Which book in Spanish for adults is best?
Whether you’re looking for a Spanish textbook or just want a fun story to read, there are plenty of books in Spanish for adults out there. From educational books to fantastical stories and poetry, there’s something for everyone. When choosing a Spanish book, however, make sure it’s at the right level and in a format you’re comfortable with. If you’re looking for a beginner book to teach you Spanish, check out “Easy Spanish Step-By-Step,” by Barbara Bregstein.
What to know before you buy a book in Spanish for adults
Type of book
There are a couple of main types of Spanish books for adults.
- Textbooks: Spanish textbooks for adults are highly educational and meant to teach the reader the language. These books cover everything from grammar to vocabulary to syntax. More advanced Spanish textbooks may also include idioms and cultural things.
- Nonfiction books: Nonfiction books depict true or real events and people, sometimes in story form. Many of these books are educational in nature. This includes history, autobiographies, biographies, true crime and more.
- Fiction books: Fictional books are all about stories that aren’t true. They may be completely fantastical, such as in the case of Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. Or they may be based on real events, but with creative license. Most storybooks are fictional.
Unless you’re looking for a Spanish textbook, the genre of the book matters a lot. There are tons of genres to choose from – romance, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, poetry, etc. The type of genre depends largely on personal preference.
Some Spanish books have English counterparts. This is especially true for popular series like The Hunger Games or Harry Potter. Others, though, may be written by Spanish authors with no English translation. For many people, these books are particularly interesting, since they have a unique story.
Whether you’re new to the language or already highly proficient, you’ll no doubt gain new skills by reading Spanish books for adults. Even if the book is fiction, it will still help with things like grammar, syntax, comprehension and overall fluency.
That’s why it’s important to pick a book that fits your current skill level. If you already have a good grasp of the Spanish language, you can either choose a more advanced Spanish book or one that teaches a specific skill in a foreign language. Take “La vida es sueño” by Pedro Calderón de la Barca as an example. This complex, highly philosophical book uses odd vocabulary and sayings that can challenge even the most advanced readers.
For a more beginner-friendly book, try something like “Spanish Short Stories” by Sergio Rodriguez. This particular book is a collection of short, easily digestible stories that span several different genres.
If you’re an absolute beginner at Spanish, consider choosing a step-by-step book or audiobook that teaches you the fundamentals of the language. These types of books are great as they help you navigate the language in an easy-to-understand format.
Many Spanish books for adults and children indicate the language comprehension level on the cover. Some also have side-by-side English and Spanish translations for dual reading and learning. Check the skill level to make sure it’s suitable for what you’re looking for.
If you want a Spanish book that teaches you the ins and outs of the language, then the organization is something to consider.
Some educational Spanish books take a Pictionary approach where they have simple words and phrases alongside a picture that shows the meaning. Other books may focus on common words between English and Spanish. For example, a Spanish textbook may focus on words that have a common root or origin that makes it easier to make an association between the meanings. Some books may be written entirely in Spanish, but with more challenging words or phrases translated.
Besides that, many Spanish textbooks follow a traditional, step-by-step organization that teaches the reader the basics of the language. As you go through the book, you’ll be able to use more and more of what you’ve already learned to pick up on new material. Books that are organized in this way are particularly helpful for people who want a series of steps that guide them to fluency.
Lastly, some Spanish books come with a supplemental workbook with questions and quizzes to test your comprehension. These workbooks help by providing a hands-on learning experience and by highlighting any strengths and weaknesses you have in the language.
Many Spanish storybooks also come with a workbook or a brief section at the end of each chapter with follow-up comprehension questions.
If learning a foreign language is your goal, check out this article on the different types of materials you may need to help you out.
What to look for in a quality book in Spanish for adults
Books that teach Spanish are usually categorized into different levels of difficulty that determine if they’re for beginners, intermediate learners or advanced learners. The scope and subject matter of these books vary a lot. For example, you may have intermediate vocabulary skills and beginner grammatical skills.
As far as learning goes, Spanish books follow the CEFR, or Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, scale. The language levels are A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2, D1 and D2.
A1 is the most beginner level of Spanish, while D2 is the most advanced level. At A1 or A2, you should have a basic understanding of the language and the ability to ask questions. Meanwhile, at B1 to B2, you should be able to navigate the language with an intermediate understanding. And so on.
With these levels in mind, look for books written in Spanish that challenge you just enough without being frustrating or boring. If you’re looking for a storybook that doesn’t mention the level, skim through the first few paragraphs to see if it’s the right level for you.
Here are the main formats for books in Spanish for adults.
- Hardcover: These books have a sturdy front and back. They may have a book sleeve over the cover that adds extra protection to the integrity of the book.
- Softcover or paperback: Made from thick paperboard, these books are more bendable and less expensive than hardcovers. They may also be smaller in size, depending on the word count and font.
- Digital: There are two main types of digital books. E-books are those you can read using a device like a Kindle. You typically purchase these through places like Amazon. Audiobooks are books in which someone else reads the story to you. These are great for those who want to listen while driving or performing another activity.
Here are some great accessories for your book in Spanish.
- Kindle or simple e-reader for reading books in a digital format
- Digital book app like Audible or Overdrive
- Specialty book lights like LED neck lights or clip-on lights for traditional books
- Fun, unique bookmarks for hard and softcover books
- Page spreader to make it easy to hold the book while reading
How much you can expect to spend on a book in Spanish for adults
Paperback novels cost between $10-$20, on average. Hardcover books may cost between $15-$30. Audiobooks and e-books, meanwhile, go based on the subscription plan. For example, Audible currently costs $7.95 a month. If you’re looking for a Spanish textbook for adults, expect to pay between $40-$65.
Book in Spanish for adults FAQ
What are some alternative ways to learn Spanish?
A. Besides using a textbook and workbook, consider downloading an app like Duolingo to your phone. These apps help keep you on track and you’ll learn the language over time. Alternatively, you can start listening to Spanish podcasts, music and TV series to learn the language. Or, you can use Rosetta Stone or a similar program for complete mastery.
How long does it take to learn Spanish?
A. If you’re starting from scratch, it will take around six months to become fluent in the language, provided you spend three hours a day.
What’s the best book in Spanish for adults to buy?
Top book in Spanish for adults
What you need to know: For those who want to learn Spanish from scratch, this book is a great beginner’s guide to the language.
What you’ll love: With over 300 pages of easy-to-understand content, this book uses an intuitive, building-block approach that aids in understanding vocabulary, grammar and syntax. It’s organized in such a way that promotes natural learning, rather than using drills to learn the language.
What you should consider: Some sections do require memorization more than hands-on practice.
Top book in Spanish for adults for the money
What you need to know: This Kindle version of Sergio Rodriguez’s book contains a lot of interesting short stories, which are ideal for lower-intermediate Spanish speakers and learners.
What you’ll love: With various genres ranging from romance to science fiction, this book is a fun way to read and practice Spanish. Plus, after each story, there is a small question section where you can answer questions in Spanish to test your comprehension.
What you should consider: This book is a little too advanced for newer learners.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This challenging, philosophical book is ideal for people with an advanced level of understanding of the Spanish language.
What you’ll love: Available in various formats, this book can help advanced readers gain a better understanding of Spain’s culture and Golden Age. It includes a lot of unique idioms, vocabulary and complex themes.
What you should consider: The paperback version tears easily.
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