Book Bloggers Abroad Guest Post (2) – Germany

Book Bloggers AbroadWelcome to the weekly guest post in the Book Bloggers Abroad series. Every week a book blogger from a different country will be featured who will talk about what it’s like to be a book blogger where he or she lives.

GERMANY

Our guest blogger for today is Rikki from Germany. Her book blog is called  The Bookkeeper. Her genre is mainly GLBT (which stands for “Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender”), but she reads a variety of genres. Go and have a look!

I live in Bavaria in Germany. I am married to an Englishman and live with him and our two sons (6 and 4) in Nuremberg. The area where we live is a little bit outside the old town but still in the city with lots of apartment buildings. Just around the corner from us is a large park with the river, playgrounds, jogging paths etc. So it is in the city, but still with a bit of nature attached.

Old town of Nuremberg

Old town of Nuremberg

We have lots of bookshops in the city. Below is a picture of my favourite one. It has four stories, with a coffeeshop, reading areas and an indoor playground with slide. We  also  have a large library with several branches all over the city, that I go to about every 6 weeks. Most of my books I either buy online though or swap them at a German swap site. Mainly because there are not that many English books in the shops and the selection is better online.

Bookshop

Bookshop: this is the English book section which is done up to look like a library with chimney and leather coaches

In Germany as far as the price of books is concerned it doesn’t matter where you buy your books. They are generally not that expensive (ca. 8-12 EUR for a paperback) and over here we have a thing called book price control. The price of a book has to be fixed by the publishing house and the book dealers are required to sell the books at that price. So whether you buy a bestseller at a book shop, a department store or a supermarket, it always costs the same. The only exceptions to this law are faulty books which have to be labeled as such, used books that have been sold once already at the fixed price or books that have been on the market longer than 18 months and for which the publisher has lifted that fixed price.

You will never find a book published in Germany cheaper online than in your local bookstore. For imported books, which is the majority of what I buy, this control is not applicable, so those books are rather inexpensive. Often I get an imported English book cheaper than the German version.

I have limited time for blogging, but try to blog every day nevertheless. I work four days a week and have two kids, so I usually have some free time only in the evenings. Since blogging requires reading first most of the time, I have to find a balance between reading, blogging and other hobbies.

I’m blogging mainly in English because the books I review are published in English. I mainly review GLBT books (with some other genres thrown in for good measure) and even most Germans who read GLBT books do so in English it seems (for lack of translations probably). To me it wouldn’t make any sense to blog in German.

Book shelves

Book shelves

I read outside on the balcony if I feel like it. In summer the temperatures are ideal for reading outside, not too warm or too cold. But my main reading I do before I go to sleep.

I either read in German or English. My native language is German. If I read books that were originally published in German I read them in German (exception: “The Reader” is on my TBR pile in English, simply because I preferred the English cover). If they were orignally published in English, I read in English. If they were published in another language I read them in German.

I can’t say I have a favourite German author. I have some favourite books that were written by Germans that I would recommend, but no specific author. One book in specific (and I mention that one, because I don’t think I ever mentioned it in any of my blog posts before) is by Walter Moers and is called “The 13 1/2 lives of Captain Bluebear“. It’s highly imaginative and fun. It is a book you either love or hate.

Germany Nuremberg

Click on the world for a Google Maps picture!

Thanks, Rikki for letting us have a look at your life as a reader and blogger. I like it that you have a play area in your book shop! And your town centre looks very nice!

Don’t forget to take a look at Rikki’s blog. If you have any questions or comments for Rikki, just leave them in the comments section.

Next week Bellezza from USA will be visiting us for the third Book Bloggers Abroad guest post. Don’t miss it!

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About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at bookhelpline.com. In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

15 Responses to Book Bloggers Abroad Guest Post (2) – Germany

  1. Pingback: The Bookkeeper » Book bloggers abroad

  2. Carin B. says:

    The Old Town in Nuremburg is really pretty. I also think the bookstore looks cozy. I love bookstores that do that. I think 8-12 Euros is kind of expensive for a book! I guess some paperbacks can be really nice and cost that much. Do they sell mass market paperbacks that are cheaper?

    I love this post. I really want to go to Germany someday . It looks amazing. All the pictures I’ve seen of Bavaria are gorgeous. I’m a little jealous! Hehe!

    • rikkiscraps says:

      Carin, no, there are no mass-market paperbacks over here. The quality of books is always excellent, the paper is very high quality, the covers are glossy and what not. I think the price for books is ok.

      The bookstore is awesome. I might post a few more pics I took on my blog later this week, just to show off, :-).

    • gnoegnoe says:

      LOL 8-12 euros for a book is CHEAP compared to Holland! And we’ve got a set book prize for dutch books as well, so no cheapos online.

  3. Rachie X says:

    What a lovely bookstore! Price control is a good idea. I wish we had that in Australia.

    I am heading over to have a look at your blog now 🙂

    • rikkiscraps says:

      Rachie, I suppose everybody wants what they don’t have. Over here everybody complains about the price control because book sellers can’t sell books cheaper even if they wanted to.

      On the other hand competition is all about service, which is a good thing. There probably wouldn’t be bookstores like the one above if they could simply attract more customers by selling cheaper. As it is they have to work really hard to make shopping an experience.

  4. Mystica says:

    I only wish English language books would be a bit cheaper in Sri Lanka. Right now they are exhorbitant and completely out of reach.

  5. Rikki

    How lovely is that city – the building are so sweet…

    I also love book stores where they do make an effort to make the readers comfortable.. rather than just browse, buy and then get out…

    Blogging is hard work and when you have a family it is really hard to find that balance…

    Thanks for showing us your town… and also the info on the book industry in Germany.

    E.H>

    • rikkiscraps says:

      E.H.
      I will be posting a couple more pics of the store on my blog this week. I might actually sneak in there and take more, it really is a great shop. Book shops are slowly changing over here. About 20 years ago I saw the first shop in Germany where you could actually sit and read the books. Then, some years ago, in England, I saw my first bookshop with a coffeeshop inside and thought that would be great if we had them in Germany. Took them a lonmg time though.

  6. that bookstore looks so inviting, with the fireplace and couches!

    I’m intrigued by the idea of “book price control” … there can be such a wide range of price (on the same book) here in the US, depending on where it’s purchased.

    • rikkiscraps says:

      Dawn, the book price control is good as far as book sellers can’t just raise the prices of books at will. On the other hand they can’ty lower them either, so it is a double-edged sword.

  7. gnoegnoe says:

    Hi Rikki, how nice to read about your reading life!

    Nuremberg is of course well known for its WWII trials so a book (or film) tip might be The Reader by Bernard Schlink?

    In school I had to read several German books but I can’t remember many of them (Das Siebte Kreuz, Katz und Maus). Later I read Perfume and The Dove by Patrick Süskind and I really loved those!

    • rikkiscraps says:

      I never read The Reader, but it is on my TBR pile. But honestly I am not so keen on reading books about WWII and that time.

      I totally loved Das Parfüm. That was a briliiant book. The film, even though quite good, didn’t do it justice at all. Süskind did an excellent job describing scents here. Never thought that could be done.

      • leeswammes says:

        I’m the same, Rikki. I also am not keen on reading books about WWII. However, I just yesterday finished The Reader, so a review will be up in the next few days. I only read it because I’d seen the film and then saw this book at €1 second hand. But it was nice. The film is better, somehow.

  8. Pingback: The Bookkeeper » Book locations: The bookstore

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