What are you reading today?

Let us know what you are reading in Spanish today!


I’ve almost finished adding all my currently-owned Spanish books; I need to wait to get back to my apartment before I can double-check the last couple of ones I can’t remember the names of.

I picked up El Alquimista (Biblioteca Bolsillo Paulo Coelho) | L12?? the other day after I noticed it in the book search. I’ve read the book in English, and I’m hoping it’ll be a good one to start working on my Spanish again. I remember it having lots of basic vocabulary and not too fantastical of a plot or anything, so I’m hoping to mine a good bit of vocab from it.


Children’s books! Specifically a few children’s books that have been laying around for years in my house.

I haven’t read anything in Spanish for ages except browsing the occasional Spanish newspaper on holiday so it was nice having something relatively easy to re-engage with reading.

The first two were bought in Spain, part of different levels of the same series - one aimed at 7+ years El Club de Los Corazones Solitarios | L16?? and one aimed at 9+ years Caca de vaca: 139 (El Barco de Vapor Naranja) | L20??. While both were part of series aimed at Spanish schoolchildren I was a little disappointed to realise both were translations into Spanish from other languages.

Next up I think is Charlie y la fábrica de chocolate (Colección Alfaguara Clásicos) | L22?? (timely after recently watching the Wonka movie) and then I have a beautiful set of hardback Narnia books bought in Argentina that I’ve only read the first one and a half volumes previously.


I’m about to finish reading El buen arquitecto | L26??. It’s a rather short novel, but has a nice commentary on today’s life. What is the point of having money if you’re spending all day everyday working? What is the true value of money? And we get to see some questionable business practices in action that we’ve all fallen for at one point.

For the word of the day, let me introduce you to “cabizbajo”, “Dicho de una persona: Que tiene la cabeza inclinada hacia abajo por abatimiento, tristeza o preocupaciones graves” or an adjective said about a person that is keeping their head down because of sadness or worry.
I couldn’t find the ethymology, but it looks like it’s probably from cabeza and bajo.

“Llegaban cansados, permanecían cabizbajos en la consulta y se iban con prisas.”


I just started reading La librería del señor Livingstone | L29. What better than a book focused on a bookstore now that I’m reading more and more again?

Today’s word of the day is " sabihondo", coming from the latin sapibundus derived from sapere. And, as you may or may not know, the verb saber originates from sapere. This makes guessing the meaning of sabihondo possible, and in fact, it is used to describe a know-it-all, or a person who wrongly thinks that they know everything. Weirdly enough, there are two possible yet correct ways of writting it, the one prefered by the RAE being sabiondo.

La vocecita sabihonda de Oliver Twist, que había acampado con su mochilla y sus libros de astronomía en su rincón habitual, la sección de Historia, molestó al señor Livingstone.

This is also making me curious as to whether sabionda is used to describe Hermione in the Spanish translation of Harry Potter. The word definitely seems like it would fit her, specifically in a description by Snape, but I digress…


She is definitely a sabionda! X is full of examples - this was my favourite:


How can we remake this in English, I want to call someone a know it all mushroom

Wiseass is a good word! You can also go for Smart Aleck :nerd_face:

I started El amante japonés by Isabel Allende today. Aside from the title, I have no knowledge of what the book’s about besides that I’ve heard of it before. I bought it at the bookstore last year or the year before because it was one of the only books they had in Spanish.

Anyway, I’ve only read 40 pages but I like the main character and the set-up so far. It feels a little bit like The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo with the “old lady with a story to tell + young woman helping her tell it” set-up. Except that this old lady is rich but not famous and apparently once had a Japanese lover, I guess. Language-wise, it isn’t too bad. I’m looking up <5 words per page, which are mostly not recurring but are helpful for understanding the smaller details.


I read this in English a few years ago and loved it! I think you will enjoy it. I don’t want to say anything else for fear of spoilers!


I have finished reading my first Spanish book in years! :partying_face: (It’s been at least a decade, seriously.) The book was D.Gray-Man 1 | L24??. I’ve had it laying around for a while, not to read, but just because I’m a big fan of the series and enjoying collecting various language volume 1s. I thought it might be prudent to try dipping my toes back into the Spanish reading world ahead of the bookclub, and DGM is probably the easiest book I own right now.

