El Péndulo elevates the café-bookstore concept exceptionally well, inviting you to linger for hours over coffee and pastries in its large, two-level cafe (there are even tables on the second floor's balcony). Books in Spanish and English line sagging shelves and sit in precarious piles on the floor, and staff will happily help you search for music or a movie from their extensive inventory of CDs and DVDs.
The store has a large selection of novelty gift items, too, including journals and pens so you can document your visit. Be sure to give a nudge to the pendulum for which the store is named on your way out; suspended from the ceiling, the sand-filled, cone-shaped pendulum swings back and forth, making patterns as customers give the pendulum a gentle push.
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Which book did Marjane Satrapi write?
The correct multiple-choice answer got us a discount at Cafebreria El Pendulo. When you order from the cafe, you get a scratchcard with a quiz related to books or music. Scratch the correct answer and you receive a discount for a purchase from the bookstore. The same works when you buy something from the bookstore but this time your right answer gets you a discount from the cafe. It's a lot of fun!