It is a rare thing to come upon a second-hand bookstore that’s bright and airy rather than shadowy and stuffy. Not that I mind the darker, more labyrinthine Antiquariate, don’t get me wrong; in a world of dwindling bookstores I’m happy to browse any shop for literary, or just beautifully bound, old treasures.
The Bücherhalle in Schöneberg is just a very pleasant, well-kept space, where all 400 meters of books are in order, and the staff answers seemingly without blinking or thinking whether a certain book’s in stock or not. Roaming the shelves of this 5-meters-high establishment, there’s cool little books on Einstein and lovely prints and maps, but also 1970s issues of Rolling Stone, back when that still appeared on newsprint.
The section of English books is small, just a few shelves and a revolving stand of paperbacks, yet here too I found things I never even knew I desperately needed; an illustrated biography of Nobel-prizewinning poet and playwright Nelly Sachs, for instance, or a trashy tell-all memoir by the former wife of both Rex Harrison and Richard Harris (aka the original Dumbledore).
Definitely come by and take a look when you get the chance, and if you didn’t find anything you needed, try the larger selection of English books at the Oxfam bookshop down the road at number 20; and if all else fails,
I hear the Asia Markt a little further down carries the best kimchi in town. That kimchi place sadly seems to be no more, instead perhaps try Jaksch, a nearby second-hand record store on Kolonnenstrasse where none other than Nina Hagen is said to’ve bought an Iggy Pop record once, or, if you really need to hide out from a snowstorm, the Xenon across from Jaksch, a small cinema specializing in in gay-themed films.