by Salwa Benaissa
Christmas is as good a time of a year as any to present a roundup of our favourite bookshops in Berlin but the truth is, indie bookshops are the lifeblood of our writing community no matter the season. Not only do they supply us with endless amounts of amazing reads and host wonderful events in their spaces throughout the year, they are also the hubs around which our local literary scene revolves.
The following round-up is by no means an exhaustive list — we’re sure we missed some great ones — but it’s a good start if you’re on the lookout for English books from incredibly well-read and friendly booksellers, and to get acquainted with our local reader and writer community. Whether you are living in Berlin or just visiting, be sure to pop by one (or all) of them and support their great work by buying as many books as you can carry.
Another Country: With over 20,000+ used books to choose from, there’s no shortage of second-hand English books at Another Country in Bergmannkiez, along with plenty of armchairs to recline on while you browse. Don’t miss their Friday night dinners!
Buchhafen: The excellent Buchhafen in Neukölln offers a unique mixture of new English-language books including both classics and recent releases, as well as some German, Turkish, and international titles.
Pequod: Pequod in Neukölln has an incredible curation of books on offer in more than 15 different languages including Danish, German, English, French, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Spanish, Turkish, and Czech.
Curious Fox: A staple of the local literary community, Curious Fox in Neukölln is well-stocked with a hand-picked selection of new and second-hand English books across most genres. They also host great quiz nights and a superb poetry event on the first Tuesday of every month.
Buch Bund: Buch Bund in Neukölln is a super cosy bookstore specialising in new Polish, German and English books. They also have a lovely café area where you can enjoy tea or coffee among the bookshelves.
Book Nook: Don’t be fooled by the modest size of Book Nook, a wonderful little shop in Neukölln that sells second-hand English language books (including a good selection of LGBTQI titles) and where you’ll be sure to find something unexpected.
Marga Schoeller: Marga Schoeller in Charlottenburg is now at the end of its 90th year as a community bookstore and offers over a million titles – mainly German but with a strong selection of English-language books. Take your Christmas list with you, as in most cases they can order specific titles for next-day delivery.
St. Georges: If you’re in Prenzlauer Berg, don’t miss St. George’s, which sells new and used books in English. Word has it they’ll also quick to order anything they don’t have in stock.
Hopscotch Reading Room: This lovely venue in Wedding is a real gem of a place. Known for its varied events programme, the bookstore also offers a truly unique selection of books in every genre including Art, Fiction, History, Poetry & Theory.
Interkontinental: Located in Friedrichshain, Interkontinental is the kind of place you visit with cash in your pocket. Why? Because if you take your bank card, you risk bankrupting yourself. Offering a simply mouth-watering selection of books, with a focus on African, diaspora and feminist authors, the team here also organise Berlin’s African Books Festival. Pure browsing heaven!