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

By Visit Cuba / Posted August 6, 2013

Cuba Libro HavanaThis 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.

This article first appeared in Visit Cuba’s What’s on in Havana, August – click here

Readers' Comments

  1. Heather Tolfree

    I’m a retired teacher (English as a second language) and would love to visit Cuba, partly as a tourist but also to give some lessons, to engage with the young people. Any ideas how I might go about this? I am thinking of a two week stay

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