Kreuzberg does not lack good secondhand bookstores, but what makes Berliner Büchertisch different is that it is a registered association that gives each child a book for free! “Ein Kind, ein Buch”! As an obsessed book collector, for me, Germany’s printing history is an impressive one and this also reflects on its children’s books. From there I got some very precious children’s books printed in the very German Fraktur or Sütterlin scripts. Founded in 2004, the association supports not only Berlin kindergarten and school reading and libraries, but occasionally also foreign organizations and schools. They have also organized initiatives to help libraries in refugee organisations or prisons.
As a fan of Reclam’s little yellow books and Kauderwelsch’s pockets language guides (equivalent to Lonely Planet’s phrasebooks or Assimil’s guides de conversation), I’ve got far more than just books in German here: some Jane-Austens, a Chomsky, a Murakami in English, a Nietzsche in Turkish or a Tolstoy in French. There are also books in Italian, Latin, Spanish, and historical Old and Middle German among their collection at Büchertisch’s Kreuzberg store. A very reasonably wide range of reading and musical interests is covered, with a cozy reading place exclusively for children! The Büchertisch’s staff, who sometimes use Berlin regionalisms while talking German, are happy to receive children’s books as gifts, in all world languages!