(I was waiting until I’d visited a few more bookshops, but I’ve been distracted with writing applications, and know it might be a few more days (weeks) before I continue this with requisite zeal. So, like my visits to u-bahns, here’s unfinished visits to bookstores in Berlin.)
Some days I go for a long walk, with not so much in mind, but perhaps to find some bookshops also, and… many to be found. It’s a joy to visit so many houses with shelves of books, to not be starved for literature, and to feel, perhaps I am somewhere that reading is taken more for pleasure.
My first day of buch suchen took me west to somewhere around Ku’damm to Marga Schoeller Bücherstube, which is going to remain one of my favourites, shelves of politics and philosophy, I almost spent quite a bit, but… didn’t, like it’s depraved to leave such a place without some additional pages in my bag.
Nearby, a walk really, is Prinz Eisenherz Buchladen, where I’ve been before, queer, gay, dyke, trans*, porn, magazines. And yes, I’ve walked away with a heavier bag on a couple of occasions.
Another day, on my walk through south Kreuzberg, through parts of town soon to be my home, I stumbled into Fair Exchange Bücher, a whole room I remember for the travelogues. Near to there, mmm… near-ish is Another Country English Language Bookshop, also second hand books, masses of fiction, crime, science-fiction, like someone’s overenthusiastic library got out of hand and took over the entire apartment.
I think my utter love though goes to Pro qm Buchhandlung mmm… philosophy, stadt theorie, politics, gender, film film film, architecture, oh I had so much fun there and could easily be broke, destitute in Kottbussertor with excess luggage from this place alone.
Close to where I’m living for the moment is St Georges Bookshop, more fiction, a feminism section comprised largely of 2nd wave ‘Womens Press’ publications, compulsory reading 20 years ago and now as quaint and ideologically disturbing as a Trotskyite-Maoist Permanent Revolution newspaper. Gender studies, far more accessible beneath, yes, more philosophy, politics, and… mmm why is Hanna Arendt in none of these shops? A table of Adorno, the Frankfurt Group, Deleuze… mmm…
A long way east, between Frankfurterallee and Tor, in this part of town I feel pulled towards, and walked through squats and flags from balconies “Spreeufer Für Alle”, is East of Eden International Bookshop, old books in cloth and hardback, walls of modern fiction, crime, sci-fi, oh a whole section on mountaineering adventurers and people getting lost in remote places, next to the section on trains and steam engines.
Two in Oranienstr, Buchladen OH21, a window with “Drag Kings of Berlin” or something close enough to make me nervous with excitement to go inside, and some doors west, gallery, bookshop, also political and of course I felt at home the moment I wandered past the walls of bicycles outside, NGBK – Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst.
And north again, Kastanienallee, I stumbled into Buchladen Schwarze Risse, and promptly got lost in some brick-sized queer feminist theory reader.
mmm… books… more to find yet, unvisited and known, or altogether unknown, to seek, to find. (Oh some of these weren’t entirely or really more than occasionally English in their content, so I learn to read German.)