Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Guide: English Bookshops in Berlin

EDIT: For some reason this post gets a lot of hits from the search engines. Anyway, there is an update on the Saint George's Bookshop over in my new home.

If you want to buy English books in Berlin it is not all that difficult, and the city is quite well-served, although if you are looking for something very specific you may have to wait whilst they order it for you, and in that instance you would be better off with Amazon.de or one of those websites.

But sometimes going to a bookshop and browsing the shelves offers something that Amazon can't offer, whatever the selection or the prices they have online. So here is the Berlin Review guide to English Bookshops in Berlin. Check them out...

Another Country
Riemannstraße 7,
10961 Berlin-Kreuzberg
Website

Down in the heart of Kreuzberg, where the punks and the Turks like to play, the Another Country bookshop is a cosy place where they do not seem to mind if you sit in a comfy chair and read for a while. As well as a good selection, they have a book borrowing service which works by you buying the book, returning it when you are done, and getting your money back minus a reading fee. A good deal for the transient or under-paid. As well as the books there are all kinds of events, from Sci-Fi clubs to film nights, all of which are detailed on the Another Country Weblog.

Books in Berlin
Goethestraße 69,
10625 Berlin-Charlottenburg
Website

Down a quiet street in the Berlin West End, Books in Berlin is an excellent shop for new books, as well as a good selection of second hand books, and a venue for readings and other literary events. The owner is a nice chap as well, and extremely well-informed when it comes to the latest news in the publishing scene. He will also order any new books for you that he doesn't have in stock.

Storytime Books and Cafe
Schmargendorfer Straße 36/37,
12159 Berlin-Friedenau
Website

The Storytime bookshop is a children's bookshop, so this is not for you if you want the latest Ian Rankin or Martin Amis. But if you have kids this is a wonderful place, with books in both German and English, a cafe for mums and dads to get an energy boost, as well as story-telling sessions and singalongs in both languages. Check out the website for more information on the live events for little 'uns at the Storytime.

East of Eden
Schreinerstr. 10,
10247 Berlin-Friedrichshain
Website
(Thanks to I Hate My Neighbours for the East of Eden website address)

Over in Friedrichshain, in old East Berlin, the East of Eden is a funny one. Some people will love the thousands of second books, its teetering, piled shelves, the musty bookshop smell, the fact that there are literally books everywhere...but, it is not really for me. Whenever I have been in I have given up ever finding anything I might like to read as there are just so many books in such a small space that it is impossible to find anything. The guys behind the East of Eden are involved in readings in English at the Gaslight Poetry Cafe which is around the corner from the bookshop.

Saint George's
Wörtherstraße 27,
10405 Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg
Website
(The website link was not working when I wrote this, but I live nearby so I might go over and ask them on the weekend)

I like the layout of the Saint George's Second Hand bookshop. It is not cluttered, they only seem to stock books in good condition, and the percentage of good books to total stock is higher than any other second hand bookshop in Berlin. But it seemed a little expensive to me, especially in the era of Amazon, and the choice - although good - was not massive. But combined with a trip to the Saturday market on Kollwitzplatz, it is definately worth a look.

Dussmann - das KulturKaufhaus
Friedrichstrasse 90,
10117 Berlin-Mitte
Website

Not strictly an English bookshop, Dussmann is a monolithic CD, DVD, Books and "Culture" store on the Friedrichstrasse. But if you are in Mitte, and you are looking for a brand new spanking book, then Dussmann is the place to go. The English language section is surprisingly large, and when it comes to buying new books in Berlin, it competes well with the specialist shops. Of course, being a big warehouse of a place it is a little impersonal, although there are seats in sit in and read. The books in English about or set in Germany is pretty good too.

Marga Schoeller Bücherstube
Knesebeckstraße 33,
10623 Berlin-Charlottenburg
(No website found)

I liked the Marga Schoeller bookshop in Charlottenburg the moment I walked in and found free cake and coffee for browsers...Amazon can do a lot of things, but they can't do that! The bookshop is split into English and German sections, and the English section is possibly the best-stocked selection of new titles in Berlin. Especially well-represented are new non-fiction and academic books, and the staff of this cosy but well-ordered store are both helpful and knowledgable.

Berlin Review Best of...by Category
Best Bookshop for New Books: Marga Schoeller
Best Bookshop for Second Hand Books: Saint George's
Bookshop where the Berlin Review buy all their English books because they are lazy: Dussmann

(If we missed any out, or any of the details in the guide above have changed, please let us know...)

19 Comments:

Anonymous clarsonimus said...

Hi, you might also try:

Berlin Story
Unter den Linden 40
10117 Berlin (Mitte)
U-Bahn and S-Bahn Friedrichstraße
Tel. +49 030 20 45 38 42
http://www.berlinstory.de/

9:16 pm  
Blogger P. said...

