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Do Mexicans in the US read?

 Language Learning Forum : Language Bookstores Post Reply
11 messages over 2 pages: 1 2  Next >>
oldearth
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United States
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Studies: Spanish, Esperanto

 
 Message 1 of 11
24 June 2012 at 10:31pm | IP Logged 
...And if they do, where do they buy books?

This is a sincere question. I've been studying Spanish for about a year now and have reached an intermediate level. I would really enjoy browsing for practice reading material in subjects that interest me, but I have not had success finding a good brick-and-mortar source of materials for native-speakers.

A few months ago I moved to Southern California for graduate school and thought this would help my Spanish learning efforts since there are millions of Latinos in the greater Los Angeles metro area. But even here I haven't found more than one shelf of religious titles and bestsellers in the stores and shops I've checked. I asked a few latina custodians at my university if they had a favorite place to buy books and they said no, that they don't have time for reading.

I was excited for Libreria Mexico de Echo Park, but when I visited it was closed and people on the street told me they were going out of business.

If I have to I can of course order materials from Amazon, or Schoenhof's, or Casa del Libro, but I like to support local businesses and I am just shocked that even in Southern California there isn't a little shop somewhere to buy native language materials.

Can anyone recommend a shop to buy Spanish materials in Southern California?
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espejismo
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Russian Federation
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 Message 2 of 11
24 June 2012 at 11:35pm | IP Logged 
What about the Strand Bookstore? There's one in LA. The one I regularly go to (in NY) has a whole section of Spanish books. Not all of them are cheap, but some are real bargains.

edit: and what's wrong with religious titles? I've been told (by a Mexican) that José Antonio Fortea's Exorcística. Cuestiones sobre el demonio, la posesión y el exorcismo is very good. ;)

Edited by espejismo on 24 June 2012 at 11:43pm

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Jappy58
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 Message 3 of 11
25 June 2012 at 8:58pm | IP Logged 
I'm Hispanic (not Mexican), and I read literature in Spanish. I've also met several other Spanish-speakers who were born in the U.S. reading literature in Spanish as well, though not all are Mexican (Colombians, Salvadoreans, Spaniards, Hondurans, Venezuelans, and Chileans are in the mix as well). On the other hand, I know many, perhaps a majority, that don't read in Spanish.

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Razekial
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 Message 4 of 11
25 June 2012 at 10:02pm | IP Logged 
I have had limited success trying to find books in Spanish at big retail bookstore chains such as Barnes n Nobles or Borders. Generally their selections are limited to 1-2 shelves of, as you said, mostly bestsellers or religious books. If you have a half-priced books in your area they tend to have a wider selection of foreign-language material (including a surprisingly large selection of Czech novels at my local store) due to the fact that their stock is composed in large part by people trading books in, however in general online seems to be the way to go.
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Juаn
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Colombia
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 Message 5 of 11
25 June 2012 at 10:58pm | IP Logged 
oldearth wrote:
Schoenhof's


Stay far away from that store unless you're looking for a headache.

If you can't find Spanish-language books locally, The Book Depository is a great place to order them online. I have used them for several works that I was not able to find in bookstores here. Your search will be more fruitful if you enter the ISBN rather than title or author details.

Another great option is AbeBooks.

Edited by Juаn on 25 June 2012 at 10:59pm

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osoymar
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United States
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 Message 6 of 11
25 June 2012 at 10:58pm | IP Logged 
The Last Bookstore in Downtown L.A. has a small but good selection of used Spanish
literature, as well as some in other languages. Unfortunately that's all that I'm aware
of (god, I really should be learning Spanish instead of French...).

Incidentally, is there a reason that you specify Mexicans? Southern California has a
large population of people from all around South America. In fact I think I know more
Salvadorans than I do Mexicans. The dialects may be different but that shouldn't affect
your selection of books.
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oldearth
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United States
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Studies: Spanish, Esperanto

 
 Message 7 of 11
26 June 2012 at 2:51am | IP Logged 
osoymar wrote:
Incidentally, is there a reason that you specify Mexicans? Southern California has a large population of people from all around South America. In fact I think I know more Salvadorans than I do Mexicans. The dialects may be different but that shouldn't affect your selection of books.


No, there's no real reason I specified Mexicans other than the majority of Latinos in my neck of the woods are from Mexico. Certainly no offense was meant to anyone by my choice of words. This report shows that southwestern cities like Los Angeles and Houston are both dominated by Latinos of Mexican origin (~79% from Mexico) compared to all other groups combined, which is in line with what I expected. But of course the demographic breakdown varies a lot from neighborhood to neighborhood.


Thanks everyone for all the suggestions. I will check out The Strand and The Last Bookstore for sure. I haven't had much luck with used bookstores or thriftshops, but I'll keep looking.
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hjordis
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United States
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 Message 8 of 11
26 June 2012 at 9:39pm | IP Logged 
I don't know how it is there, but my local library has pretty frequent book sales at which they have a whole table of foreign language(mostly Spanish) books, though I'm not sure what the ratio of native to translated material might be. Even if your library doesn't have sales I'm sure they have plenty of Spanish books if you don't mind having to return them.


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