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Published on: Vocabulary

The Best Spanish Books for Intermediate Learners

Hey there, aspiring Spanish connoisseurs!  Let’s embark on an adventure through the pages of some of the most enthralling Spanish books designed to captivate your interest and boost your language skills. Because, after all, why learn Spanish in a monotonous way when you can indulge in the vast sea of Spanish literature?

What is an Intermediate Spanish Learner?

For those navigating the vast ocean of the Spanish language, you might wonder where you stand. Intermediate Spanish learners are not novices but aren’t experts either. They’ve garnered a decent vocabulary, understand basic grammar structures, and can engage in conversations. Reading Spanish books is a fantastic way for intermediate learners to transition to advanced proficiency.

What Level of Spanish Do You Need to Read Books?

Reading in a foreign language can seem daunting. Imagine diving into a book, only to be greeted by words that seem like coded messages. But don’t be deterred!

The Spanish Language Spectrum

For beginners, Spanish books might require frequent dictionary checks. But as an intermediate Spanish learner, you’ve crossed that first crucial bridge! You possess enough vocabulary to understand the gist, with occasional word checks to ensure comprehension. Essentially, intermediate Spanish learners can comfortably enjoy short stories and novels written in simple language.

Gearing Up for Advanced Reading

Advanced Spanish learners can delve deep into more intricate texts, understanding cultural nuances, idioms, and colloquialisms. However, every Spanish learner, regardless of their level, benefits from reading. It enhances reading skills, comprehension, and exposes one to the rich tapestry of Spanish speaking cultures.

What Are the Best Books to Read in Spanish for Intermediate Learners?

Beginner to Intermediate

For those just crossing the threshold into the world of Spanish literature, here are some accessible picks:

“La Casa en Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros

Centered around a young Latina girl living in Chicago, this book offers a series of vignettes about her life and the world around her. The simple language and relatable themes make it a great pick for those transitioning from beginner to intermediate Spanish.

“El Principito” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The timeless tale of “The Little Prince” is available in its Spanish version. The universal themes, combined with straightforward language, make it a perfect choice for those dipping their toes into Spanish literature.

“Papelucho” by Marcela Paz

This is a delightful series of children’s books originally written in Chile. Narrated by an 8-year-old boy named Papelucho, these stories capture his adventures and everyday life, providing simple yet engaging language for readers.

Image by Gift Habeshaw via Unsplash


For those comfortably settled in their Spanish learning journey, here are books that challenge yet captivate:

“Cuentos de la Selva” by Horacio Quiroga

A collection of short stories set against the backdrop of the Latin American jungles, these tales provide an exciting blend of wildlife, nature, and human interactions, making for an enriching read.

“Como Agua Para Chocolate” by Laura Esquivel

This love story steeped in magical realism revolves around love, traditions, and the enchanting power of food. A staple in Latin American literature, it’s a delightful and culturally rich read for intermediate learners.

“La Sombra del Viento” by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Set in post-war Spain, this is a literary thriller that interweaves love, revenge, and mysteries in the heart of Barcelona. It provides a mix of history, culture, and suspense.


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Intermediate to Advanced

For those nearing advanced proficiency, these books will both challenge and enthral:

“Cien Años de Soledad” by Gabriel García Márquez

A cornerstone of Latin American literature, this Nobel Prize-winning author provides a tale of the Buendía family in the fictional town of Macondo. This story, rife with magical realism, charts the history, magic, and complexities of multiple generations.

“Don Quijote de la Mancha” by Miguel de Cervantes

An iconic Spanish novel, it follows the adventures of Don Quijote and his loyal squire, Sancho Panza. While the language can be complex, it’s a rewarding read, offering deep insights into Spanish history, culture, and humor.

“La Ciudad y Los Perros” by Mario Vargas Llosa

This novel provides a gritty look at military life in Peru, exploring themes of corruption, brutality, and the transition to adulthood. The narrative style and vocabulary present a challenging yet rewarding experience for readers.

