Interview German Library

Interview German Library

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Interview German Library

calendar icon 18/07/2019

Should you soon be back on the Bulevard de Paguera, do not miss out on all the shops, bars, restaurants and supermarkets, even take a look at the German bookshop. For 5 years now, Bettina Höner has run her small bookshop, which she built with her then husband, and enjoys being an integral part of Paguera for the residents and visitors. Crime novels, science fiction, non-fiction, children's books, guides, maps, . . . all genres are represented and there is always something interesting. Be it just a nice conversation. We met the trained restaurant manager from Mühldorf am Inn and asked her a few questions.

Hello Bettina. What does reading mean to you?
Reading makes you happy and means absolute freedom. Freedom to read what I want, to form opinions, or to get to the bottom of things that interest me. I can deal with myself through books. 

Have you always enjoyed reading?
In my childhood, I could only read the usual school books and the only religious books of my mother. Secular literature was not allowed or heavily censored. Sometimes I secretly went to the public library and could read there what appealed to me; a comic book, a girls book (Hanni and Nanni) or other colorful children's books. 

How did you come up with the idea of Hopening a bookstore in Paguera?
That is a good question. Me, or my then husband Marcus? We were laying in a deckchair when, on impulse, I said I would like to open a bookshop in Mallorca. I never forget how he jumped up and within a few days the plans were forged. At the time of our 1 8th wedding anniversary, I had booked a trip to Majorca and started the search for a location. I stayed on the island and took care of a small apartment, as well as the preparation of the shop in Paguera. That was in May 2015 and a lot has happened since then. Unfortunately the marriage was not as stable as the bookshop and I can not quite believe that I am already in the fifth season. 

Who buys books from you?
Old and young tourists, residents, but also Spaniards, whose children learn German. I would prefer the name "German-speaking" bookstore, because customers come from different countries to me.

Which books are bought from you?
That is very different. Although difficult, I make sure that there is something for every need in such a small space. Otherwise, I can of course order books - but since we are on an island, it may take a little longer than on the mainland. I wish it was faster. 

What makes your bookshop special?
You can not answer that with one sentence. I take every customer, whether small or big, with his wishes and needs seriously and advise honestly and clearly. I organize readings with authors, presenting their island thrillers, island picture books, travel and hiking guides. I also support social projects, fundraisers such as Barber Angels, who had a great action in "Paguera" for "SOS Mamas Balearen". I get to know lots of lovely people who have encouraged me even in the difficult start time and have persuaded me to keep going. They encourage me, recommend me today and are loyal to me. I like the community and that's a good sign for the bookstore in Paguera. 

The classic question for booksellers: what about ebooks?
I've tried such an electronic book with a friend - it´s not for me. Although it has its justification in this day and age, I can hold a real book in my hand, underline it or write in notes. I also have the feeling that you keep the read better in your memory. Also, I always find it interesting when I see on the beach which books people read - it says a lot about them. Because real flirting / entertainment opportunities are lost. 

Are you often asked for recommendations and how close are you to the wishes of your customers?
Yes, I've already got cards from Germany, where customers would like to thank for my book and author tips. Often I recommend the book that I am reading or looking forward to read. 

Finally, do you have a recommendation for our readers?
"The Island of Lemon Blossoms" by Christina Campos. I was with the author during her reading on the ship last year. Her book is set in Majorca, has long been on the bestseller list and has been translated into 7 countries and 8 languages. It was an honor to meet such a great, charming woman. Her book immediately enchanted me. 

Many Thanks

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