Books to read in Spanish (adapted by levels)

One of the best ways to learn Spanish for adults is through books to read in Spanish adapted to the level of the learner with interesting and captivating stories. In this article you will find a wide and varied range of options, grouped into three categories.

The first of these are the books to read in Spanish from publishers or book houses specialised in teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language.

The second category are the books that many Spaniards (including myself) have grown up with and have read at school, as part of our education. Finally, there is the category of books to read in Spanish that use either a different methodology or two languages, in this case, Spanish and English, to tell short stories. In this case, these books can be useful for English speakers.

Books to read in Spanish: publishers specialised in teaching Spanish as Foreign Language

One of the great advantages of these books to read in Spanish is that you will find readings graduated by levels of Spanish, from the initial level (A1) to the advanced level (C1/C2). They are books with entertaining stories for adults, therefore, you will learn Spanish in a calm and reflective way, through reading.

Another of the great advantages of these books is that many of them come with extra resources, specially designed for you to practise your Spanish: audio reading of the book, glossary with the most difficult words, activities to practice…

  1. Difusión Publishing House

This is the selection of readings for adults, graduated by Spanish levels, from the Difusión publishing house (here you can find the complete list):

Lola Lago y asociados

  • Level: A1, A2
  • Description: With this collection you will enjoy the adventures of detective Lola Lago. Lola will use her intuition and courage to solve mysteries with her partners and collaborators.
  • More information: here

Un día en…

  • Level: A1
  • Description: It is a collection of short books with which you will get to know different cities in the Hispanic world (Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Malaga, Mexico City…). 
  • More information: here.


  • Level: A2
  • Description: Gael is a white glove thief. In each of the books in this collection, he finds himself involved in a very entertaining adventure with his friends, Miclaus, Paloma and Claudia. His adventures take place in different parts of Spain: Barcelona, Madrid or Mallorca.
  • More information: here

24 horas en español

  • Level: A1
  • Description: It is a collection of readings for beginners that offers a contemporary vision of Hispanic culture in US cities such as New York or Miami.
  • More information: here
  1. SGEL Publishing House

This is the selection of readings for adults, tiered by Spanish levels, from the SGEL publishing house (here you can find the complete list):

Los Fernández

  • Level: A1, A2
  • Description: The Fernández are a contemporary, fun and well-travelled Spanish family. With them you will get to know places and characters from the Spanish-speaking geography and you will enjoy their interesting and entertaining adventures.
  • More information: here

  • Level: A2, B1 y B2
  • Description: se trata de una colección de tres pequeñas novelas (cada una adaptada a un nivel), en las que colaboran un novelista y un profesor de español. Cada novela tiene cuatro capítulos, actividades y un audio descargable.
  • More information: here.
  1. Edelsa Publishing House

This is the selection of readings for adults, graduated by Spanish levels, from the Edelsa publishing house (here you can find the complete list):

Para que leas

  • Level: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1
  • Description: This collection of nine short novels tells the adventures of detective Pepe Rey. You have books with different levels of Spanish in the collection, so you can choose one which suits your level of proficiency. 
  • More information: here

Un paseo por la historia

  • Level: A1, A2 y B1
  • Description: It is a collection of historical novels set at different times in the history of Spain and Latin America. You can find historical periods such as the time of the Roman Empire, the Visigothic and Muslim kingdoms, the Christopher Columbus expedition,…
  • More information: here
  1. Edinumen Publishing House

This is the selection of readings for adults, graduated by Spanish levels, from the Edinumen publishing house (here you can find the complete list):


  • Level: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2.
  • Description: They are books of approximately 60 pages, where stories for adults adapted by levels are told.
  • More information: here.

Enigma y misterio

  • Level: A2, B1
  • Description: This collection has eleven mystery books, with stories that will hook you from the beginning. It is for intermediate level students.
  • More information: here
Discover the best books to read in Spanish in our online classes for adults at Your Spanish Hub

Books to read in Spanish: El Barco de Vapor

Here begins a journey to my childhood. Well, to mine, and to that of thousands of Spaniards who have grown up reading the books of El Barco de Vapor.

El Barco de Vapor is a collection of children’s literature for children between the ages of 6 and 12, published by Ediciones SM. It was born in 1978 and was the first specific collection of children’s literature created in Spain. Over time it has become a benchmark for children’s and youth literature, both nationally and internationally.

It has four series: the White Series (for children from 4 to 6 years), the Blue Series (for children from 7 to 9 years), the Orange Series (for children from 9 to 12 years) and the Red Series (for children from 12 years).

These books to read in Spanish are not adapted readings like the ones we have seen in the previous section, but since they are books written for children and adolescents, A2 and B1 level Spanish learners can understand these stories well.

In this link you can access the official website of the El Barco de Vapor collection.

Below, you can see the ten best-selling books in the history of this collection:

  1. ‘Fray Perico y su borrico’ by Juan Muñoz Martín

This is a fun adventure story about a friar, Fray Perico, and his donkey, Calcetín. In the 19th century, both arrive at a small convent in Salamanca, where its twenty friars live quietly, doing good and helping people. Soon, the convent will be filled with joy and fun with the arrival of Fray Perico and Calcetín.

