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Are you thinking of getting some Spanish reading practice?
One of the best ways to learn Spanish words and grammar is to read in Spanish.
The problem? Textbooks are too basic (or too boring!), while novels are difficult for beginners.
With that in mind, I’ve put together a collection of Spanish reading resources that are perfect for beginner and intermediate learners. They’re easy to read, and just as importantly, they’re fun to read. As long as you know a few basic Spanish words, you’re ready to dig in.
This post includes Spanish reading resources in many formats:
Table of contents
- Reading Resources for Beginner Spanish Learners
- Amazing Children’s Books to Build Your Spanish Skills
- Spanish Reading Resources with Video and Audio
- News, Information and Current Events in Spanish
- Apps for Spanish Reading Practice
- Paid Resources to Help You Build Your Spanish Reading Skills
- 4 Hacks to Help You Speed Up Your Spanish Reading Progress
- What Are You Waiting For? Get Reading Spanish!
I’ve included over 20 Spanish reading resources, most of which contain dozens of articles and stories.
Let’s dive in!
Reading Resources for Beginner Spanish Learners
Sometimes, you just have to start slowly.
These resources are perfect to help you master the basics of Spanish and build essential vocabulary.
Woodward Spanish has an interesting selection of passages with vocabulary lists.
Each text is entirely written in Spanish and focuses on a specific topic. Topics range from bancos (“banks”) to viajes (“travels”).
All passages include a helpful list of related vocabulary and important verbs found in the text.
Since they all tie back to the same concept, sentences and words are easier to guess and thus learn.
123TeachMe has a massive collection of over 200 Spanish passages. Each passage includes integrated quizzes so you can check you’ve fully understood what you’ve read.
Passages are sorted into levels: beginner, intermediate, advanced, and superior. Each level is broken down into low, mid, and high categories. No matter your level, you will find something to suit your learning!
You can’t see some of the quizzes for the superior level unless you’re a subscriber, but the material for the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels is accessible to anyone.
Amazing Children’s Books to Build Your Spanish Skills
But obviously, children’s books are not only good for children; you can take advantage of them too.
Children’s books are aimed at beginner readers. They use simple everyday vocabulary and easy sentences. And they are much more entertaining than dry essays or reports!
Here are some of my favourite sources of Spanish children’s books.
Wilbooks has a great collection of Spanish children’s books.
The books are divided into categories based on their reading level. Depending on the difficulty you’re aiming for, you can choose between preescolar, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade stories.
The books you can see on the website are free to access, but you can get a $1.99 monthly subscription if you need a bigger library.
Children’s Books Forever
Children’s Books Forever offers six downloadable Spanish books featuring charming illustrations.
You can open the books in PDF format and read them as you would a physical book. I particularly like the dinosaur stories!
The Brothers Grimm are known for collecting classic stories like Hansel y Gretel (Hansel and Gretel) and *El Enano Saltarín” (Rumpelstiltskin).
If you’ve ever wondered how their stories read in Spanish, you can discover it on the Grimm Stories website.
What makes this website extra special is that each story is available in many different languages. You can compare, side by side, the Spanish version with one in your native language.
Or that might not even be necessary! The Grimm Tales are quite popular, and you might have already read some of them in your native language. It will be easier for you to crack the code of some Spanish sentences if you already know the stories.
As with the Grimm stories mentioned above, here’s the same service for the stories of Hans Christian Andersen.
You can use the many languages offered by the website to make your reading easier, or you can try to read in Spanish one of the stories you already know.
One of my favourites is Los vestidos nuevos del emperador (“The Emperor’s New Clothes”).
Children’s Books Online
Children's Books Online is another brilliant selection of children’s books, many in Spanish. It includes classics like Jack and the Beanstalk and The Golden Goose.
The books are in image format, but they’re very easy to read and the website is easy to navigate.
Comic strips are great fun for all ages. I’ve always found it easier to learn if I’m having fun.
Go Comics includes several popular comic strips such as Garfield and Calvin and Hobbes in Spanish translations.
What’s great is that you can also discover popular Hispanic comics like Gaturro and Justo y Franco.
Spanish Reading Resources with Video and Audio
Reading is a great way to discover new Spanish words, but so is listening. I often recommend making podcasts a part of your language learning strategy. By listening to your target language, you can get used to the accent and improve your articulation. For even more ways to get Spanish listening practice, check out this list of Spanish listening resources.
But even better than reading or listening alone is when you can combine them, and listen to the audio of what you’re reading, or watch the stories acted out.
Here are some places where you can do exactly that in Spanish:
Practical Spanish provides over 30 readings for absolute beginners and beginners, together with audio recordings.
The texts can vary from short to long and they focus on different topics of everyday life. The recording is clear and the narrator speaks in a slow, articulated tone.
The Absolute Beginner readings also come with a question and answer section, which is fantastic for helping you understand how to use the vocabulary from the text.
You can listen and read Spanish at Spanish Resources. The readings with audio have a built-in quiz system, so you can double check what you’ve learned.
Browse the website a little, and thank me after! There are many bite-sized activities and content to cover all your bases.
