Editor’s Note: The Munich Readery Tour: An Appreciation is the first of a series of literary and appreciation pieces from our newest MunichNOW contributor, Lili. A local writer and blogger, Lili takes a look a The Munich Readery, a special place for English-language readers here in Munich.
What a whimsical and cozy used bookstore located in Munich! Walking in this bookstore felt like coming home to me. It was everything I have been missing from home: being surrounded by books, used books, and a cozy browsing experience.
Why used books?
Used books have a special place in my heart. To me, they represent two stories in one. There are the printed words, the cover, and the back synopsis. They make up the content of the book, the appearance, and the initial moments of the love affair.
But what is hidden in used book is a second story: the very beating heart of the book. The outsides draw us in, but the true love comes with the feel of the pages, the rustling when we turn in anticipation, and the satisfaction when we close the book.
Co-owner and author Lisa Yarger reads from her newest book, “Lovie” … munichFOTOThese books tell another different story, the story of past, present, and future. They represent the tender embraces of their past owners and lovers. With their creases, their stains, their broken backs, their pages tell another story. By picking up a used book, we are participating in this history.
Our present writes the next record for the future reader. It is almost like writing in a secret code upon its pages, layers of palimpsest, to be recorded and analyzed in the future. It is more than the words on their pages. The very fiber of a book, the pulse within is represented by the used book.
The Store Itself
There is a huge and wide selection inside. It is clear that this store was created by book lovers, as each section is organized and tidy. There is no mess or fuss, straight books. The shelves almost hypnotize you and you can truly get lost within here. Part of the joy of used books is the search. To score you need a combination of luck and determination. If you seek, you will find your next great read and companion.
So come with time and motivation. I scoured the shelves and found many books I wanted to take home and a few of them made it onto my personal shelves. As you can tell from the photos, the sheer size and selection of titles can be overwhelming. My advice? Be prepared. Divide and conquer. A true friend requires time and patience. If you need to take a moment, pick one off the shelf and read the back cover. There are plenty of comfy chairs scattered around the store, and you won’t be bothered.
I do not know what else I can say about this bookstore, except that you need to see it to believe it. It is a true gem for residents and visitors alike. I know I will be spending hours upon hours here (as you can see their Amy Tan selection is quite good, so that shelf has my name written on it).
Additionally, you can sell your The Munich Readery books back and receive a portion of their original price as credit for your next book. Considering that, these books are a steal! I love that they really encourage you to read and the staff is extremely knowledgeable.
My discovery of The Munich Readery was love at first sight. It is going to be my little oasis in this German city. My refuge and escape. I highly recommend this bookstore as I believe there is something for everyone.
But the only way you can really know is to go and explore for yourself. So take a spin and visit Augustenstrasse 104 off the U2 line and do yourself a favor. I am so glad I made the time to visit, as I will never regret it.
If you go:
The Munich Readery
English Secondhand Bookshop
49 (0) 89 121 92 403
bookmanjb (at) readery.de