Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Madrid essentials: English-language bookstore

I brought a few books with me to Madrid:

  • Rick Steve's Spain 2012 guidebook
  • Rick Steve's Madrid and Toledo 2012 guidebook
  • Lonely Planet's Madrid Encounter
  • Lonely Planet's Europe on a Shoestring
  • The Geek's Guide to World Domination, taken from Erika who was going to give it away, and I didn't have reading material. 
Of course, I don't need this many guidebooks and I need a new book to read, so I went on a mission to find an English-language bookstore where I could trade or sell my books and get new ones. 

My first thought was to go to a hostel's book exchange, but a lot of the hostels I had seen needed special access to get into the front door, so that would not have worked very well. 

Instead, a few blocks from my apartment, I found J&Js Bookstore and Coffee Shop, also of course doubling as a bar on the Calle de Espiritu Santo, 47, near the Noviciado Metro stop. 

Actually a 2-minute walk from home, it was the perfect place to check out. It was filled with second-hand books that people clearly came and dropped off to trade in for other books. 

The owners and manager, Jamie, Javi, and Dave, are all super friendly and speak both good Spanish and English. The upstairs bar is filled with young English-speaking travelers and is always a place to find someone to talk to if everyone else is busy. 

I ended up selling Mary my copy of Rick Steve's Madrid and Toledo and trading in the Geek's Guide for Dune (which I have since traded in for Paul of Dune and some other literature) and plan on going back there, both to sell back my Madrid Encounter book for something else and to go to their Trivia Night on some Friday where I don't have anything else to do. 

I highly recommend coming here to grab an English book for a fairly decent price!

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