The best book store in the world is in my opinion H. in the city of W. This bookstore used to be called B. in the past but was then bought by the large H.chain. This is my second home, maybe even more inviting than my real home. At the groundfloor one can find novels, audio books, magazines, calendars and videos. There are also foreign books, for the most part english but also french, italian, spanish. There are biographies and thrillers. At the basement you can find educational books, dictionaries, maps and guidebooks. On the first floor there are many cook books. This fashion has replaced an older one when books about houses were all the rage, books of interior decoration and architecture. So the former section has become enormous and the latter is gradually shrinking. On the first floor there is a place where you can have a cup of coffee or something to eat and read the newspaper, which you can find on the spot, or your book (of course). On the same floor there is also a section for the children with the corresponding books and toys. In the week-ends it is really crazy there as especially when it’s raining, it serves as a replacement for the playground. On this floor there are also the so called «esoterik», books about our inner world, the saving of our souls, the meaning of existence, life after death, with an emphasis again on religions which are now in fashion, i.e.buddhism. Along with the books, one can find, wrapped in coloured cloth bags, various stones for good energy and “karma”, as well as angels’ figures, indian aromatic sticks, the ones that people light in order to give their rooms a certain perfume and many other things. Still on the same floor, there are various pretty notebooks as well as gifts for aspiring chefs or for gardeners.
But the best things in this bookstore are its couches, red ones like the roman sofas where you can lie down with your shoes on and read for hours without anybody coming to interrupt you. The lights are perfect and you can stay there until closing time and finish an entire book without being obliged to buy it. Or write a long piece as I’m doing now. It’s quiet (but not incredibly quiet as there is always some employee answering the questions of the clients and helping them find what they’re looking for). However nobody’s pressuring you or asking you like they do in my country, Greece, this annoying “may I help you?”, nobody is looking at you with curiousity. Here, there are also rest rooms which you can use even if you are not going to buy anything. (Note: They changed that recently, because so many people had found out that they could use them freely; now they are charging 0,20 Euro). And you don’t have to give a tip like in the toilettes of department stores. Yes, surely and without a doubt, this is the most hospitable place in the entire city of W. And I often buy something from here because I like to support such great shops. Needless to say that here there are often writers signing their new book and my big dream is to sign my own book here some day, translated into german.
P.S.Don’t get me wrong. I like to support smaller neighbourhood bookstores, and not only big chains, but this particular store, has always been very hospitable for me.