❝To have another language is to possess a second soul.❞

Jenny’s Books in Colombiaimage1-5

I lived in a small town in Colombia. 30,000 people in the middle of the valley. I was nowhere near any major South American tourist spot. Westerners were a rare sight. Before I got my house set up I was staying at a hostel right across from this aptly named bookstore. Where I lost hours of my first few weeks. The owner was an older lady named Marta. She was stern, one of the few Colombians I met that was not automatically warm and hospitable. She had plants all over the bookstore and 2 cats that stayed there with her. She lived in a tiny apartment above the store. I only know it was small because I once visited a teacher that I worked with in the apartment next door to Marta’s and it was barely a studio apartment. I kinda liked Marta though. She was unforgiving and didn’t deal in nonsense. I’m drawn to people like that. Opposites attract I guess. She made me prove I could read some of the books that I was buying in Spanish. I couldn’t get through all of them, but I did enough to impress her. I also impressed her with my never ending knowledge of Marquez. I’d go every other week or so and buy something new. Sometimes I’d just go to be around her and her books and her cats and her plants and her solitude. When I told her I was moving back to the states she showed no concern, which made me giggle a little, I didn’t think she would. A few days later my co teacher that lived next door to her gave me this from Marta; A Farewell to Arms in Spanish.



The Store


Some of my purchases


La Isla Del Tesoro by Robert Louis Stevenson

Treasure Island

El Oro Los Dioses by Erich Van Danniken

The Gold of the Gods

El Viejo y el Mar by Hemingway (it would appear that I bought two copies of that)

The Old Man and the Sea

Cronica De Una Muerte Anunciada by Marquez

Chronicle of a Death Foretold

La Canida Erendira y su Abuela Desalmada by Marquez

The Incredible and Sad Tale of Erendira and her Heartless Grandmother

El Hombre que Corrompio a Hadleyburg by Twain

The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg

La Rebellion de las Ratas by Fernando Soto Aparicio

The Rebellion of the Rats

Abridged La Odisea by Homer

The Odyssey

Abridged Crimen y Castigo by Dostoevsky

Crime and Punishment