Books to Teach Yourself Spanish

It is easy to become overwhelmed when you search for books to learn Spanish: the selection is huge! That said, a lot of these publishers are simply trying to re-invent the wheel, and with the rise of self-publishing, a number of texts are not very good at all.

In our view, the classics never go out of style, and since they are regularly updated, the writers and publishers take a solid and proven pedagogical resource and make it better.

If you are a beginner learning Spanish, all you need are a few great books and some discipline and you will be on your way. Of course, our recommendation is to compliment your book studies with some Spanish podcasts for students and some private Spanish classes online, but the mix and prioritization is entirely up to you. After all, you are the best judge of what works for you.

Foundation Resource

 McGraw Hill is a leading publisher of educational materials, and this book is a winner. The “Complete Spanish Step-by-Step” lives up to its promise of being the fastest way to achieve Spanish mastery.

Graded Readers

A complete Spanish program should include reading – and by this we mean reading for pleasure. Of course, a beginner is not going to launch into reading Cervantes – learning just doesn’t work that way. Smart learners know that they need to read at their level, and this is where the concept of “graded readers” comes in. These books simplify the language used in fictional stories, so you stay interested in the story while you reinforce the language you have been learning by understanding it in context.

Spanish-English Dictionary

There are many good dictionaries online, but still many prefer the book form for its simplicity, speed, and great Spanish learning resources they include in the appendix. We prefer the Miriam-Webster paperback version for its versatility, quality and price.

Spanish Verb Book

There will come a time in your Spanish learning journey where you will need – and even want – to study verb tenses. Being able to manage this aspect of Spanish grammar is a fundamental step in the process. You will want a guide that shows you all the tenses side-by-side, and which highlights the irregular verbs.

The Spanish verb book we recommend is a classic, and if you are really serious about speaking Spanish well, it will be an invaluable part of your library.

Spanish Phrase Book

Some students, particularly travelers who need to deal with sudden situations, enjoy memorizing set phrases. Learning through phrases has its place in the Spanish learning arsenal, because it teaches Spanish vocabulary in context – and students get a bonus: they pick up on Spanish phrases structures intuitively.  We chose this Spanish phrase book for the size of  its size of its collection, and for its low price.


Learning Spanish slang isn’t a foundation skill, but it sure is a fun way to impress your Spanish-speaking friends. By familiarizing yourself with popular slang, you also gain a valuable insight into Latin culture. We’d like to recommend this great resources.  Students who would like to spice up their classroom Spanish with some more colloquial and colorful expressions will enjoy this resource.

This guide promises to teach you Spanish slang for the café, club, bar, bedroom, ball game and more.