Jakarta isn’t exactly a friendly city for those literature-inclined individuals. There are plenty of places to feed your stomach but not the soul. Not only it is hard to locate a decent national library, it is also most likely to cost an arm and a leg to purchase lesser-known international titles.
Fret not, The Reading Room is here to bridge that void and provide an intellectual relief for any individuals who wish to rest and repair with a blanket of books. Located in the lesser-frequented side of Kemang, though the café occupies two stories with glass walls, there is still tendency to miss this low-key establishment. Once in, you’re faced with impressive number of books that lined and decorated the ceiling-high bookshelves.
Those who are looking for more than the usual best-seller fictions will not be disappointed. Indeed, give the shelves a quick scan and you’ll be able to chance upon books from the likes of revered author such as Gore Vidal and even biography of the overlooked impressionist, Henri de Toulouse Lautrec. Not to mention, there are no librarians to constantly remind you to keep your voice down, as you deliberate about Nietzsche’s concept of eternal return with your friends over glass of iced tea. Plus, the café also serves food for those who are looking for a quick bite.