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English Bookstore and Cafe in Havana!

Calgary, Canada
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English Bookstore and Cafe in Havana!

Click on the August Edition of Cuba Absolutely here:

http://cubaabsolutely.com/whaton/WhatsOn.php

Go to Page 9 of the 49 page PDF file and here's the scoop:

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Cuba Libro: Havana's 1st English-Language Bookstore & Café

This island is unique in so many ways (both good and not so) and one thing that has always struck me is that Havana must be one of the only – if not the only – capital city where you can’t get an English-language newspaper or novel. The reasons are complex (what isn’t in Cuba?!) but it means literature lovers have to beg, borrow or steal books in English or bring their Kindle well-loaded.

This is all about to change with the opening on August 5th of Cuba’s first English-language bookstore and café, Cuba Libro. Located on a terminally shady corner in the desirable Vedado district, this ‘café literario’ is bringing the bookstore/coffeehouse concept to the island. All books and magazines pass through the ‘Conner filter’ (if you find a Harlequin Romance on the shelves, you get a free espresso!): I guarantee if you’re in need of quality reading material or conversation with interesting, creative Cubans, you’ll find it here.

In addition to featuring monthly shows by talented local artists – August showcases over a dozen captivating images by photographer Alain Gutiérrez – Cuba Libro offers many services travelers are after: water bottle refills; postcards, stamps, and mailing; a cultural calendar (so you won’t miss that hot concert or polemic play); and expert travel tips.

This is an ethically-responsible business that offers a lending library for those who can’t afford books, a collective employment model where the entire team benefits, and an environmentally-friendly approach. Like Cuba itself, Cuba Libro strives for equity and a healthy, culturally-rich atmosphere.

This is also a regguetón free zone – we listen to real music at Cuba Libro! Come early to snag a coveted hammock or hanging chair in the garden.

Open Monday-Saturday, 10am-8pm.

=========================

Sounds fabulous.

Cheers,

Terry

Edited: 06 August 2013, 04:30
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1. Re: English Bookstore and Cafe in Havana!

For long term English only speaking visitors, this is fantastic news. I'll definitely check it out.

Calgary, Canada
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2. Re: English Bookstore and Cafe in Havana!

If it's managed properly it'll be a license to print money. It's an enormous hole in Havana's tourist market.

Cheers,

Terry

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3. Re: English Bookstore and Cafe in Havana!

I'll have to look it up next time I'm in Havana. Thanks!

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4. Re: English Bookstore and Cafe in Havana!

Pals dropped by earlier this week to check it out, big thumbs up all around, they loved the place. They're old school travellers - no Kindles or electronics - so the bookstore was a Godsend, they had no clue that Cuba had basically no English reading material anywhere on the island.

Cheers,

Terry

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5. Re: English Bookstore and Cafe in Havana!

Cuba Libro is a fantastic option for the many literary Cubans who want to expand their reading into something other than political books and propaganda. This calm 'No Pena' book store nestled under a massive almond tree on a super quaint corner meets the standards that the many educated Cubans deserve. It offers art, poetry, fiction and a world far away from the constraints the world and governments put on Cuba. The vibe is very chill, very therapeutic and authentic. If you want a great conversation, great cup of coffee or to pick up a great book, Cuba Libro is a must stop on your visit to Havana. At the very least you get a view into the richness of the Cuban spirit away from the traditional 'old cars' 'Bodeguita del Medio' and 'che' propagandas. Conner, the founder of the book store does a great job at creating a sense of community filled with the magic of the Cuban spirit.

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6. Re: English Bookstore and Cafe in Havana!

Terry, I pm'd you

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7. Re: English Bookstore and Cafe in Havana!

Gracias for the kind words everyone. this is a truly collaborative project and Im so proud of the team that has helped make this dream come true. We hope its "managed properly" but so far, all the great, inspiring people who have sought us out make it reward enough. Several Cubans have commented about how 'therapeutic" this little corner of Havana is which we consider the highest praise (surely it has something to do with Cuba Libro being a "reggueton-free zone!)

An interesting detail which we'll be highlighting with an art show in 2014: this apartment once belonged to revered photographers Mayito & Marucha (co-founder of Fototeca de Cuba) and the swing, cultural convergence, and cubania is palpable. Cmon down next time you're in town!

Edited: 16 September 2013, 02:22
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8. Re: English Bookstore and Cafe in Havana!

This sounds wonderful.Will be sure to pay a visit next week :)

9. Re: English Bookstore and Cafe in Havana!

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