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Booksellers , in today's parlance owner or an employee in the book retail, is an after the German Vocational Training Act recognized (Vocational Training Act) training occupation .

job profile

Bookseller in Algiers .

The main areas of work are buying, selling and presenting books and other media as well as providing intensive advice to customers, for example in a bookstore or an antiquarian bookshop . This includes research in computer-aided information systems, in catalogs and special booksellers' directories. In addition to a friendly and customer-oriented demeanor, broad general knowledge is required in consultation and sales talks.

In order to be able to advise customers competently, the bookseller should have a quick grasp that enables him to grasp the content and reviews of books quickly. In addition to commercial thinking, controlling and managing inventory requires a feeling for customer needs and trends. In an industry that does not compete on price because of fixed book prices (except in Switzerland) , an important part of the skills is the development of marketing concepts. This includes the attractive presentation in the store and in the shop window, as well as the organization of readings and other advertising measures.


El Ateneo Bookstore in Buenos Aires, Argentina

A requirement for vocational training as a bookseller is usually at least a secondary school diploma . However, most of the trainees have a high school diploma .

The training to become a bookseller takes three years; it can be shortened by half a year with a secondary school leaving certificate and by half a year or a year with the Abitur, depending on the federal state. According to the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels , there were around 2,700 apprenticeships for booksellers in 2006. The examination at the end of the training is carried out by an IHK examination board .

The classic bookseller in the retail trade is more precisely called a bookseller , since training as a bookseller is also possible with a focus on antiquarian bookstores ( antiquarian booksellers ) , publishing houses ( publishing booksellers ) and in music shops ( music dealers ) .

In-company training is supplemented by teaching in specialist book trade classes at public vocational schools or in the branch's own German book trade school (Frankfurt-Seckbach).

For managers in the book trade , Mediacampus Frankfurt offers the book trade specialist course (IHK) . The formal goals of this advanced training are to pass the trainer aptitude test and the book trade specialist exam.

The remuneration during the training

Booksellers are trained in bookstores, publishers, second-hand bookshops or music shops. In-company training is free of charge for trainees. However, depending on the location of the vocational school, travel costs and costs for off-site accommodation may arise for vocational school lessons. The Employment Agency provides information on funding opportunities for trainees and course participants.

The trainees receive a monthly training allowance from the company, the amount of which is determined in a collective agreement and which varies from state to state. According to calculations by the Federal Employment Agency, the average for the training occupation “bookseller” was :

Old federal states
1st year of training: € 650
2nd year of training: € 716
3rd year of training: € 788
New federal states

1st year of training: € 482

2nd year of training: € 535

3rd year of training: € 573


Well-known booksellers

The Nuremberg bookseller Johann Philipp Palm was executed in Braunau am Inn on August 26, 1806 for spreading the polemic Germany in his deep humiliation .

Furthermore, Heinrich Böll , Hermann Hesse , Heinrich Mann , Johannes Rau , Jochen Malmsheimer , Günter Wallraff and Martin Schulz began an apprenticeship as a book trade, which Wallraff, Rau and Schulz completed and also became booksellers.

Well-known examples from recent times are the pop singer Christina Stürmer , the cabaret artist Thomas Maurer , and the author Antje Rávic Strubel .

Display with current bestsellers

Honorary title

Like other handicraft businesses, important booksellers in German monarchies were given the title of “Hofbuchhandlung” (“Hofbuchhandlung”). Universities as corporations under public law also did the same, with the University of Kiel still awarding the title of “University Bookstore” today.

Trade journals

The trade journals for the retailer are the Börsenblatt für den Deutschen Buchhandel , the Buchmarkt , Buchreport and (until 2011) Bookseller Heute .

Trade Shows

Booksellers in Germany have the opportunity twice a year to find out about new publications from publishers at trade fairs such as the Leipzig Book Fair in March and the Frankfurt Book Fair in October. In addition, once a year, as the largest trade fair for the education industry in Europe, with changing locations in Germany (Stuttgart, Cologne and Hanover), didacta gives booksellers the opportunity to gain insight into publications from the fields of kindergarten, school / university, education / qualification and further education / training to get.

Web links

Wikisource: Book trade  - sources and full texts
Commons : Bookseller  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Booksellers  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations



Individual evidence

  1. Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels: Berufsbilder - Buchhandels ( Memento from April 7, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (2006)