Mexico City hasn't been a bad place for second-hand books in English. One of my first posts on this blog was about what you can find in the English-language sections of the bookstores on Calle Donceles in the Centro Histórico. Other used bookstores, on Álvaro Obregón in Colonia Roma, and Miguel Ángel de Quevedo in Coyoacán, also have decent selections.
But Under the Volcano Books, which recently celebrated its first birthday at a new location -- upstairs in the American Legion building on Calle Celaya #25, in Colonia Condesa -- blows the others out of the water. It is as far as I know the first and only Mexico City used bookstore to sell only books in English, and the owner, Grant Cogswell, has stocked it full of the kind of books that I want to read (primarily U.S. and U.K. literature from the mid-20th century to the present). Cogswell is pictured above with a customer who might remind you of the Louis Armstrong song Blue Going Grey Over You.
Some of the those serious titles I was telling you about.
Next Tuesday, February 19th, at 7 pm, an American original named David Allan Cates -- award-winning novelist, public-health handmaiden, fishing guide and cattle rancher -- will ride in from Montana to read from his work at the store. I'll be there.
In the lobby of the building there is a reasonably-priced bar, where a jazz combo will play before and after Cates's reading. They purport to serve the best hamburgers in el D.F.