Germany – The book to the pandemic winners


David Messe has no reason to complain about the lack of customers. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the bookstore “Buchbox” in the center of Berlin is always full. Children’s books are in particular demand.

“At the beginning of the pandemic it was obvious that people started reading again, they were looking for more books for the family, for the children. They were all gathered at home and so they had to be somewhat busy. “For many parents, it was also important that children did not constantly look at their cell phones or iPads, but also read books,” said the Berlin-based bookseller.

Along with the children who were at home doing e-learning for many months in the book, many parents returned. For Vanessa Constazzo, a book lover, a walk in David Messe’s bookstore has once again become a favorite habit. “Ever since the bookstores reopened, I like to wander around there, leafing through books. And, yes, I’m buying more books! ” mentions features.

Return to the book in countries with a reading culture
In Germany, indeed, the bookstore has successfully passed the great test of the coronavirus. However, the same is not true for other parts of the world, such as Latin America or Africa. According to Boudour Al Qasimi, president of the International Publishers Association, the book has indeed experienced a period of pandemic recovery in countries with an old reading culture and good digital infrastructure. In other parts of the world, emerging economies such as Argentina or Kenya have not seen the same trend. On the contrary, the book space really suffered.

Back to Berlin and the “Buchbox”. David Messe estimates that the sharp increase in demand during the first year of the pandemic has now subsided, however new customers continue to enter his bookstore out of curiosity. “As an independent bookstore we also do a lot of cultural events – we organize street festivals or we support schools and kindergartens. I think this is our success. “People trust us and support us consciously in relation to the big stores.”

Messi remains optimistic about the future. It has a total of four stores in Berlin with 35 employees, who are not afraid of losing their jobs.

Dan Hirsfeld

Edited by: Dimitra Kyranoudi

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