With most places closed during these months, there is really very little we can do these days, not even going shopping. It’s been an interesting time for us not really being able to give you the guides we are used to compiling. But there is one last type of place that has not yet closed during the lockdown: Book shops! We already have a guide about book shops, but we noticed some places have closed and some are new, so it’s time for a new one!
With the rise of the digital and our attention span shrinking by the minute, it’s actually a miracle that so many cool book shops still exist and have not been killed by online mega shops. We’re glad that there are so many people out there still appreciating physical books and we hope it stays like that. Berlin has a lot to offer in terms of book shops, from big to small, from mixed to super-specialized. We picked some of our favorite book shops that offer a variety of different books. We hope they give you a place to head out to when you wanna leave your house for a change. Happy reading!
photo: Jule Müller
What books do Berliners like to read? I guess you could easily look up at some sales statistics from Dussmann or other giant book stores, but you would not get a good result. Because we all know that a lot of sold books will have the poor faith of ending up as an unwanted present to somebody who rather scrolls through Instagram in his free time (poor book).
But if you really want to know what books Berliners love to read you have to look around in a special public area: the U- and S-Bahn. Because, either you hate it or love it, but the Berlin subway is definitely a display of Berlin’s variety, showing you the most interesting and sometimes the most horrendous people, attitudes and behaviors Berlin has to offer.
My friends from Blogfabrik Judith Poznan and Jacob Schickler decided to look out for the more interesting kinds of human behavior and instead of asking what beer people on the U8 were spilling on the floor the decided to look into which books Berliners were reading. In her former past Judith was a hot book-shop-employee (which is the soft version of a hot librarian) and is an expert on books. This passion, her editorial skills and Jacob’s love and talent for photography brought them to create the Facebook Page Behind Berlin Books where they regularly share portraits of strangers with their books and their stories.
If you ask me, approaching strangers on the subway and asking them what kind of books they are reading and letting them tell you more about it (under the disguise of a journalistic project of course) is a hell of a flirting tactic, I should definitely include it in my guide How to get to know your U-Bahn Crush.
We collected a couple of shots for you to get a taste for the project.
photo: Vanek London
Even if youʼve never heard of the Naked Boys Reading before—you kind of get the idea. Itʼs literally naked boys, reading. What is a huge success in London and Brighton comes to Berlin for the fourth time on February 25, 2016, and this time as a 2-4-1 special with two naked boys reading at the same time. Founder Dr. Sharon Husbands will be your host together with the infamous Berlin drag queen Pansy. Sharon Husbands partner in crime, The Duchess of Pork, will be serving tunes before, in between, and after the readings. Hand-picked boys will read their favorite stories in pairs of two wearing not more than a book. Support for this event has been provided by the Berlin publishing house Bruno Gmünder. After the literal meat inspection, the party will go on with a performance by Berlin-based MJ Woodbridge… A little preview after the jump.
Mystical places like the spie station Teufelsberg and the old Spreepark ruin have always been big magnets for the city bringing in the adventurous types who like to discover forbidden places and reminders of Berlin’s history. The website Abandoned Berlin has dedicated itself to discover all of these forgotten places with lots of pictures, reviews and infos on how to get there and how to get inside. The project has now been turned into a book that celebrates its release this month at the local be.bra Verlag. We think the project is really amazing and would love to give you a sneak peak inside the book with some of its most haunting photographs. If you enjoy what you see you might want to visit the talk that author Ciaràn Fahey is giving on March 12 here in Berlin.
photo: Cee Cee
This year saw the release of a few really amazing Berlin-themed books and we thought it was about time we are compiling a list of the best of them. It’s a really diverse selection that includes Berlin guides, stories about the history of the city, photography and fashion. Some of the books were done by friends, fellow bloggers and colleagues and we are really proud of the work that they have done. Have a look after the jump for our 10 essential Berlin books that should be in all of your shelves!