Although the corona restrictions have been extended by the Berlin Senate at least until 9 May and additional emergency measures (“Notbremse”) have been introduced by the federal government, bookshops remain exempt from the lockdown as they have been included in the “essential business” category. As things stand our regular opening hours apply and YOU DO NOT NEED an appointment or a negative corona test to enter the bookshop. Nonetheless, you must be wearing a FFP2 mask and maximum 4 customers are allowed inside BuchHafen simultaneously. So you might have to queue outside the bookshop with social distancing and a FFP2 mask.
BuchHafen Berlin is a small, independent bookshop which opened in Schillerkiez in 2016. The fact that we are not formally trained booksellers but rather have roots in academia (Cultural Studies and Turkology respectively) is reflected in the somewhat unique mixture of titles we are offering to booklovers. You can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee or tea as you browse through our collection which contains Turkish Literature/books on Turkey (in original as well as English and German translation), German/World Literature (mostly in German) and Anglophone Literature (mostly in English) alongside our considerable “Theory” section comprised mostly of Philosophy, Politics, Social Sciences and Humanities titles in German and English. Furthermore, we offer a limited but good selection of children’s books, general interest/coffee table books (with a special emphasis on music, film and fine arts) and graphic novels as well as used books in German, English and Turkish.
Our hope is that BuchHafen will become more than just a means for us to make a decent living. One of our explicit goals is to disseminate and popularize certain masterpieces of modern/contemporary Turkish literature. But beyond that we actually want our bookshop to become a hangout for likeminded locals, or rather for it to turn into (as its name already indicates) an inclusive and convivial haven for cultural and political exchange where some commonwealth gets collectively produced in Schillerkiez. This is why we plan to organize various events including readings, reading groups, lectures, workshops, etc. throughout the year.
We are perfectly aware that it is by reappropriating such common value created collectively by ordinary people living and working in a district – or indeed by capturing the surplus labor put into producing/reproducing urban life and commons on a daily basis by city dwellers – that the ongoing neoliberal rebranding and marketing of Berlin (as a distinctive “cool, libertarian, creative, arts and party town”) operates and in turn generates increasing trends of rampant consumerism/hipsterification, financialization/property speculation, displacement and accumulation by dispossession. So by no means are we claiming that we do not play any role in Schillerkiez’s further gentrification. What we simply hope instead is to get by whilst pursuing our passion for books and at the same time to jointly (i.e. with the aid of fellow local booklovers) devise ways of eluding (at least to an extent) such mechanisms of cooptation or exploitation-via-alienation – to salvage some modicum of surplus common if you will – in this small, cozy “book haven” of ours as we try to defend together our right to the city. In short, we want to understand better, debate and mobilize against these processes of exclusion and dislocation which we are inadvertently involved in. So by all means come pay us a visit and we can read/discuss further over a cup of coffee.