Book trip in Rostock

I love books, and especially buying them. I also love reading, but it doesn’t feel the same as bringing a new possession to home, removing the sticker and putting it on the shelves with its others siblings. I love spending money that I don’t especially have, which is quite problematic, but my happiness is more important to me than the amount of money in my bank account. I arrived in Rostock with approximately 25 books. I am now the happy owner of more than 50 books, and more to come. My excuse is that I needed to fill my shelves, and they are gorgeous right now, organized by language, theme, and size. Unfortunately, when I move back to France, FedEx is going to be very rich with all the packages I will have to send home. But that is another topic for another time.

So I’ll now take you on a book trip to my favorite bookstores in Rostock. Even though the city is not that big, you can really find any kind of books you like. The little tour will be oriented towards my taste, but I am sure the bookshops in Rostock can satisfy any preference. I usually read in English, French and German, which allows me to pick up books from France, Austria, the US, the UK and so on! Everything is possible. However, don’t expect to find books in French in Rostock: I had to buy these when I went home for Christmas. I like to either relax while reading, or learn things about feminism. Which is something complicated because novels are easier to read, and I don’t need to be in a particular mood to enjoy them. However, essays can sometimes be challenging: you need to concentrate to really capture the meaning of certain sentences or theories. I really love them, but I cannot read them as much as novels, which makes me sad sometimes, but I get to mix it up sometimes! That’s why I will take you on a tour of the shops where you can find cute queer romances and engaged essays.

Let’s go!

My number one weakness in Rostock is Thalia . This is a big book company, they even have shops all over Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. You can find a huge selection of books (almost everything you can think of) but also board games, school furniture (pens, paper..),  and even socks. In Rostock, they have two different shops on Kröpeliner Street, one for the university (but you can find everything non-uni-related, too) and another one in the mall right next to the Kröpeliner Tor. I always like to check both because the selection varies a little. When I want to buy queer romance, I always head there. I usually buy them in English because I love to read in English but I also tell myself that they are more expensive in France so I have to buy them in Germany. There you can find romance from €10 to €20. I only buy the most expensive one if I heard about it, and if I still have some money from  my  monthly scholarship. With the month of June coming, Pride Month (link) to be exact, they created a table (in the mall shop) with queer literature. I was really happy to see this, even though we know that there is always a degree of rainbow washing (link) involved. Again, the books are cheap, and they also have queer books available throughout the whole year so they can be excused them. I arrived in Germany with a lot of engaged literature or non-fiction books, it’s almost June and I haven’t read all of them… I’ll try and finish them before moving back to France. But in your case you can also find engaged or  non-fiction books about all kind of subjects like racism, feminism, even covid.

My second and last weakness I’ll mention is a library called “Andere Buchhandlung” (the other bookshop). This one independent and not part of a big company (we’re not fond really fond of capitalism in this house and try and support smaller businesses), which is nice. I usually try to avoid big companies like Thalia, but sometimes the price is too attractive for my constrictive student budget. This bookshop is smaller than Thalia, but they also have a large and diverse selection of literature (political, fantasy, young adult, kids…). They have some books in English, that is why I would rather go to Thalia or help and support an independent bookstore by ordering the books directly from them. But if you want to read in German, you’ll find everything you want. My favorite shelves and table stand in the middle of the shop: feminism and queer literature. They have a table dedicated to feminism and shelves for queer books. I like to treat myself with books from this shop because I feel like my German is getting better and being able to read in German is a flex. The prices are higher ? my lesbian romance book cost me €16 and my essay on transsexuality around €15. These are the prices for books in English in my independent bookshop in France, so it is not that bad. You can discover books that are less well-known and I feel like books written in English are everywhere and translated a lot, which is not bad, if you want to discover another point of view from another country. I really recommend reading books written by native speakers. I know translations are really important because being bilingual or even trilingual is a huge privilege, but reading in the language in which the book was conceived can allow you to really understand the cultural background and mindsets of the author. Indeed, translations sometimes alter the way the book was written because the translators always have to make choice to be able to make the texts idiomatic in the target language. That is how I like to read, but I am not judging anyone. Do whatever you want and just enjoy your books!

I know there are other bookstores, but when I find good ones, I almost embed myself in them, which makes it hard to visit others. There is a bookstore on Kröpeliner Street that looks like Thalia and is also part of a chain: Hugendubel. I ordered a textbook on their website in October, but in the end, I didn’t need it, so I never picked it up. I couldn’t cancel the order, that is why it is not really my fault. But I still feel like a criminal, indeed, I am, to this day, still too scared to step into the bookshop in case they apprehend me. A friend of mine told me that they have a lot of sales, with books for a little as €4 sometimes, you should maybe check that one out if your budget is tight.

I you want to discover other bookshops I recommend checking this website that ranks the 10 best bookshops in Rostock. Have fun buying books in Rostock and its surroundings!

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About Jehanne's Erasmus in Rostock

Hey! I'm Jehanne and I moved to Rostock last September. I am here for my Erasmus and I would love to share my life in this city and region with you. About me: I study languages: German and English. It is my last year of Bachelor. I love to go out and discover the city alone or with my friends. I love thrift shopping and book shopping. I also like to crochet, saw and embroider. During spring and summer I usually spend my time with a ball of yarn, a book and my sawing machine, but this year it is different because the semester ends in July! That means I will have to study and write blogs! Which is also nice. :)

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