Besides the big bookstores such as FNAC, Casa de Libro and the newly fantastic bookstore La Central at plaza Callao, there are a few other places in Madrid where you can spend hours going through the bookshelves. Here are ShMadrid’s four favourite places.
Related article: English Language Books in Madrid
Where to buy second-hand books
This is probably our favourite bookstore, they have stores on two different locations, both located in the Chamberí neighbourhood.
The English section at Ábaco Libros is pretty extensive, but as always with second-hand bookstores, sometimes you find real gems and sometimes its just only bad novels.
They also have great art books and also old prints and pictures. You can really spend hours here, and you will almost never leave the shop empty handed.
La Cuesta de la Moyano
Although it’s harder to find good English books at the little “casetas” at the Cuesta la Moyana, which is an open-air book market in the Paseo del Arte neighbourhood, you can occasionally find some great treasures here.
And walking along this side street next to the Botanic gardens and nearby the Retiro park is always a nice way to spend the afternoon.
A statue of an illustrious Spanish writer, Pío Baroja, crowns the hill where the book market ends.
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J & J Books and Coffee
J & J is a great place to go for a coffee, beer and, of course, English-language books. Walk in and you will likely find lots of expats chatting away. The staff speaks English and they are always willing to help you find titles.
The bookstore itself is downstairs, and here you’ll find the classics, contemporary fiction, travel guides, teaching materials, non-fiction, biography and more. Since it’s a used bookstore, the prices surely beat the bigger chains.
You can also bring them your used English books which they, although a small amount, do pay you for. J&J is located in the Malasaña district.
At this library the books are for free, so you don’t have to pay anything for the books that you want to take home with you. There is a donation box if you feel like giving money anyway, and you can also become a member of the foundation for only 12 euros a year.
As this is a foundation, part of the revenue is being used to buy books for schools in Madrid and in South America. The English section at TuuuLibrería unfortunately is not very big, but every now and then you can find something interesting here.
TuuuLibrería has two locations, one on Calle de Embajadores, 11, in the Embajadores neighbourhood and one on Calle de Padilla, 78, in the Salamanca district.
Where do you go to look for second-hand books?