Next up is going to be Tales of Symphonia no 01/06 (Manga Shonen) | L24?? (and then volume 2 after that), and after that I’ll have gone through my stock of minimum effort books. :sweat_smile:


I have now finished book #2! :3 I’ve read Tales of Symphonia no 01/06 | L24?? in Japanese before (and played the game to death), but even with all that I felt this was surprisingly harder than D. Gray-man. Despite that, I only recorded 72 vocab words pulled from this book as opposed to 114 from DGM. :thinking: I think the grammar was harder here; I’ve been pretty laissez-faire in regards to grammar so far, which is probably gonna bite me when I actually start reading a book I don’t already know the story to. :sweat:

Next up is Tales of Symphonia no 02/06 | L24??; I’m curious how many words I’ll need to add to flashcards from this. It’s funny; I was thinking this would be a good opportunity to finish the series in Japanese, since I stopped reading after volume 3 there, but I don’t own volume 3 in Spanish, so I’m considering picking it up for that reason. :sweat_smile:


I recently started reading Los detectives salvajes | L42. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad novel, but wow, I was not expecting the amount of R-18 scenes in there (warning, some of the scenes are not really consensual). At least I can say I’m learning a lot of new expressions and words for certain body parts?

Some of the poetry related words are bothering me though, because I know I learned them at some point, I just forgot them. Oh literary knowledge, where have you gone? I also have an itch to analyze some of those poems, but I don’t feel like sitting down to do that for several hours. I might just find a literary commentary of a short extract, to check, because some of the poetry is definitely going over my head.

For such a high leveled book, it’s not as difficult to read as I expected/was afraid of. I did come across a couple gruesome sentences, when it gets to 3/4 of the page that’s just ridiculous. But otherwise, vocab is the biggest difficulty. That, plus the insane number of different characters. I feel like if I drop the book for a week, I’ll forget who everyone is and then I’ll be confused and have to start over again. I’m almost at the end of part I, so I’ll see if the rest is different.


I’m almost at the end of La novia gitana and should be able to finish tomorrow. It’s fine. I can’t say I like it much but it’s good enough. I’d rather be reading Nada which is clearly brilliant, but is also just a little more difficult than I’d like it to be for me so I’m waiting a little while until I return to it.

More immediately important, today I passed 1,000,000 words of fiction read.

The first 500k were pure pain and I hated nearly every moment of it. I very much didn’t want to read anything I could read, if Groucho Marx will forgive me this abuse. It took me 8 months with more than a few fits of annoyance that left me neglecting reading altogether more often than not.

The 2nd 500k has taken less than two months. There are still more than a few moments of abject humiliation most days, but there have been far more moments of joy … reading my first spanish novel not aimed at children (La felicidad es un te contigo, I will always love you), reading my first spanish novel not yet translated into english, Obra maestra, and laughing out loud after reading something slyly hysterical, El problema final.

There is still a long way to go and many books left to read, and that is no longer a bad thing but a source of pleasure!

I just have to get through a few more pages of La novia gitana … tomorrow.


Ah, I’ve had my eye on that one; the summary sounded really interesting!

I have been meaning to write a review for El problema final (and a few others … le sigh). The short version is that I was taken by how much pleasure Arturo Perez-Reverte was taking in telling this story, whether in the actual mystery or in the surrounding conversations about old movies, movie stars and detective stories.

For those interested, RTVE’s excellent pagina dos has an interview with him about this book … Página Dos - Arturo Pérez Reverte


I just started La casa de Bernarda Alba: 43 (Letras s) | L30?? . I figured it would be a very quick read, what with it being theater and the other edition being less than 60 pages, but somehow, the edition that I picked up has a huge introduction on Federico García Lorca. So, not what I expected, but I’m always up for some literary analysis. It’s like I’m back to my highschool Lengua classes!


I started reading La sangre de los inocentes | L30?? a historical thriller set, in part, during the 13th century siege of the Cathar stronghold of Montsegur, a more than minor fascination of mine. Lots of “vos”, but I’m feeling puffed up and arrogant, so … sure … time to get some good exposure. Until I hit the word “lecho” in the 3rd chapter, one of the few andalusian regional words I can recognize. There it’s still used for “bed” instead of “cama”. Most other places it’s considered antiquated, … I think, … if I remember correctly, … maybe, … and this is where I stopped.

I still have too much work to do with words still in common usage to start running headlong into the spanish equivalent of “wherefore”.

I’ll come back to this, but not today.


ack! I’m seeing “lecho” in the book I’m reading now, the chilean Hacia el fin del mundo (Fuera de colección) | L30??… I don’t know, … I don’t know anything …


I’m about a third of the way through both La Ciudad de las Bestias | L30?? and Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal | L28, following along both book clubs. Bestias I’m looking up every unknown word as I go (though am not currently making flashcards out of them or recording them otherwise), HP I’m looking up no words. I was listening to the audiobook for Bestias when I started, but that dramatically slowed me down with my lookups, so I’ve since put it aside. HP, on the other hand, I’ve been both listening and reading, which has gone pretty well.

Querido Draculario starts tomorrow, and I think I will give Dracula (Spanish Edition) Anotado | L30?? another shot. Dunno if/how long I’ll be able to stick with it this year. I’ll probably do a similar strategy to what I’m doing with Bestias currently… I tried making flashcards as I went along last year, but there are far too many words I don’t know for that to work. :cold_sweat: