Fresh brew, books and Bogotá


Strolling down Carrera 11, on a Saturday afternoon of a long weekend in Bogotá, and feeling like I was the only one that hadn’t abandoned ship, a beautiful storefront caught my eye. I timidly walked in. To my surprise, I found a crowded shop: the newly opened Libería Lerner bookstore. This family owned business, however, is not new to the city, as it was established 58 years ago facing the Avenida Jiménez No.4-35.

In fact, a biography of Mr. Salomon Lerner, now 87, was released July 13th entitled Empezar de Nuevo (To Begin Again). and that same day, Mr. Lerner was granted two important awards for his contribution to Colombian culture.

The magnificent shop (Carrera 11 No.93 A- 43) offers over 100,000 publications, and a selection of books in English.

The children’s section is charming with appropriate-size tables and chairs. Many activities for youngsters are scheduled throughout the year. That Saturday, kids were playing with clay while listening to a story.

At the back of the store is the cafe Amor Perfecto. Sit in the courtyard, read, relax, and choose from a broad selection of extraordinary quality Colombian coffees. Enjoy a cup without any bitterness or burnt flavors. I had a latte prepared from Nariño beans and a brownie, and it was fantastic. There are plenty of pastries and sweets to choose from.

Bookworm is a unique store, where owner Adriana Rojas goes out of her way to offer a personalized service and makes sure your experience is a positive one. Small and pleasant, Bookworm specializes in English language books for children, and organizes storytelling and fun activities for kids and youngsters all year long.

In fact, Bookworm, in association with Scolastic, awarded a certificate to the first person who purchased the latest edition of the Harry Potter book series in Colombia on July 31st at 12:01 am.

Bookworm also offers titles for adults. Best of all, they order any book on your wish list, and deliver it to your door in two weeks, tops. While you browse, coffee can be enjoyed a la carte and brought to you from Il Panino, an Italian café facing the park. Bookworm’s setup is rather unique and fun for the kids as it is smack in the middle of Pet Spot (Calle 93B No.11A-14, Second Fl. Parque 93).

Tornamesa is a gem of a bookstore, and the second venue of Camilo de Mendoza and Álvaro Roa. Harbored in a beautiful old residence built in the late 1930’s, it is located at Calle 70 No.5-23. Here, you will come across two floors with 30,000 books, of which 20% are in English.

The name Tornamesa, means “turntable” and yes, you can find several types of these such as the portable Crosley. From latest release to vintage recording on vinyl, there is an LP for the discern- ing audiophile . Also for sale are comic books, DVDs in original language, a big selection of music CD’s, including Classical Rock, Pop, and Salsa starting at $24,000. You can also find a wide selection of gift items such as laptop cases and electronic devises, T-shirts, and interesting mugs.

Tornamesa schedules cultural events during the year, including concerts, readings, book-signings for children and adults.

The ground floor café offers pastries and exceptional wines for $8,500 a glass, making this a special place to hang out, people watch while you connect with your favorite book and a cup of fresh brew!


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