Bookshops in Berlin
23th of April, Sant Jordi in Barcelona! I can’t wait to walk through Rambla Catalunya, arrive to Plaça Catalunya and keep wandering through Las Ramblas. Yes, today I’m in the city where I was born and for me, as for Catalan people, today is a very special day because roses and books have fill up the streets! Of course I’ll take some pictures and we’ll write about it soon. But by now today’s post is about books. Well, about three bookshops we love in Berlin. Enjoy!
Buchhandlung Walther König
Buchhandlung Walther König is a library located next to Hackescher Markt. It looks quite serious from the outside, where you can read “Architektur, Design, Kunst, Fotografie” (Architecture, Design, Art, Photography), the kind of books they sell. But I’d say it’s more than that.
Opened in 2007, this library has bookshelves filled up from the floor to the roof. But you don’t feel overwhelmed at all, because you can see the cover of many of them. The shop is quite big, there must be thousands of books in it! Books about philosophy, sociology, feminism, music, cinema, photography, design, graphic design, advertising, fashion, history, art history, art theory, architecture,… And they have a fantastic collection of magazines, which are not only German but also American, English or Japanese, among others. Here you can buy Dazed and Confused, Vogue International, Dash Magazine, Corduroy, L’Officiel, Industrie, Misc, Habitus, Damn, Aesthetica, Spike, Art Review, Elephant, Flash Art, Spex,…
One of the books that I drew my attention to was “100 Artists’ Manifestos: From Futurists to the Stuckists”. They had many books of Taschen that I would have bought with my eyes closed too. There were books from other German publishing houses such as Reclam, Merve, Suhrkamp; which had a cool minimalist design of their covers.
The atmosphere in the bookshop is quite and calm. There were people that were just looking around, a mother with her child reading, a couple of old people asking for an specific book,… And the employees were absolutely nice.
If you have the chance, you shouldn’t miss this shop at all. I’m sure you would find some book you would like to buy.
Do You Read Me
You can find Do You Read Me in two locals in Berlin: one in Mitte and another one in Tiergarten. This last one has a special space dedicated to read, the Reading Room. We got to know this bookshop because Freunde von Freunden launch there their book.
As it’s said on their website, Do You Read Me has “Magazine und Lektüre der Gegenwart”(Actual Magazines and Readings). So here you can find a first-rate collection of magazines from many different places and about many different themes. Naturally all of them have something in common: they are cool, so cool. Encens, Inventory, The Gentlewoman, Mark, It’s Nice That, Milk, Muse, Candy, Wonderland, Indie, Et Alors?, Frankie, V, Dansk, Fantastic Man, Apartamento,… these are some of the names you’ll find there.
But it’s not only about magazines, they have an excellent selection of books concerning photography, food, branding, architecture, interior design, decoration, urban spaces, etc. The book I would have bought is “Typography in Magazines”, by Laura Meseguer. It just seemed to be so fascinating!
The interior design of the both shops is kind of minimalist and modern. You can feel they’ve taken care of the lighting and the colours of the walls. It’s an outstanding shop. Nevertheless, they could be a little bit more friendly with their customers. Or at least that’s the impression we’ve got every time we’ve been there.
Pro QM is another captivating bookshop in Berlin. Located next to Rosa-Luxemburg Platz, it’s a “Thematische Buchhandlung zu Stadt, Politik, Pop, Ökonomiekritik, Architektur, Design, Kunst und Theorie” (A Thematic Bookshop About City, Politics, Pop, Ecomomy Critics, Architecture, Design, Art and Theory).
It seems to be a library where you go because you’re looking for a specific book, author or theme; because it’s quite technical. There aren’t big spaces and most of the bookshelves start on your feet and end in the roof too, but in this case it’s a little bit overwhelming. You feel completely surrounded by books. Needless to say, a part from the books they have a magnificent selection of magazines too: Fantastic Man, Apartamento, Der Wedding, Monu, Dérive, Condition, Domus,…
Here I would have bought a book called “The First To Know”, by Lida Hujić.
Everytime we’ve been in Pro QM, the music was on. It was kind of relaxing. There were some people reading magazines, others just looking around and many asking for something in particular. The guy from the shop was totally friendly to them and us.
Text and pictures by Silvia Conde.