21 May, 2012

beautiful bookstore

We kind of have a thing for books. Along with our library, my appreciation of books themselves has grown. I began to notice how some books just feel better in your hands than others - they are just the right size, have just the right laxity to their binding, and the pages are just the right thickness. Others are admirable for the type-setting of the cover and the font of the text. Finding just the right combination of text, image, and color is certainly an art. Placing several books from the same publisher side-by-side adds a whole new dimension to book aesthetics. And of course, I never tire of finding a used book with some antique inscription on the front cover (an absolute must in my mind when gifting a book), or an old strip of newspaper stuck inside, a forgotten bookmark.

One of Ian's most exciting finds before my arrival in Freiburg was a bookstore, and I joked that when he showed me around the city all I would see was bookstores. I have in fact been to at least 5. However, the Buchhandlung zum Wetzstein is certainly worth returning to again and again. Just being inside of this bookstore feels nice. The books are tastefully arranged amongst photographs of famous authors and various small sculptures, paintings, and beautiful quotes hand-written by somebody who works there. I love this wall of colorful books. All of the same height and width, all with a different beautiful pattern that somehow is associated with the title or the subject matter, many of them classics.

If you ever are in Freiburg, please visit this place. Even if you can't read German. When you walk in at least two people will say "Guten Tag" and ask if they can help you. Don't miss the case of  facsimiles and first editions, or the back room full of signed and rare books. It's one of the few places where I have heard people say "Aufwiedersehen". When we walked out today, we each received such a lovely farewell from each of the 3 people working there. That's 6 Aufwiedersehen's, which is 24 syllables. These people love books so much that they also love all other book-lovers.

Of course, Ian has found and purchased some really great books here, including a few that he couldn't find elsewhere and they kindly ordered for him. He is already trying to figure out how he is going to get everything home and still has 2 months left!

Reading in the Biergarten -- too good to wait!

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