Berlin revels in its brainy reputation. A center of intellectual discussion. A place for debate. A literary capital.
So it makes sense that the city is full of bookshops. Berlin has quirky little shops that offer rare editions and sleek modern stores with top-tier readings. While most bookstores cater to a German clientele, it also suits an international crowd.
While many bookstores have foreign-language books from English to French to Spanish to Turkish and can order special requests, English bookshops in Berlin offer the best selection. Here is an extensive list of the best English-language bookstores in Berlin.
Shakespeare & Sons is less the stiff English shop its name indicates and more a Bohemian book-lovers' dream. There are stacks of Eastern European literature in English, one of the best French-language sections and plenty of philosophy books to keep visitors scratching their head over brainy debates. Refer to Shakespeare & Sons' events calendar for readings and concerts.
Almost as enticing as its book selection is its well-stocked cafe. They serve bagels, delectable cakes and coffee in the laid-back atmosphere. You'll be able to visit for breakfast.
The eclectic store and its owner, British expat Sophie Raphaeline, have an almost cult following. People gather here for everything from concerts to quiz nights.
Along with shelves and shelves of English-language books, the shop features a unique borrowing system. This allows readers to buy a book and return it when they are done for a €1.50 reading fee. Genius!
This charming English-bookshop for children and adults was opened by two Irish expats. It has the largest selection of new and used English books in Neukölln plus stationery and gifts. While you browse, strike up a conversation and partake in the complimentary cake and cup of tea.
Founded by a graphic designer and a professional bookseller, "Do You Read Me!?" is a stylish marriage of the two fields. They stock international magazines, art books, obscure zines and regular old books focusing on art, culture and fashion. If you're having trouble locating what you like, the knowledgeable staff can provide advice and recommendations. And if you're not in the area, there are several satellite shops.
One of the few big chains to make the list, Dussman's off of Friedrichstraße has 50,000 books in 11 languages. This location's considerable English section includes fiction and non-fiction, DVDs, children's books, calendars and trinkets.
To find the English section, walk into the massive store and walk to the back, take a right at the sphinx and into the English bookshop (past the piece of the Berlin Wall signed by American president Ronald Reagen).
Other large bookstore chains that can be found in most malls and satisfy your English-book lust are Thalia and Hugendubel. Both offer at least a few new novels, classics, thrillers, non-fiction (often Berlin-based) and travel guides.
Marga Schoeller Bücherstube is one of the best sites in the city for new English titles, particularly in non-fiction.
While you are reading about the world, take a moment to appreciate the history of this shop. Marga Schoeller opened the Bücherstube in 1929 and it became a star of West Berlin’s literary scene, even though Frau Schoeller refused to sell Nazi literature. After World War II, the Allies gave her a license to sell English books and the bookshop became one of the best English-Language Bookstores in Berlin. The shop, once located in Ku'damm, is now in Charlottenburg.
This quirky hold-out from the gentrification of Hackescher Markt (along with places like Kino Central and Museum Blindenwerkstatt Otto Weidt) must be sought out above the crowds and up a graffitied staircase.
People often look a little lost wandering among the colorful comics, graphic novels, avant-garde prints, small print runs and philosophy books. But the products speak for themselves and most people stay and browse a while. If you continue to the back, there is an art gallery where you can extend your stay.
Often voted the best bookshop for English-language second-hand books in Berlin, this cozy store has an impressive collection. The English owners take pride in their hand-picked selections and still travel back to London to add to their treasury.
Located near Kollwitzplatz, the shop is tidy and comfortable, allowing shoppers to browse, lounge and become readers of the more than 30,000 books on offer. Saint George's specializes in hard-to-find, rare and out-of-print collections (and also provides express ordering). Foreign magazines like The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, the London Review of Books, and n+1 can also be perused and purchased.
Have more books than cash? The shop buys back used books and takes trade-ins for credit.
Billing itself as "not just another bookstore", this modern shop and café has over 2 million titles and over 300,000 digital products. Just off Volkspark am Weinberg, this stylish space has an excellent English-language section for children and adults near the back.