Learning a new language is hard work. In order to excel in it, you have to immerse yourself in it as fully as possible. This means more than just memorizing grammar rules and vocabulary words. If this is all you do to try an learn a language, you will end up falling short. Think of it this way: someone who wants to be a professional basketball player could spend all day reading about the rules of the game, the history and the correct techniques for shooting and dribbling. But does this mean they will have mastered the sport after learning all this? Not even close! The same concept can be applied when learning a new language. If someone wants to be a basketball player, they need to go out and play basketball. If someone wants to learn Spanish, they need to go out there and do as a native Spanish speaker does.
Reading in Spanish is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the language. This is because when you read, you are contextualizing all the vocabulary and grammar you have already learned in your Spanish school. Instead of forcing new vocabulary into your mind with dull memorization exercises, reading allows you to subconsciously learn and retain new words and phases. It is a fast way to improve your vocabulary use in both speaking and writing.
Reading in Spanish is also a very accessible activity that anyone can easily find time to do. Unlike taking time out of your day to go learn in a Spanish school, reading allows you to learn anytime you want throughout the day. You can read before bed, on the way to work or during your lunch break. And you don’t just have to read books either! If you are crunched for time, you can pick up a newspaper or a magazine, or even read labels on the back of shampoo bottles or other household goods! Without even realizing it, you will start to learn new words.
Another reason reading when learning a language is so important is because it helps you to learn cultural expressions and idioms. If you only learn language from a textbook, you are going to sound like a textbook when you talk! This is certainly not something you want- you want to be able to show personality and engage in comfortable conversations.