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Are you German or living in Germany? Bookshops question?

(12 Posts)
roisin Sun 13-Jul-08 12:31:14

I want to brush up my German a bit, and whilst in Germany last week thought I would buy a couple of novels to read.

The bookshops seemed much smaller in the UK, with a limited choice, and many of the novels were translations from English. Many of the books were hardback and I thought they were all very expensive. Do they still have an NBA in Germany? There didn't seem to be any discounting going on at all.

Is reading not so popular in Germany?

Was I just in the wrong shops?

princessofpower Sun 13-Jul-08 17:38:08

Message withdrawn

Nighbynight Sun 13-Jul-08 18:32:08

You must have been in the wrong shop!
There are a lot of smaller independent bookshops, that have a more limited choice.

In Munich, Huegendubel is enormous and has everything under the sun. Prices are usually around 8-9 euros for a paperback, which is not extortionate. I am glad that the market isnt skewed by the likes of tesco offering bestsellers for 2,99.

There are a lot of translations, though. If your children were in the german school system, you might understand why - it does not encourage creativity imo.

roisin Mon 14-Jul-08 20:42:38

OK. Thanks.

emkana Mon 14-Jul-08 20:47:21

"If your children were in the german school system, you might understand why - it does not encourage creativity imo."

And how do you know that that is the reason for there being so many translated books???

Nighbynight Mon 14-Jul-08 21:29:02

sorry to have annoyed you with that comment emkana! But it's true - I went through teh british system - as soon as we could form letters (aged 5) we were writing sentences that we had made up ourselves. We regularly (every week) got blank sheets of paper and told to write a story or a poem. Or we had writing exercises like "Describe a bicycle to a medieval peasant"

dd is in yr 5 in germany - she has to write her (limited number of) essays strictly to a formula. She seems to get most of her marks for following the formula. ds2 is 8, and he has never had a blank sheet of paper and a story to write.
the difference is really marked to me, and I find the system we are in very constrained.
I'd love to see the education system encouraging home-grown creativity - but they are just wrapped up in the stress/ganztagige/homework issues round here at the moment.

annasmami Mon 14-Jul-08 21:29:41

The Hugendubel in Frankfurt is huge and sells a large selection of books, both paperback and hardback books. I have found prices to be similar to those in the UK. The other place I buy books from is - they ship to the UK for a flat fee of, I think, Euro 6.

emkana Mon 14-Jul-08 23:20:33

Nighbynight, I appreciate what you are saying there, but that's still no proof that there is a causal relationship between amount of creative writing in German schools/number of non-translated books in German bookshops.

Nighbynight Wed 16-Jul-08 16:43:10

Well, I know that Germany is much more outward-looking than Britain. But it is striking how much of the fiction is not homegrown. And it needs to come through from somewhere.

I have just discovered Thomas Mannsmilesmile

hanaflowerisnothana Wed 16-Jul-08 16:48:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

geekgirl Thu 17-Jul-08 13:17:34

germany still has the 'Buchpreisbindung' - fixed pricing for books. Is that what an NBA is?

I agree, it's v. hard to find homegrown German fiction - it's what I usually ask for as a birthday present, and seems to pose a real challenge to people. I can recommend Irina Korschunow's books for good solid fiction and a pretty easy read.

roisin Thu 17-Jul-08 22:05:02

Yes, geekgirl, that is what I suspected.
Until .. ooh.. I can't remember, maybe 15 years ago the UK had the "Net Book Agreement" which was fixed pricing.

I am going to get some books from, but might wait a while to see if the exchange rate improves a bit!

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