Inspired by the North Sea island of Juist, a windswept place where Berlin-based pattern designer Anke Wulffen has been spending summer weeks away from the mainland world of cars and bustle since her childhood, Ahoi: Seaside Sweaters is a new e-book that I describe as knit-erature. Anke blends travel writing, memoir, photography and five new […]
Tag Archives: books
I was sad to find this sign in the window of a little used bookstore on Berlin-Friedrichshain’s Niederbarnimstraße, where we used to look in regularly. We often found oddities, treasures and gifts there, in recent years priced by the kilo: a volume of Grzimek’s encyclopedia of animals that inspired us to buy the whole set; a beautiful hand-colored […]
Bookstore windows seem to be catching my eye these days, terraria of print-and-paper creatures. This one, located in San Francisco’s Mission district, is populated only by orange and yellow books. I like the book-fox and book-hedgehog illustrations on the Cabinet anthology. I like its title, Curiosity and Method, too.
A paperback vending machine has appeared on the busy U8 subway platform at Berlin-Alexanderplatz station. While friends in the US report that Kindles and iPads have all but erased colorful book covers from the subway scenery there, print appears to be alive and well underground in Berlin. Or at least the inventors of this machine […]
Inspired by the unexpected sun this morning, I took an impromptu walk through a neighborhood I didn’t know. Among the cozy, pre-war buildings near Nöldnerplatz in Lichtenberg, I noticed this bookstore window. It was the pleasing array of colorful mushroom and berry field guides that first caught my eye. Then I saw the two paperbacks […]
The covers are cheery copy-shop paper in bright parsley green and deep carrot orange. The binding is a simple white rubber band. These boldly typeset little pamphlets introduce three herbs and three root vegetables, respectively: Parsley, chives, dill, beets, celery root and carrot.
Books for free! What could be better? This relic of East Germany struck me as particularly poignant, not just the sweet composition of crayon-colored triangles typical of DDR graphic design, but the content — presented as a general language guide for tourists, it features just Bulgarian, Romanian, and Hungarian. Within the East Bloc, there weren’t all […]