'Short Stories in Spanish' book/audio series review

I’ve recently been doing extensive reading and listening to improve my Spanish, in addition to speaking. I’d like to recommend a recently published book series that’s designed for learners, which I found out about while browsing the foreign language section in Waterstone’s. Please note, I’m not affiliated with the author or the publisher in any way - this is just my own recommendation because I found it useful.

The series is called ‘Short Stories in Spanish’ by Olly Richards, and is a graded series which goes from beginner to intermediate level (A1 - B2 level on the CEFR scale). Each book contains 8 short and engaging stories, which are separated into 3 or 4 chapters to make them more manageable. At the end of each chapter there’s a summary of the plot, some vocabulary lists and multiple choice questions so you can see how much you’ve understood.

The books are available in paperback, ebook and audio formats. One thing I found very useful was to buy both the paperback AND the audio versions, then I could improve both my reading and listening comprehension skills while enjoying short stories. If the audio is purchased via the Teach Yourself reader app, there’s an option to speed it up (2x) or slow it down, should you desire to do so, so you can supercharge your listening practice.

A very useful feature of this book series is that the stories feature the 1000 most frequent words in Spanish, as well as most common grammatical structures and idiomatic expressions, so you’re effectively learning and consolidating all these as you read the stories.

One downside (for some people) is that there are no English translations of the stories, however I didn’t feel that was any kind of limitation at all because of the way the series is designed. Reading and listening solely in Spanish works great with this series. There’s a useful vocabulary glossary at the end of the book too.

Finally, the series is also available for learners of French, Italian, German, English and Russian, so there’s plenty of scope if you decide to learn more languages beyond Spanish. (I think they are also expanding the series to Arabic, Korean, Portuguese, Danish, Turkish and more in the near future).

For further info:


(I think the audio for the rest of the books beyond Volume 1 can be purchased on iTunes or Audible).


Thank you. That looks like an interesting addition to the SSiS challenges. Now I just have to work out how to balance my language learning/practice time between maintaining my Welsh and actually getting somewhere with the Spanish.


Thank you for this review. I have invested in the book and I am about half-way through. I have a kindle version and have not sorted the audio bit. Nevertheless, I am getting a lot out of trying to read the stories. Olly Richards book is so much better than Paco Ardit “Spanish Novels: Beginners bundle”. Olly Richards’s stories are quite intriguing and you want to finish them. It is really helpful to reinforce the vocabulary I have learned and see all the verb tenses changes. I do need to do more speaking practice though! Thanks again, Anita


You’re welcome, and I’m glad you’re finding the book useful. I definitely recommend getting the audio too, as it’ll help you improve your listening comprehension too. There’s also a volume 2 and an intermediate book of stories as a follow on to the first book, which I’m planning on going through soon. Anyway - buena suerte :slight_smile:

1 Like