance to relax and focus on the words and their meaning, it also gives you a chance to take your time and go at your own pace. If you have to stop every few sentences to look up the meaning of a word, you can do that with no problem. Sure, you could do that when having a conversation, but the person you’re talking with may not appreciate you looking through a pocket dictionary in the middle of a conversation.
How To Choose The Best Spanish Books To Read
Let’s be real – there are thousands of Spanish writers out there who create engaging literature that’s loved by millions. That doesn’t mean every piece of Spanish literature is perfect to learn the language with.
The trick about reading a Spanish book to help learn the language is choosing the right book. You need to choose a book that’s going to hold your interest otherwise you’re not going to enjoy the material. Next, you’ll want to consider the length of the book. We are strong believers in using Spanish graded books because they make classic Spanish literature (as well as contemporary favorites) more accessible to readers of all levels.
In our opinion, here are some of the best Spanish books that’ll help you learn Spanish in no time.
Reading in Spanish may sound like it’ll be hard and you may feel like you’ll want to give up along the way. However, you’ll discover that the more you practice reading the work of Spanish writers, the easier the next book will be. Start off with short, grade school age books and work your way up to longer, more challenging novels. With each new book, you’ll be amazed how much easier learning Spanish can be.
Beginner Level Spanish Books:
1. Short Stories in Spanish by Olly Richards
Short stories are great for beginners because you’re reading several different stories, thus exposing you to different words, plots, and more. Plus, there are little quizzes you can complete to help reinforce the material you read.
2. Papelucho by Marcela Paz
This book is written in the first-person narrative and is perfect for beginners because its written as a personal diary where little boy talks about everyday life, but from his perspective. You can also find Spanish-English texts if you aren’t confident to read lengthy texts of Spanish.
3. The “Clásicos Adaptados” Series
This book collection features novels written by famous Spanish writers such as Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, Miguel de Cervantes and Benito Pérez Galdós. These stories have been adapted for beginners so that they’re quick and easy to read.
Mid-Level Spanish Books:
1. Las Edades de Lulú by Almudena Grandes
This is a controversial novel that is an icon in modern Spanish literature. Do be aware that this book talks about adult themes and it isn’t recommended for young readers.
2. Soldados de Salamina by Javier Cercas
If you’re someone who enjoys history, then you may find this book is right up your alley, as it talks about the Spanish Civil Way. It’s a short novel that uses easy Spanish, so you’ll be able to understand the material.
3. Mandrágora by Laura Gallego
Finding an English translation for this novel isn’t going to be easy, but fortunately this book isn’t that hard to understand if you’ve been studying Spanish for a while.
Challenging Spanish Books
1. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Of all the famous Spanish classics, Don Quixote is by far one of the most popular and most challenging. If you have an English copy of this novel laying around, you can go back to the English version if you get tripped up.
2. Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges
This collection of short stories is a nice way to familiarize yourself with some of Argentina’s most well-known and beloved literary authors.
3. El Lazarillo de Tormes
Although the author wished to remain anonymous, we can’t deny that this novella (whose title is actually La vida de Lazarillo de Tormes y de sus fortunas y adversidades) is an engaging, yet eye-opening look at what life was like back in the 1550s.
Final Thoughts on Using Spanish Literature to Learn Spanish
Reading in Spanish may sound like it’ll be hard and you may feel like you’ll want to give up along the way. However, you’ll discover that the more you practice reading the work of Spanish writers, the easier the next book will be.
Start off with short, grade school age books and work your way up to longer, more challenging novels. With each new book, you’ll be amazed how much easier learning Spanish can be.