These surely aren’t the easiest of times for bookstores, though it didn’t look like it when I stopped by to take some pictures on a Monday morning at 11am. Visiting Mediterraneans were shopping for Hornby and Coupland, an academic on her way back home to the States was parting with her gorgeous Ottolenghi cookbook, and I, unable to help myself, bought a respectable stack of Lispector, Nothomb, and Lydia Davis. As the phone rang off its hook, orders were taken, and customers directed to relevant shelves, one girl just curled up on the old couch, deep inside a book the cover of which she was keeping to herself.
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 end of print” was predicted countless times and with the development of eBook readers this end seems to be irreversible. Can we think beyond the traditional form of the book in the age of web 2.0 and find a new form that stands the test against the endless digital memory capacity? Anja Lutz and Axel Lapp founded “The Green Box” publishing house to accept this challenge and present artist’s books, that are unparalleled in their inticrate bond of design and content. We met them in their offices in Prenzlauer Berg to talk about their program and the future of print. Unfortunately, this interview is as yet only available in German.