  1. ‘El pirata garrapata’ by Juan Muñoz Martín

Enjoy the adventures of the pirate Garrapata, the fiercest man in all of London, and his crew of buccaneers. Garrapata has a peg leg, a steel hook, and a crew looking for adventure.

  1. ‘Las aventuras del Capitán Calzoncillos’ by Dav Pilkey

Here we have two friends, Jorge and Berto, who have created the greatest superhero with superpowers in comic book history: Capitán Calzoncillos. This book includes jokes, comics and drawings that come to life when you turn the pages of the book.

  1. ‘Finis mundi’ by Laura Gallego

We travel to the Middle Ages, specifically, to France, to the year 997. Michel, a monk of the Cluny order, begins an adventure to save the world. The hermit Bernardo de Thuringia has predicted that the world is nearing its end and that the only way to save it is by recovering the three axes on which the Wheel of Time rests. What a great adventure for the monk Michel!

  1. ‘Un duende a rayas’ by Margarita Puncel

When his birthday arrives, Rayas, the little goblin, embarks on a journey that leads him to discover many things about the world, about people, and about himself. In his adventures, he will discover, especially, the value of the truth.

  1. ‘La bruja Mon’ by Pilar Mateos

What happens to the witch, Mon, who does not stop doing mischief with her magic wand? This book has four short stories about the witch Mon, who with her wand and her spells tries to annoy others. However,… sometimes,… things don’t go the way you want.

  1. ‘Pupi llega a la Tierra’ by María Menéndez-Ponte

Pupi is an alien who lives on the planet Azulón with his parents, Pimpam and Pompom. Pupi has antennae and a button that changes colour depending on his mood. His friend Lila accompanies him everywhere. Pupi’s dream is to live adventures beyond his little planet. So, one day, he gets on his spaceship and arrives on Earth. Discover in this book Pupi’s adventures among the earthlings.

  1. ‘Los hijos del vidriero’ by María Gripe

The glazier and his wife have two children, Klas and Klara. Their home is very poor, but they have enough to live on and they love each other very much. One day, the children disappear at a fair. They are taken to the mansion of the wealthy Lord of the City of All Desires and his always dissatisfied wife. They give the children a potion so that they do not remember their previous life. Despite not lacking anything in their new home, they feel very unhappy. How will the story end?

  1. ‘Asesinato en el Canadian Express’ by Eric Wilson

Tom Austen travels to Vancouver on the Canadian Express to visit his grandparents. During the trip, a murder is committed and the wife of a very rich banker is found stabbed to death on the train. Tom is a potential detective. His father is a police chief and Tom spends hours reading mystery novels. So… he starts to investigate to discover the murderer! Will Tom be able to find out in time who is the murderer?

  1. ‘Abuelita Opalina’ by María Puncel

One afternoon, before finishing class, Miss Laura asks her students to prepare a job for the next day: an essay about her grandmother. Isa has no grandmother and she uses her imagination to create her own grandmother. Can she turn something that was made up as a game into reality?

They are real gems, really. Some of the best writers of children’s and youth literature have published in the collection of El Barco de Vapor.

Discover the best books to read in Spanish in our online classes for adults at Your Spanish Hub

Olly Richards books and stories in Spanish and English

The third group of books to read in Spanish are books that use their own methodology (such as those by Olly Richards) or books that have a parallel translation in English (the one edited by John R. King).

  1. Olly Richards’ StoryLearning® Method

Olly Richards is a writer and language teacher (he speaks eight languages!) who has developed a language learning method based on storytelling. This method is based on the natural process of learning a language, and his short story books are fantastic support material for your Spanish classes.

Here are two of his books, one for beginners and one for intermediate learners:

Short Stories in Spanish for Beginners

Short Stories in Spanish for Intermediate Learners

In their stories, there are underlined words and expressions that you will learn in context. At the end of each story, there is a summary and a short activity to see if you have understood the text.

  1. ‘Short stories in Spanish’, parallel text

Here we have the best-selling book of short stories, with parallel translations for all levels of Spanish.

In this book you can find a wide variety of texts, from Gabriel García Márquez and Isabel Allende to Javier Marías and Laura Freixas.

Short Stories in Spanish: New Penguin Parallel Text

Reading in Spanish is fine, but… you need more

Reading in Spanish is an activity that will help you a lot to learn vocabulary, expressions in context and writing rules. In addition to reading, you can practise other entertaining and relaxing activities such as listening to podcasts in Spanish, or watching television series and movies. This will continue to help you improve your fluency with the language.

But if you want to go a step further and learn Spanish in a well-structured way, with the guidance of an accredited native teacher, and practising other skills such as conversation, you can take a look at our catalogue of Spanish classes or our Membership Programme. Book your trial class with us today and meet your teacher.

The books that you have seen in this article have an emphasis on the beginner and lower intermediate levels of Spanish, A1, A2 and B1. These are the books that language learners demand the most. They are also the most difficult books to find for a beginner beginning their Spanish journey.

Once you reach level B2, C1 or even C2, you can feel free to explore any book in Spanish and enjoy the fantastic literature of Spanish-speaking authors, without any kind of barrier. Maybe this is material to write another article… 😉.

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