Is it a bookshop, a library or a café? The normal bookshop in the basement is transformed into a veritable world of books over three floors. It is the only one of its kind in Berlin. Whereas in most bookshops the endless search for somewhere to sit and peruse your chosen pages is unsuccessful, customers in Hugendubel at Tauentzien can choose their reading spot depending on their mood – is it work or browsing that they are after?
The choice is a small table with a lamp and a view over lively Tauentzien Straße, the well-padded seats in a reading area, or the bistro corner with newspapers and coffee.
The primal fear of coffee being spilled on books doesn’t seem to exist, and even children are not considered a nuisance here. Instead, they have their own corner in which to lounge, read and play.
At Hugendubel, the boundaries between bookshop, library and cafe, between purchasing, studying and spending time, are fluid. Whole stacks of books can be pored over and studied on the spot. This civilised approach to reading material, introduced in 1997, is unmatched in Berlin, even amongst other Hugendubel branches. It is an inspiring service and an unconventional way of selling books that one hopes will set a precedent.