BERLIN STORY (A Berlin Bookshop)

A couple of weeks ago ago I talked about a book called The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell which, in my opinion, is a must-read for every book lover out there!
Some of my my favourite shops I’ve listed in the mentioned post, and everytime I go somewhere new I take this book with me hoping Jen knows a place for me to go. And she nearly always does. (Isn’t that very lovely of her!)

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In May my mum and I went to Berlin for a short holiday, and it was pure awesomeness! The weather was gorgeous, we went out for brunch everyday and I ate more chocolate than I could digest. The bookshop Jen Campbell mentioned in her book is called BERLIN STORY. It’s a store dedicated to books about or set in Berlin. It is located very close to the Brandenburger Tor, so it’s hard to miss if you’re going along the tourist route.

The store, however does not have a very bookish atmosphere to it; it also sells a big variety of souvenirs, so it’s really more of a tourist shopping attraction. However, it’s definitely a go-to place if you’re looking for literature on Berlin.

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Berlin is one of my favourite places on earth, mainly because so much has happened to and in this city, and it’s still standing strong. It has been the center of German social and political life for centuries now; every important person in history has visited at least once, every story told is unique. There used to be a wall separating families and friends and lovers, and in the end they didn’t tear it down – they used it as a gallery and they sell ist pieces to tourists. There is so much life to Berlin. Like a wallflower desperately blooming in the shade and growing through cement. I don’t know how anyone can not love it.

BERLIN STORY is a fine representation of what the city itself holds. There’s autobiographies from people who had breakfast with Prussian Emperors over Jewish women who tried to hold their families together during the Nazi regime, up to modern-day fathers who describe their everyday life putting up with sodding toddlers in the roaring city of Berlin. There’s crime, romance, YA novels, guide books, photography bibles, history books – it’s everything that makes Berlin. It’s the past and the present, it’s the drug-dealing children at the Bahnhof Zoo and the man who lives with a communist kanguruh – it’s everything, and there’s a lot of it.

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I could tell you endless stories about Berlin – Döner tours, attempting to drown a friend in a fountain and having ice cream at midnight with Anna… but for tonight I’ll leave you with this one. The BERlN STORY, if you so will.

What is your favourite city? And is there a favourite bookshop of yours?

Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx

Sexy Books: The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a history student who has to prepare not one but THREE presentations for the week to come must be in want of procrastination! So instead of hitting the books I’m going to HIT THE BOOKS! (pun intended!)

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There is this book I’ve been meaning to talk about for, like, ever because it is beautiful and wondrous and magical. It’s The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell. I didn’t even need the blurb to fall in love with it, the mere idea of a book about bookstores sounded appealing to me, and I didn’t care whether it was a novel or a manga comic or a documentary – I JUST NEEDED THAT!

«Every bookshop has a story.
We’re talking about bookshops in barns, disused factories, converted churches and underground car parks. Bookshops on boats, on buses and in old run-down railway stations.
From the oldest bookshop in the world, to the smallest you could imagine, The Bookshop Book explores the history of books, talkst o authors about their favourite places, and looks at more than three hundred weirdly wonderful bookshops across six continents. (Sadly, we’ve yet to build a bookshop down in the South Pole).
This book is a love letter to bookshops all around the world.»

I bought this book last year on Valentine’s Day, and I  even had it gift wrapped at the store. Put  that way it sounds so much sadder than it really is  – I unwrapped it that night while stuffing myself with Chocolate and watching Friends, and it was THE BEST NIGHT EVER! I’m not even kidding, I ended up reading until, like, 1 in the morning, and it hasn’t left my bedside table since.

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The author doesn’t just list bookshops from different countries, she writes about the story behind each store and the owners. It’s not only interesting, it’s also strangely touching, I actually cried a number of times out of happiness that people still found bookshops. (I have literally no control over my tears!).  But there’s more: The book also contains interviews with authors and bookish facts (like the fact that Wendy used to be a boy’s name) and double pages labelled with Some Wonderful Things. IT’S A FRIGGIN´ TREASURE CHEST OF BEAUTIFULNESS!

This book also serves as a super cool travel guide. Searching for bookshops wherever you go, takes you on a tiny adventure into parts of a town you might not otherwise discover. (apologies to Inga who was being dragged all the way across Edinburgh last year, just to find the place where J.K. Rowling once shopped!) So far, The Bookshop Book has not let me down, and just for the hell of it, I thought I´d tell you about my four favourite bookshops so far:

Daunt Books, London

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«After quitting his job and considering his main interests in life (reading and travelling), he [James Daunt] founded Daunt Books and opened their first branch in 1990. […] My favorite part of the bookshop in the Marylebone branch is downstairs, where they’ve arranged translated novels and poetry collections by country of origin.»

The Edinburgh Bookshop, Edinburgh

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«I soon learned that parents would leave their children in the shop and disappear across the road to Tesco; that toddlers thought themselves ninjas and would try to climb the shelves; that middle-aged women would break down in tears if we didn’t have the latest Twilight book in stock. This is all part of the job.»

P & G Wells, Winchester

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«P&G Wells is the oldest bookshop in the UK still trading. In fact, receipts have been found dating back to 1729, detailing the local college’s purchases of a latin grammar book (9d), paper (4d), an article book (3d) and an inkhorn (4d). Only half the bill was paid, which seems to have been common practice back then, and made it very difficult for retail business to stay afloat: almost everything was paid on account.»

Mr. B´s Emporium of Reading Delights, Bath

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«Nic Bottomley and his wife Juliette were lawyers in London and Prague. On their honeymoon, they talked about what they wanted to do in the future and, both being book-lovers, both a little sick of law, they decided to open a bookshop.»

In just over a week I will have a look at Jen Campbell’s favourite bookshop in Berlin: Berlin Story! If it is as amazing as The Bookshop Book promises (and I have no doubt that it will be), I will, of course, dedicate a blog post to my shopping experience!

Let’s not forget that Jen Campbell also has her own Youtube channel, and her videos are pure lovelines! Go, check it out!

What is your favourite bookshop?

Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx