If you’re on one of those new-fangled Kindle gadgets, this post is not for you. I’m an old school book lover, and lucky for me, Germany is old school in just about everything. (See exhibit A: cash-based society) If you’re into stocking up on ye auld paperbacks, here are some of my favorite cozy English bookstores in Berlin.
7 Cozy English bookstores in Berlin
Shakespeare and Sons
Books and bagels, what more can an American abroad ask for? Half bookshop, half bakery, Shakespeare and Sons has a great selection of contemporary titles. It also does a massive annual sale in January, with 20% off everything and 50% off select titles. That leaves you with more cash for bagels, which are some of the best in Berlin, in my humble opinion.
Dussmann das KulturKaufhaus
I’d wandered past the gigantic Dussmann das KulturKaufhaus (Germany’s answer to Borders Books and Music) many a time without realizing what a treasure trove of international books it housed inside. They have a two-story corner nook of the megastore just for English language books—one floor for YA and non-fiction, and one floor for fiction. And families can find international children’s books tucked into another nearby nook. It’s also the perfect spot to grab culture-themed gifts, like funny totes, cute plants, and charming tea tins. Downstairs is a massive papeterie station, with high-quality drawing paper, wrapping paper, and notebooks of all sizes. It might feel more corporate, but as an American, there’s something very familiar and comforting about it.
The Curious Fox
The Curious Fox is billed as the largest selection of new and used English books in Neukölln. But it’s also literary community hub. They feature a monthly rotation of literary events, including poetry reading, quiz nights, and book club.
Selling new, used, and rare books, St. George’s is a cozy little shop near the Winsviertal. As the name suggests, they’ve got plenty of Catholic leaning texts. But they also stock the bookshelf bread and butter titles your Berlin life is missing: local poetry, NY Times Book Review favorites, thrillers, and classics. And if you’re looking for a particular title, they can order it for you to have by the next day. Take that Amazon.
Hundt Hammer Stein Buchhändler
Tucked into a sidestreet in bustling Mitte, Hundt Hammer Stein Buchhändler is a German bookshop offering a solid international selection. Expect to find kids’ books, new fiction, and trending non-fiction in a charming, well-lit space.
Another Country functions as a bookshop-cum-library, allowing patrons to purchase titles for the price of a book, with the option to subtract 1.50euro if they choose to return the book after. Like The Curious Fox, Another Country also offers a wide range of different events, which are promoted through their Facebook page.
Hopscotch Reading Room
Located on Kurfürstendamm, Hopscotch Reading Room is a hodge-podgey reading room and shop. Dedicated to “building connections between books and book, books and people, and people and people”, you’ll find plenty of lit-themed events here. If you want a quieter experience, simply pull up a chair and get cozy in any of the light-filled corners.
If you work in an international office, I also suggest starting a share shelf. We set one up in our office, allowing expat bookworms to trade titles and sparking all kinds of interesting kitchen convos.
Most of the Berlin libraries also have English language books, but one of the best selections can be found at the Gedenkbibliothek at Hallescher Tor. Other libraries cater more towards fiction, with non-fiction being a bit tricky to come by.
Happy reading, all!
I know about 3 of the shops you mention and like them a lot, too. The other ones were (partly) new to me, so thanks! My fave of the moment is Curious Fox – I’m glad they’re still surviving despite CoVID lockdowns… /kb