University of Texas at Austin
Check out these amazing Spanish Proficiency Exercises from UT Austin!
This fantastic resource features videos of native Spanish speakers from many different regions. It focuses on 15 main language skills such as describing basic objects, counting, and talking about your family.
And as your Spanish progresses to intermediate or advanced, there are tabs at the top of the page with videos at these levels.
News, Information and Current Events in Spanish
Understanding the news can be one of the trickiest things to do in your target language. But it can help you improve a lot, precisely because it’s not easy!
I love reading newspapers and magazines to learn Spanish. I find out what’s going on in the world and improve my reading skills!
Here are some places on the Internet where you can keep up with the news in Spanish:
CNN in Spanish
CNN’s Spanish-language website is not just for beginners. In fact, it is CNN providing all the latest headlines, so the vocabulary can be intense.
To make your experience easier, you can look for an article on the same topic in your native language. Some of the vocabulary will feature on both, so you’ll be able to understand the Spanish article more easily.
Online Newspapers in Spanish
M.I.T. has put together a comprehensive list of online Spanish language newspapers. You’re sure to find a newspaper you like.
This site has everything from Peruvian magazines to regional Mexican news. You can even check out what’s happening in the Canary Islands, Aruba or Paraguay!
If it’s news from Spain you’re after, look no further than Online Newspapers, which features news from nearly every city and region in the country.
There is a treasure trove of free Spanish reading material on Wikipedia.
Search for any topic in your native language, then click “Español” on the left to be taken to the Spanish language version of that article. This is a great way to build topic-specific vocabulary.
I often use this setting when I am looking for more information on a Spanish book or movie. There always tends to be more information in the language in which the book was published or the movie released.
Apps for Spanish Reading Practice
Apps are a great way to squeeze a few minutes of language learning into your day. They are so handy and quick, and they provide bite-sized content.
There are lots of apps that can help you practice your Spanish reading skills. Here are a few of the best.
Duolingo is a fun language learning app for iOS and Android. It provides a guided, gentle introduction to Spanish, with quizzes and reading exercises.
FluentU curates the best Spanish videos on the web and provides reading tools to help you study them effectively. You can try it free for 14-days.
If you look up “free spanish books” on your Amazon account, you might be able to download more than ten books on any given day. Depending on where you live, you’ll find novels, textbooks, and children’s books.
You don’t even have to sign up for Kindle Unlimited, some books are simply free on Kindle. There is also a section of more free books if you have an Amazon Prime account.
Paid Resources to Help You Build Your Spanish Reading Skills
All the resources I’ve shared so far have been free. But for more tailored, comprehensive material, you might consider investing in paid products.
Spanish Pod 101
I’m a big fan of Innovative Language podcasts. What you might not realise is that all their materials include downloadable transcripts so you can practise your reading right alongside your listening.
Spanish Pod 101 has a 7-day free trial that you can enjoy to explore its content.
Spanish Uncovered is one of our favourite Spanish courses at Fluent in 3 Months.
The entire course uses storytelling as a teaching strategy. Since it is built around a story, it’s very entertaining and engaging!
Amazon’s Spanish Children’s Books has a selection of the best selling Spanish language children’s books. It is ideal for beginner Spanish learners.
You can also research “Spanish novels” and find some more advanced reading.
Langbox features a selection of Spanish stories that you can find on Amazon, with pros and cons listed for each to help you decide which ones are best for you.
Some are study books and others are novels or short stories. They also recommend a dual Spanish-English book for beginners.
Teach Yourself Spanish
Teach Yourself Spanish includes plenty of opportunities for reading practice.
It’s a course organised in 25 units that aims to take students to intermediate Spanish level.
I love Yabla. They’ve curated the best video content they can find online over a range of fun topics, and they host the videos on their site with precisely timed subtitles in both English and Spanish. A great way to practise your reading!
You can enjoy a 15-day free trial to make sure it’s a good fit for your language learning strategy.
4 Hacks to Help You Speed Up Your Spanish Reading Progress
Here are my top tips to help you cut hours off your study time, so you can become a Spanish reader faster than you ever thought possible.
Improve Your Recall with Spaced Repetition Systems SRS is the best way I know to quickly learn new words. SRS prompts you to recall new words when you’re on the verge of forgetting them. This makes them stick in your long-term memory. My favourite SRS tool is the Anki flashcard app (for iOS and Android).
Use Mnemonics for Better Memory Retention Mnemonics provide “hooks” for your brain to attach information, which makes them harder to forget. One of the best (and free) apps for setting up mnemonic devices is Memrise.
Increase Your Reading Speed Using Learning With Texts This open-source, cloud-based foreign language reading app will help you absorb Spanish vocabulary at an accelerated rate. Best of all, it’s free!
Pomodoro Your Productivity The Pomodoro Technique is a way of breaking up your study sessions into short segments with a break in between each one. This helps you study faster and smarter without feeling overwhelmed.
What Are You Waiting For? Get Reading Spanish!
Reading in Spanish is important. It’s a tool to help you learn new words and it exposes you to grammar and culture. With this list of reading resources for beginner Spanish learners, you can level up your Spanish language skills faster than ever!