Maybe you're just passing through or maybe you're around for a while. Whatever the circumstances, you suddenly find yourself with an urgent need: books in English, stat. But you're in Madrid! What's a person supposed to do?
Fear not! There are several places in Madrid where you can buy English-language books.
J & J Books and Coffee
This combination bar/used bookstore is a staple for the English-speaking community. Have a mocha or a glass of wine in the cozy café on ground level (the bartenders all speak English!), then head downstairs to browse the stacks. There's a large section of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) textbooks, as well as novels, non fiction, and children's literature. You can even trade in your old books for store credit.
More info : Calle de Espiritu Santo 47. Metro stop: Noviciado. Visit their website.
Petra's International Bookshop
This bookstore is tucked in a side street but it's worth the effort of tracking it down. It's crammed full of used books in English, as well as French, German, and other languages. Most employees speak English. Closed on Sundays.
More info: Calle de Campomanes 13. Metro stop: Santo Domingo or Ópera. Visit their website.
Pasajes Libreria Internacional
If it's new books you want, head for Pasajes Libreria Internacional. They have an interesting selection of recent releases in English and many other languages. Closed on Sundays.
More info: Calle de Genóva 3. Metro stop: Alonso Martínez. Visit their website.
El Corte Inglés
This upscale department store chain has stores all over Madrid. Head for the libros (books). Usually there's a small selection of English-language literature, although it varies from store to store.
More info : Visit their website. (In Spanish)
Again, it's a chain, this time specializing in media and entertainment. Like El Corte Inglés, the range of English-language books is hit and miss, but there's usually something.
More info: Visit their website. (In Spanish)