Shortly after arriving to live in Madrid I discovered J & J Books and Coffee, a English-language book store on Calle Espiritu Santo, 47, just off the Calle San Bernardo & near the Noviciado metro station. I was thrilled when I “found” this goldmine. Buying (and finding) English-language books in bookstores are both scarce and expensive. J & J’s has an immense collection of cheap secondhand English-language books for sale!
Not only do they offer free Wi-Fi internet to their guests/clients, but they also have a small bar and seating area to read books, have a coffee, or chat with friends. They sell a small selection of American goods like pancake syrup and pancake & muffin mix – when in stock. They probably even sell Budweiser beer – but I wouldn’t recommend ordering that at the bar. The bartenders and staff are all friendly and speak English and, for someone who may be new to Madrid, this can be a saving grace to get that “back home” feeling if you’re having trouble assimilating yourself into the Spanish culture.
The used books, most of which are paperback books, are shelved by the hundreds downstairs in an extensive basement. Really, it’s a BIG space! The books are mainly arranged by genre and then by author (if I remember correctly) and all books are roughly half-price their original retail price, but oftentimes they’re much cheaper. They even offer a store credit when customers bring books in for “exchange”. I have stacks of books I’ve brought from the USA, read, and ready to turn in – to get more books! Apparently, the even offer cash-for-books if they’re books they want to buy.
J& J Books and Coffee organizes parties, language exchanges, happy hours, and other events so take a look at their website if interested. The husband-and-wife owners, (Spaniard) Javi and (American) Jamie, opened the store together in 2003. I have to wonder how hard their establishment is taking the economic crisis. Oftentimes secondhand shops do very well in this environment as people search for cheaper alternatives to buying retail.
MadridMan gives J & J Books and Coffee a big THUMBS UP for a HUGE selection of used English books at great prices in downtown Madrid, Spain.
And by the way, MadridMan has not been compensated for this blog entry – nor did J & J know I was going to write it. I’m sure they don’t even know who I am! (can you believe that??) I like their bookshop and want to spread the word. Oftentimes such jems are hidden away, only learning about them by word-of-mouth.Share THIS on Facebook!