The Cool Room

For lovers of English-language books, Jakarta has to be one of the most frustrating cities on Earth. The selection is atrocious (understandable in a former Dutch colony that has more than 350 languages and dialects of its own to cater to), and if you do manage to strike gold, chances are you won't be able to flip through your selections because they will be shrink-wrapped. But all that looks set to change with the success of Aksara (www.aksara.com). The independent bookseller is zeroing in on the niche markets of Jakarta's middle classes and catering to tastes once served only...

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