Even though e-readers are less and less of a rare sight on the U- and S-Bahn these days, actual, honest-to-goodness books are close to our heart here at Stil in Berlin. And the true value of visiting a bookseller becomes clear as soon as you walk into Dialogue‘s cozy Schönleinstrasse shop. With carefully curated shelves and, most importantly, expert (or at times even clairvoyant) advice from Nerys Hudson, Dialogue has made itself indispensable in Kreuzberg’s cultural scene.
Founded and owned by Sharmaine Lovegrove, a whirlwind of energy with years of experience in publishing, Dialogue is dedicated entirely to English-language books, its selection expanding outward from fiction into poetry, cultural studies, art, cookbooks, and more. This means there’s a little shelf for everybody (and enthusiastic tips for people looking to break out into a different shelf). What’s more, they’re especially interested in beautiful books, so those looking for gifts should definitely take a peek, or ask about Hudson‘s wonderful ‘first lines’ posters, which take a famous literary lede and translate it into gorgeous graphic design.
Yet this small space is deceptive: not only does it house an online bookstore, a literary agency, and other cultural enterprises, Dialogue also organizes regular events and reading groups, here and at Soho House (singlehandedly raising that establishment’s IQ by leaps and bounds). Now, reading may be a uniquely solitary activity, but literature need not be; the best books get even better when they’re shared, discussed, and read again.