• Costa Rica Real Estate Auction
  • Costa Rica Real Estate

Friendship Library lends books out of Atenas restaurant

December 25, 2014

La Carreta looks like a lot of sodas: The wooden tables are evenly spaced, the surfaces are brightly painted, and paintings of fincas adorn the walls. The menu is enormous and serves just about everything, from ceviche to hamburgers to hearty soups.

But La Carreta has something that few other restaurants have – its own library.

Robert Isenberg/The Tico Times
Robert Isenberg/The Tico Times

The Friendship Library was the invention of former librarian Linda Ledbetter and accountant Bruce Brasington, two expats from the United States who settled in the town of Atenas, west of San José. Over the years they have accrued more than 2,000 books, which they offered to house in the La Carreta restaurant.

Unlike a traditional library, there is no card catalogue, enrollment, or late fees. Patrons don’t even have to hush their voices on the premises. The books are divided into simple categories (fiction, nonfiction, Spanish-language, etc.), which are spread between two different dining rooms. In theory, guests could walk off with a book indefinitely, but they could also donate dogeared titles from their own homes.

Robert Isenberg/The Tico Times
Robert Isenberg/The Tico Times

La Carreta spent several years on a corner of downtown Atenas, right next to the central park, before moving into the current location about a year and a half ago. The former house is bright and quirky, and the books add a special ambiance. Part of the pleasure of browsing these volumes is discovering Brasington and Ledbetter’s diverse tastes: There are business handbooks, language primers, every variety of paperback novels, and a copy of Jorge Luis Borges’ “Ficciones” in the original Spanish.

As it happens, Atenas already has a public library, part of the National Library System (SINABI). But it is a testament to the Friendship Library that the cantón’s largest biblioteca has about 12,200 volumes – only six times more than the restaurant’s.

You may be interested

Guatemalan indigenous people march in support of Evo Morales
Bolivia
5 views
Bolivia
5 views

Guatemalan indigenous people march in support of Evo Morales

AFP - November 15, 2019

Hundreds of indigenous people marched through the Guatemalan capital on Thursday in support of Bolivia's ex-president Evo Morales, who was…

Costa Rican authorities find body of missing U.S. citizen
Costa Rica
884 views
Costa Rica
884 views

Costa Rican authorities find body of missing U.S. citizen

The Tico Times - November 15, 2019

Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) confirmed to The Tico Times that they have located and positively identified the body of Charlie…

Is Costa Rica just for dental implants?
Dental Tourism
140 views
Dental Tourism
140 views

Is Costa Rica just for dental implants?

Barbara Goldman / Costa Rica Dental Guide - November 15, 2019

It is no secret that dental care in the United States is getting so expensive that Americans are increasingly forced…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!