1 decade of living in Jakarta and moving to Magelang, this couple founded a reading park called Literacy which makes visitors feel at home.

  29 April 2024 23:25 - As if it has a magnet for opportunity seekers, Jakarta has become a destination city, especially when it comes to building a career. Even after being successful, not a few choose to stay and settle in this glittering city. However, behind the splendor on offer, Jakarta is also considered to have high pressure and demands.

This ultimately makes some people not depend on living in Jakarta. Not a few also decide to return to their hometowns or move to smaller, quieter towns. As did the couple Cristian Rahadiansyah and Nina Hidayat.

Cristian Rahadiansyah is the Editor-in-Chief for travel media called DestinAsian Media Group. He is also active in the grand Jakarta International Photo Festival (JIPFest). Meanwhile, Nina Hidayat is a Public Relations Officer for the Macan Museum and a journalist for Prestige Magazine.

Magelang Literacy  2024

photo: Setyaningsih; Instagram/@whereiscristian

Having lived in Jakarta for more than a decade with a flashy career, it seems that Cristian and Nina are not determined to live in Jakarta, which has everything. Instead, this couple chose to live in Magelang, Central Java since March 25 2023. Not just looking for a place to live, Cristian and Nina also want to realize their dream of building a reading park .

"Building a reading park has always been my dream, Jakarta doesn't seem ideal for finding a calm atmosphere. Magelang was the choice," recalled Cristian Rahadiansyah when met by on Monday (15/4).

Starting from falling in love with Magelang

Cristian and Nina's move to Magelang apparently wasn't because they were bored, but because they fell in love with the city nicknamed Tuin van Java. His long career in the travel media sector has taken Cristian to cover the world in various regions, including the Magelang area.

"In 2013, I often reported to Magelang, visiting historical sites such as Selogriyo Temple or expensive hotels in Java located in Magelang, including Sandiaga Uno's MesaStila, and Plataran Heritage," said Cristian.

Exploring the beauty of Magelang made Cristian remember his dream of having a reading park. For him, Magelang is the right place to realize his dream, because of its peaceful and calm environment. After conducting a search, Pucungan Hamlet, Candirejo Village, Borobudur was chosen as the location for the establishment of his dream reading park.

"In 2015 this land was bought by Cristian," said Nina Hidayat while inviting her to explore the Literacy corners.

Magelang Literacy  2024

photo: Setyaningsih

Its location far from the main road certainly makes anyone admire the silence that exists in Candirejo Village. Apart from that, the beautiful atmosphere also adds a special attraction to this place. Even though they don't have any relatives who live here, everything that Magelang has to offer made this couple determined to move.

Even though he has owned land since 2015, Cristian did not immediately move to Magelang. He still needs time to plan the move carefully. After getting married in 2020 and having a baby in 2023, Cristian brought his small family to live in Magelang.

Simultaneously with the move, his dream reading house, named Literacy, was completed. With the establishment of Literacy, Cristian and Nina even plan to live in this city until their old age.

Literacy, artistic residence and reading garden

Collaborating with a famous architect, namely Marco Kusumawijaya, Melek Literate has architecture that will amaze anyone. For your information, Marco Kusumawijaya is an architect and book writer whose work is beyond doubt.

"Well, here is a book written by our architect, Indonesian Cities: An Introduction for Many People, by Marco Kusumawijaya," added Nina while showing Marco's book.

Overall, this building is divided into two parts, front and back. The front is for the reading garden and the back is for Cristian and Nina's private residence. At the front or reading garden, there is a mezzaine room which is suitable for visitors who want to find peace.

One side of the wall is filled with neatly arranged books. There are various kinds of book collections provided, from novels, history books, novels, magazines, to photography books and many more. The majority are from Cristian and Nina's personal collections.

Magelang Literacy  2024

photo: Setyaningsih

Not only was it built by thinking about the shape of the building so that it looks aesthetic, Literacy was also created with an environmentally friendly concept. Adapting to the existing area, this building which is dominated by windows and glass was built without additional air conditioning. Even so, every room feels cool, you know.

"Literacy is also built by adapting to the existing environment, it is environmentally friendly because there is no use of air conditioning here," said Nina when taking around.

When visited, Cristian and Nina were busy with Literacy activities. Cristian usually works at the bar, while Nina cooks the menu in the kitchen. Not infrequently, the two of them also take the time to chat with visitors.

"This is how our days are not too relaxing, starting from running a reading garden, taking care of the household, and also looking after Kara (her child's name)," said Nina.

Magelang Literacy  2024

photo: Setyaningsih

Yes, to channel library income and make visitors comfortable, the two decided to provide food and beverage. The menus provided are dishes that Nina and Cristian usually enjoy.

"We sell dishes that we both like and enjoy," said Nina Hidayat.

The drinks are complete, from coffee, chocolate to tea. Meanwhile, the snacks are no less delicious, such as waffles topped with ice cream or chicken, smoothie bowls, even chicken katsu. Not open every day, Literacy is only open to the public every weekend (Friday-Sunday). This is because Cristian and Nina are still busy with work that is carried out remotely.

"Currently, we are still working on arts and culture projects but they are doing it remotely," continued this female alumnus of Taylor's University, Malaysia.

Even though they were busy, the two of them seemed to really enjoy the weekend activities at Literacy. Not only because their free time is filled with activities, but also because they feel grateful to be able to meet new friends.

Magelang Literacy  2024

photo: Setyaningsih

"We are grateful that our weekend routine at the reading park brought us together with visitors, some of whom ended up becoming friends," explained Nina again.

Make visitors want to come again

A visitor named Dewi admitted that she was happy to be able to take the time to visit Literacy while returning home to Magelang. According to him, this place offers something new in Magelang. He admitted that he would return to Literacy again.

"I think this is the right destination, whether for families or young people. We can hang out while reading books. I never imagined that an aesthetic place like this could exist in Magelang," explained Dewi.

For those of you who are interested in visiting, Literate is open from 10.00-18.00 WIB. This location is not far from the Borobudur Temple tourist attraction. So if you're traveling, don't miss stopping by this artistic place that offers free book readings and delicious snacks!