I have always been an avid reader, but since moving to Madrid my appetite for good books has been almost insatiable. I find that after a long day of working and speaking entirely in Spanish, my brain needs its English fix to rest and unwind a little bit. While my reading comprehension skills in Spanish are pretty solid at this point, I seek comfort in the relaxing nature of reading in my native English. One of my hobbies in New York was collecting second hand books so I was able to bring a few over when I moved here, but after the first few weeks I desperately needed to replenish my supply, and that is when I discovered J & J Books and Coffee.
J & J Books is a café/bar/bookstore located in the Malasaña neighborhood. Among other things, they host various events during the week such as intercambio nights and quiz nights that provide a fun, casual environment to meet other expats as well as Spaniards looking to brush up on their English.
The bottom floor holds a large collection of second-hand, English-language books. The quantity of books is vast and impressive and is divided by category (romance, mystery, biography, classics, teaching English, health, etc.) to ease navigation. The website also includes a browse tool that enables you to see what books they have in their catalogue (by author, title or subject), but I know in my case I tend to enjoy the process of browsing the shelves and seeing what´s out there.
Discovering this store has been such a treat for me. Few are the days when I leave there with less than four or five books to devour. Given that J & J buys books from its customers as well, they often have many new releases on hand but those tend to move fairly quickly. Enjoy!
J & J Books and Coffee
c/ Espiritu Santo, 47