Thanks Clarsonimus, I forgot that one...especially good for non-fiction books on Berlin. I'll probably have to write an update post...if I have missed any more let me know!

Cheers
P.

9:24 pm  
Anonymous Carola Wolff said...

Hugendubel, the big bookshop in the city center, next to Gedächtniskirche, has a well stocked section of English books on the first floor, next to a cafe. Large selection of novels and thrillers, new titles and, at the moment, a good choice of books for christmas. Helpful and knowledgeable staff, too!
Cheers
Carola

11:13 am  
Blogger P. said...

Thanks Carola. I have to admit to another bout of forgetfulness...which is terrible as that was where I bought my English books when I first arrived in Berlin!

12:59 pm  
Blogger daggi said...

East of Eden's website is at
http://www.east-of-eden.de

Otherwise, any German bookshop that sells new books can order a wide selection of English (or French, or Spanish, plus some Turkish and Russian) literature, as a rule within 24 hours (as with most German-language books).

If you can find the book on either of these two websites, any half-decent bookshop (including the chains) should be able to oder it:

http://www.libri.de
http://www.buchkatalog.de

Libri has 60,000 English titles available overnight - the rest take about a week.

The English bookshops in Berlin use the same wholesalers as everyone else - of course, they may have some second hand stuff you can't get anywhere else though...(I believe the owner of "St George's" goes to London with a van once a month to get "new" stock).

And the Berlin Story only has touristy stuff or Berlin-related books.

4:09 pm  
Blogger P. said...

Thanks for the East of Eden link - post edited.

As for being able to order, that's true. Which is why if you really like a shop, especially one of the independents, then you should give the order to them rather than to Dussmann.

Anyway, the real benefit of the independent English bookshops are the second hand discoveries you can make...

As for Berlin Story - it is true that they only deal in Berlin touristy stuff or history, but if it is the history that you are interested in they have a good selection.

Once again, thanks for the info.

4:34 pm  
Blogger Heidi said...

Thanks, Paul, for this listing. It will make giving advice about book shopping to newly arrived English speakers much easier. I see you have my "second home" Another Country listed. For SciFi types it's a must. Thanks, too, for posting to our Berlin brunching site!

2:11 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the list, I wish I had come across it sooner because now I'm actually leaving Berlin soon. But I have a related question:

Which of these bookshops actually buy second hand books? I have quite a few of them in very good conditoin and I don't want to ask much for them.

any ideas?

3:04 pm  
Anonymous leonUK said...

Anonymous said 'Which of these bookshops actually buy second hand books?'

Saint Georges in Mitte (Saintgeorgesbookshop.com) hav, in my opinion, the best selection of used books in english prob. due to the fact they also buy used-books. I don't seem to have much luck elsewhere with selling them once i have read them. Saint George's also give half the money back on the books you buy (just the used one's i think???) there so it's an added plus to go book shopping there.

10:27 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kleiner Nachtrag zu Marga Schoeller Bücherstube: Der Link ist http://www.margaschoeller.de/
Grisha

3:22 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thalia at Alexa is also a haven for booklovers, and their collection of English-language books is enormous. It doesn't quite have the charm of the smaller stores, but I'd recommend it over Dussmann any day.

8:12 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My small used book store with a wide selection of British food products has just opened in Neukölln. Lahn str 85.
In Summer the garden at the back will be open too.
At present I have a well sorted section for English picture books for kids and learners of English and CDS with songs and lots more 03056977808 Britain in Neukölln Robert Berridge

7:37 pm  
Anonymous mundo azul said...

A new shop for english (and other foreign) children's books openend in the Choriner Str. 49, near the Kulturbrauerei. Web site:

http://www.mundoazul.de

best regards

11:21 pm  
Anonymous Olaf said...

Thanks for the list! Marga Schoeller Beucher also has a website: http://www.margaschoeller.de.

Ciao,
O.

9:51 pm  
Anonymous luisbin said...

hi there, thanks for the tips, and here is another english bookshop i've been told of :

http://www.dialogueberlin.com/

near the zion kirche in prenzlauerberg

5:35 pm  
Anonymous Roulette Games said...

It seems to me, what is it it was already discussed.

11:27 pm  
Anonymous Álvaro Sendra González said...

I just opened a second-hand bookshop with more than 900 English books. It's called Pequod Books and it's in the Selchower Straße 33 (Berlin-Neukölln).

5:49 am  
Blogger Geraniums in Germania said...

They also sell English books at this little shop near the German Language School on Kastanienallée. It's not all English books, but it's a convenient location to all of the nearby restaurants and shops.

9:31 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Open since December 2013 - Curious Fox English Bookshop, Flughafenstr. 22, 12053 Berlin-Neukölln (U7 Rathaus Neukölln / U8 Boddinstr.) New and second-hand English books, evening events, free bookbinding courses, and cafe. Most English (and German books) can be ordered and delivered within one or two days.

8:10 am  

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