WUB 2021

What’s a WUB? It’s the end of October (already?!) and thus time for another round of the German “Independent Bookshop Week”: the WUB, Woche Unabhängiger Buchhandlungen, 23-30 October 2021.

Between 23 and 30 October 2021, over 800 independent bookshops across Germany take part in the  “Independent Bookshop Week”, the WUB (Woche Unabhängiger Buchhandlungen). On both Saturdays (23 and 30 October), authors are taking over the bookshops with readings, book signings and other activities to celebrate their favourite indie bookshops.

Also, during this week, an “Indie Book of the Year” (Lieblingsbuch der Unabhängigen) is crowned by the indie booksellers who participate. 232 novels were nominated, the 5 titles with most entries got on the shortlist (interesting to see what’s missing…):

  • Susanne Abel, Stay away from Gretchen. Eine Unmögliche Liebe (dtv)
  • Ewald Arenz, Der große Sommer (DuMont)
  • Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, Wo der Wolf lauert (Kein & Aber)
  • Daniela Krien, Der Brand (Diogenes)
  • Benedict Wells, Hard Land (Diogenes)

Apparently, I totally missed the award ceremony (it took place on 21 October), but it found a recording online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtYlAwOq1QA (the event starts around 8:40). As it is chaired by the wonderful Wibke Ladwig I will definitely watch it later (the organisers announced that they will upload a version with better sound soon, so I’ll wait for that). The “Lieblingsbuch der Unabhängigen” turned out to be Ewald Arenz, Der große Sommer (DuMont), by the way, and I still need to find out what it is about.

Events Galore

Lots of events have been scheduled for the WUB and you can browse the programme here: wub-event.de/veranstaltungen – and they also come with a short portrait of the hosting indie book shop. I enjoyed clicking through the profiles to find out what’s out there beyond my little bubble. Some of the events will also be streamed, so you can also join if you’re looking in from abroad or just another town.

Among the events are readings, musical events, artsy exhibitions, “blind dates” with books (wub-event.de/veranstaltungen/1797) and a “digital tea”, the latter organised by Bücherstube am Fleth in Glückstadt (Digitales Bücherabendbrot: wub-event.de/veranstaltungen/1790).

The wonderful children’s bookshop, gallery and printing workshop Krumulus in Berlin-Kreuzberg runs a whole day for kids to create abstract art and put together an exhibition, inspired by the children’s book “Wie wird eine Ausstellung gemacht?” by Rose Blake and Doro Globus (Hatje Cantz, 2021) (link to the event: wub-event.de/veranstaltungen/1796 ).

And I discovered the indie bookshop “Anna Rahm mit Büchern unterwegs, auf Wörtern reisen” in Ravensburg. The owner’s sister is a book binder and they invite website visitors to find out more about their joint project on site: https://www.mit-buechern-unterwegs.de – they also organise the “Blind Date with Literature”.

The title “Pflück Dir ein Gedicht“ (“pick a poem“) intrigued me, so I discovered the bookshop didactus in Kempten (Allgäu).

Pflück dir ein Gedicht!
Gedichte und Gedanken, die umarmen und mit denen es sich umarmen lässt, warten in unserer Buchhandlung auf Euch.
Kommt vorbei, pflückt ein Gedicht und fühlt euch damit umarmt oder umarmt andere damit!

The bookshop was awarded the German bookshop prize in 2021 and seems to be a combination of bookshop, indie press, event space and reading programme organiser for children. Now I want to know what a “Treppenhaus-Murmelbahn” is… (wub-event.de/buchhandlungen/3231).

Over to you?!

So lots of things to discover! Could we possibly ask you a favour? Could you please send us a picture or two of your favourite indie bookshop with their name and a couple of words why you appreciate them? We’d be happy to collect and publish your recommendations.

Have a nice weekend and support your local indie bookshop(s)!

Link to the WUB: www.wub-event.de

Official Hashtags: #WUB21 and #MiteinanderUnabhängig