Right next to where David Bowie once lived, Schönenberg’s main street’s secondhand bookstore Bücherhalle is a must-see for those who are visiting this heart of legendary West Berlin. Just as its beautiful and regularly-changing thematic display windows and golden entrance, one of the shop keepers, the lady always greets clients with elegant regionalisms in German and very often gives me discounts. Proudly open during the corona voluntary lockdown, Bücherhalle’s Schaufenster (shop windows) is always a trendy reference to the past: when toilet papers were completely out of stock everywhere, they were selling bourgeois toilet papers printed with literary quotes from the beginning of the twentieth century, for only 280 euros!
So that is why Bücherhalle is just a beautiful landscape. And not only is its appearance attractive, but also its variety of books – one of the biggest in Berlin. Nazi military maps for their Paris operations, jihadist poetry or the often available Foucault are just to show how rich their collection is. Of course, one of my favorites, German and dialectal fairy tales, are among the many loves of mine there. This is how I discovered the Germans’ romantic side through books. Once I even found a cat hair in a one-century-old book. English and French books have their own sections, and books in other languages like Arabic, Chinese or Hindi are also occasionally seen. A partial selection from Antiquariat Schwarz is also present at Bücherhalle.