With these recommendations tailored for various stages, Spanish learners can embark on a journey that not only refines their language skills but also deepens their appreciation for the rich tapestry of Spanish speaking cultures.

Delving Deeper: More Books Tailored for Intermediate Spanish Learners

Historical Fiction

Dive into the past with these beautifully woven tales that provide insights into Spanish and Latin American history:

“La Casa de los Espíritus” by Isabel Allende

A multi-generational saga that gives readers a deep dive into Chilean history, blending the personal with the political. Themes of love, tragedy, and hope are interlaced with elements of magical realism.

“Los Detectives Salvajes” by Roberto Bolaño

Set against the backdrop of the 1970s Mexico, this narrative chronicles the adventures of two poets as they embark on a quest across continents. It provides a fascinating look into the bohemian life and the literary world of Latin America.

Contemporary Fiction

For those keen on understanding modern-day life and challenges in the Spanish-speaking world:

“Diles Que No Me Maten!” by Juan Rulfo

A collection of short stories capturing the essence of rural Mexico. Rulfo’s stark and evocative prose presents tales of struggle, resilience, and the human spirit.

“Kamchatka” by Marcelo Figueras

Set during Argentina’s Dirty War, it tells the story of a young boy and his family. Through the eyes of a child, readers get a poignant view of political turmoil and personal survival.

“La Fiesta del Chivo” by Mario Vargas Llosa

This novel delves into the last days of the Dominican Republic’s Trujillo dictatorship. Blending fact and fiction, Llosa paints a compelling portrait of power, fear, and resistance.

Image by Seven Shooter via Unsplash


Poetry can be an enchanting way to understand the depth and beauty of the Spanish language:

“Veinte Poemas de Amor y una Canción Desesperada” by Pablo Neruda

A collection that showcases Neruda’s passion and prowess. These verses on love, longing, and loss are an excellent way to explore the rhythm and richness of Spanish.

“La Amada Inmóvil” by Amado Nervo

Deeply moving poems that touch upon love, spirituality, and the human experience. Nervo’s eloquent verses provide both an emotional and linguistic journey.

“Cantos de Vida y Esperanza” by Rubén Darío

As a leading figure in the Modernismo movement, Darío’s works are a blend of innovation and beauty. These poems serve as an excellent medium for intermediate learners to understand the nuances of the Spanish language.

These additional book recommendations, spanning various genres, will further enrich the reading experience of Spanish learners and help deepen their linguistic and cultural understanding.


While reading, try audiobooks alongside the physical or digital version. Listening to native pronunciation while following along can significantly improve both comprehension and pronunciation skills.

How Do I Become Fluent in Spanish from Intermediate?

It’s the million-dollar question every Spanish learner ponders. Immersion is key!

Dive into Literature

Reading Spanish books exposes you to diverse vocabulary and sentence structures. Novels introduce cultural nuances, historical contexts, and idiomatic expressions. It’s like a trip to Spain or Latin America without the jet lag!

Engage with Native Spanish Speakers

Conversations with native Spanish speakers can elevate your proficiency. Engage, converse, and don’t be afraid of mistakes. They’re all part of the Spanish learning journey.

Get Guidance from Dedicated Teachers

Our Dedicated Teachers at SpanishVIP can help tailor lessons to your needs. With structured guidance, your path to fluency becomes smoother.

Charting Your Path Forward in the World of Spanish Literature

With the right books, dedication, and perhaps a sprinkle of magic (from the tales of magical realism), the Spanish language becomes more than words on paper; it becomes a world waiting to be explored. So, why wait? Dive into these novels, enhance your skills, and enrich your understanding of the vibrant Spanish-speaking cultures.

And remember, if you ever feel lost in the vast ocean of the Spanish language, our Dedicated Teachers and Student Success Advisors at SpanishVIP are here to guide you. Ready to take the plunge? Start with a free 1:1 class or enjoy 7 days of free group classes.

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