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Checkout counter of a bookstore in Munich
"Reading islands" from the Hugendubel bookstore (Munich) during Christmas sales
Bookstore in Buenos Aires , Argentina
A comic shop in Mannheim
Bookshop in the former Dominican church in Maastricht, the Netherlands

The bookstore is the retail stage for the sale of publishing products to end consumers . In Germany there are around 6,000 bookstores with around 120,000 employees and a turnover of 10 billion euros ( 2000 ).


The most widespread type of brick-and-mortar book trade is the retail bookstore that does not specialize in individual areas . It offers its customers a wide range, sorted quantitatively or qualitatively according to the specifications of the owner (and always the market).

The specialist bookstore is aimed at a professionally oriented public (e.g. lawyers, medical professionals, architects, tax consultants, theologians, etc.) and carries a specialized range . It provides competent, specialized services for its customers with special interests.

A university bookstore matches its offer to the curriculum of the local university and in the past often published publications in cooperation with the university and its institutes and facilities. It is usually a mixture of specialist and general assortments.

Bookstores for children and young people are special ranges that offer a large and critical selection of literature in which everyday life and the problems of families, children and young people are reflected in both fiction and advice. Parents, educators , educators and social workers can often find secondary literature and competent contacts here.

The station bookstore provides literature for train journeys, travel guides and mostly magazines .

In comic book shops the customer often not only finds a wide range of comics and cartoons , but also fantasy and science fiction . In addition to primary and secondary literature , fan articles are often also sold.

Theological and religious bookstores often offer confessional cross literature for their specially interested customers. This includes not only the church community and the Bible study group , but also all other socially committed people - even without any connection to the church.

The antiquarian book trade sells used books and buy them. An antiquarian bookshop is often highly specialized (shipping, cooking, heraldry, newspapers, etc.) and has high customer loyalty.

One of the nationalities bookshops is the Turkish Turk Kitabevi in Frankfurt am Main.

Since the 1970s, numerous participating writers as partners in cooperative organized Author bookstores , the focus on "literature as art" and ambitious world literature place. In addition, further differentiations and specialty stores such as left-wing bookstores , women's bookstores , esoteric bookstores and the like emerged in those years, primarily in the major West German cities where the corresponding clientele was available . a.

A relatively new phenomenon are book department stores that want to offer their customers everything “under one roof”. Most of them are chains with many branches. Critics see this development as a step towards monopoly .

Crime bookstores have almost exclusively crime novels in their range. In parallel to the establishment of these crime bookstores, many of the large publishers have discontinued their sometimes classic crime series ( Rowohlt , Ullstein ). Since then, crime fiction has been referred to as a novel . The publishers' market strategists also want to reach readers who would otherwise not buy a thriller. Conversely, it is becoming more difficult for crime thriller customersto findtheir genre on offer on book tables in bookstores. In a crime bookstore, a fan can assume that, first of all, the range is larger, mostly with English-language titles. Second, there are no other novels mixed in. There are now nearly a dozen crime bookstores in Germany.


Book sales outlets

So-called book sales outlets include department stores , supermarkets , gas stations and newsagents / kiosks .

In some cases, specialist retailers also offer their customers the right literature for special product groups, for example animal books in pet shops, health guides in the pharmacy or travel guides in the tourist information office . The USA is leading the way in this development .


Mail order bookshops are an important group of bookstores . There is hardly a subject or specialist area that at least one mail-order bookstore does not address.

Since the World Wide Web has existed, there has also been a new form of mail order book trade , the Internet bookstore . Either as an extension of an already existing business or even as a purely virtual bookstore, it cannot offer the customer the experience of a “real” bookstore; The internet bookstore often offers very good opportunities for a targeted purchase and extensive research.

The classic bookstore sees itself threatened by the e-book and its online distribution.

Famous bookstores

Sign above the women's bookstore Lillemor’s in Munich

See also


Web links

Commons : Bookstore  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: bookstore  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Dieter Sürig: How the book trade wants to save itself., March 25, 2014, accessed on March 25, 2014
  2. E-books put the book trade in a mess., accessed on July 13, 2009 .