Berlin’s urban metropolis is one of great history and rich culture, and a veritable paradise for bibliophiles besides. Rare and old second-hand books can be found in flea markets and antiquarian bookshops, while countless small local book stores pop up like mushrooms between the streets of Berlin’s neighborhoods, from the magical Kreuzberg to Bergmannstrasse and Friesenstrasse. Here we take a look at eight of them.
In Friesenstrasse you will find the small bookshop of Hammlett Krimibuchhandlung (not such a small name, we know!), selling exclusively new and second-hand books of crime mystery. The books are mainly in German and English and the owner is willing to help customers find exactly what they are looking for with his extensive knowledge of the niche genre. So, hit Hammett for all your John le Carré-related needs folks!
Hammett Krimibuchhandlung, 27 Friesenstrasse, Berlin, Germany,
Kreuzberg hosts a number of fascinating bookshops. One of them is the Dante Connectionm owned by the friendly and always-helpful Stephanie. This small and cute bookshop focuses on original and translated works from the Italian literary canon, without sole focus on bestsellers and mainstream literature. You will also find maps, travel guides and cookbooks galore, along with some intriguing volumes of things you probably never thought existed!
Dante Connection, 165 a Oranienstrasse, Berlin, Germany,
Since 1999 this thematic bookstore has hosted an interesting selection of non-fiction books and magazines. Located on a side street by Rosa-Luxemburg Platz, Pro Qm was awarded the Form Award for Best Design Bookstore in 2006. Content-wise, Pro Qm focuses on the issues of urban development, politics, art, architecture and design. There are also plenty of talks and cultural events that take place at Pro Qm, giving visitors an opportunity to discuss literature, art, language, translation and much more with other book lovers.
Pro Qm, 48 Almstadtstrasse, Berlin, Germany,
“UFO” was the original name of this literary hotspot of Berlin back in 1998, when it attracted a resident crowd of unique customers looking for books about weird conspiracy theories and life on other planets. It was when Tad Williams came into the bookstore to present the first novel of his science fiction tetralogy Otherland, that the idea came about for a name change. Today, Otherland offers a good selection of science fiction, horror and fantasy books in German and English.
OTHERLAND Buchhandlung, 25 Bergmannstrasse, Berlin, Germany,
Do You Read Me?
Do you read me? is not your average bookstore but rather a creative way to escape into the world of fashion, design, photography and architecture through a wide selection of magazines and readings from all over the world. Located in Mitte, in the heart of the city, this bookstore is a typical sampling of Berlin’s contemporary cultural development and cutting-edge vibes.
Do you read me?, 28 Auguststrasse, Berlin, Germany,
Named after the legendary boat in Herman Melville’s classic, Pequod is a small, multilingual book store with a wide variety of books in an unexpected number of languages. To be accurate, Alvaro, Pequod’s owner, has collected books from more than 25 languages! This second-hand book store mainly offers books that would be deemed classics, but the great quantity of languages and titles offered at really low prices here makes for one darn diverse collection.
Pequod Books, 33 Selchower Strasse, Neukolln, Berlin, Germany,
Another second-hand bookstore in Kreuzberg, the special thing about the 40-year-old Fair Exchange is its rich stock of about 20,000 books, written mainly in English and German, but also in French and Spanish. Customers are sure to enjoy speaking with the owners, who will help find precisely what they are looking for and even make suggestions as to what to read next. A cozy atmosphere and the smell of old books makes this one Berlin through-and-through.
Fair Exchange, 58 Dieffenbachstrasse, Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany,
Literary heaven-on-earth for children and younger readers, Mundo Azul is an amazing childrens’ bookstore offering an interesting selection of picture books. The friendly staff, as well as the warm interior design with original artworks decorating the walls mean there’s is plenty to fall in love with – even before you pick up that pop up and lose yourself in Germany’s latest childrens’ story!
Mundo Azul, 49 Choriner Strasse, Berlin, Germany,