Richard Oh’s Reading Room is a Jakartan Bibliophile’s Paradise

One of Indonesia’s finest authors opens up a cafe for like-minded book lovers in Kemang

Author Richard Oh, a prolific writer and advocate for the arts, is one of Indonesia’s literary treasures. In order to help improve Jakarta’s reading culture, he created Reading Room (Jl. Kemang Timur 57, Kemang, Jakarta; 62-21/8370- 1809), which functions as a cafe, lending library, bookstore and, of course, a cool place to read. Nestled in Kemang, one of Jakarta’s hippest and most artistically active neighborhoods, Reading Room has stirred up a buzz by giving book lovers a place to congregate, hang out and immerse themselves in their favorite novels while surrounded by thousands of books from Oh’s personal collection. Opened earlier this year, it already serves as a venue for book clubs, book launches and literary discussion, but perhaps the greatest attraction is Oh himself, who can often be found in the café chatting with patrons about their favorite books and his own personal literary recommendations.