Bookstores exude an indescribable fascination. Although you can buy any book online today and e-books and audiobooks have become a rage, it is still a fantastic feeling to hold a hardcover in your hands.
Visiting a bookshop is also always a unique experience. Instead of spending hours reading through descriptions on Amazon or eBay, you can easily browse through the books here. Plus, you get to meet interesting, erudite people in these shops; people who still appreciate the conventional version of reading.
Unfortunately, however, bookstores are a dying breed everywhere. Only a few of them still manage to generate enough sales to cover all their costs.
Many of these stores stand out because they have their own inimitable style, making your visit an unforgettable experience. In this article, read about 4 such bookstores in Germany you should definitely visit.
Bookstore Wilma Horne, Munich
You’ll find this cozy bookstore in Munich’s Haidhausen neighborhood. Especially if you’re looking for a quiet place within the noisy city, you’ve definitely come to the right place. Instead of the usual bookstore, you find at every major train station, you’ll find a cozy atmosphere here that you can call familiar.
The store has been run for almost 40 years by Wilma Horne, a warm woman with a lot of life experience. She welcomes all visitors with a joy that will make you feel as if you were just visiting friends.
Regionality plays a significant role in this shop. You can find authors from Munich and the surrounding areas reading passages from their latest books during reading hours here.
Besides books, Wilma Horne has much more to offer. In addition to current bestsellers and books from all niches, you can also buy CDs and audio books in this fabulous bookstore.
Wilma’s store has also become the focal point for the residents of the neighborhood. Not only do books change hands here, but apartments are also brokered here and gifts are left for the neighbors. This wonderful store exudes an engaging sense of community which makes its patrons gravitate to it again and again.
The fact that this store is not just one of many was also recognized by the German Federal Office for Culture and Media in 2018. Quite rightly, Wilma Horne’s enchanting bookstore was officially recognized as “Best German Bookstore in 2018.”
This inviting bookstore is one of those you’ll want to step right into. As soon as you enter, you’ll notice that the ambiance is more like a living room at home. You can tell that this store is different by the “not just another bookstore” sign hanging above the front door.
The fantastic thing is that you don’t just walk in, pick out the next best book and go to the checkout. Most bookworms order freshly brewed coffee while browsing through the seemingly endless shelves of books.
Of course, you can also stay longer in this temple for bookworms. Every now and then, Ocelot organizes book-signing events and literary discussions. The intellectual atmosphere here will make all book lovers feel right at home. Once you visit Ocelot, your love for books will amplify.
Buchstabe, Neustadt in Holstein
This temple of literature is one of the winners of the German bookstore award 2020 and it has every right to be.
As a visitor, you can browse through the well-stocked shelves with both popular bestsellers and classics available. The bookshop also organizes readings by authors and game evenings. It hosts both newbie writers – those still waiting for their breakthrough – and established authors with one or more bestsellers under their belt.
The staff is all, without exception, very friendly and helpful. They recommend books and encourage their visitors to express their creativity. For example, there is a corner where children are allowed to hang their drawings and every visitor can admire them.
A popular program is the “lock-in at the bookstore”. You can book this a few days in advance. On the day you want to do this, you can come by just before closing time, and you will be locked in the store. That means you have the store all to yourself.
Not all night, of course, but for a few hours. How long you want to stay you can choose beforehand; at the end of your session, you will be freed even if you are reluctant to go back.
You’ll find this unique family-driven bookstore on Cologne’s Neumarkt. Founded in 1980, Taschen started out as a specialist store for comics and art books. Over time, the Taschen family that runs the store started its own publishing house, allowing the Taschen brand to go global.
Today, Taschen works closely with eminent creative partners and has published thousands of titles in dozens of languages in areas such as fashion, photography, pop culture, style, and travel.
Despite the fact that the bookstore has become pretty popular, it has retained a family atmosphere.
This is exactly why they are a popular contact for previously undiscovered authors from the region who like to bring their literary works to the market. Taschen is the perfect example of how even a company with a million-dollar turnover can stay grounded.
Just by walking into a bookstore, you can really feel the atmosphere. While there are larger corporate chains where you walk in and buy your book as quickly as possible, but they are devoid of the intellectual soul. you can also find some captivating bookstores that you won’t soon forget.
The bookshops that inspire in you the desire to read are a welcome change here. Many of these temples for bookworms even offer various programs such as lectures with authors. But such bookstores are also perfect meeting places for people with a keen interest in reading.
So if you ever want to visit some authentic bookstores in Germany, you should definitely put the 4 in this article on your bucket list. These bookstores embody literary sensibilities and have survived the onslaught of corporate chains and Amazon. I think they are not going to disappear, no matter how much the trends towards e-books and online delivery go.
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