Prosa – Der Buchladen



Prosaic at the end of the year? It’s not really a surprise to you that I’m dedicating this last post of 2022 to reading, right? By now we’ve gotten to know each other a little better and you know that I couldn’t imagine a life without books. Books stand for diversity and ambiguity. A great gift especially in the times we are currently experiencing. Like a magic carpet, a book carries you into strange worlds that other people have experienced or imagined. What could be more beautiful? I can only think of one thing: making other people happy with books.

Since 2017, bookseller Katrin Bietz has dedicated herself to this task in her bookstore Prosa – Der Buchladen Today I visit her there for the Lübeck ZWISCHENZEILEN.

prosa oratio – “straight aligned”

The warm yellow ochre of the façade of the 30 m2 small bookstore beams at me from afar. Inside, the atmosphere is relaxed. The room looks bright and friendly thanks to the handmade wooden shelves and a cozy armchair in the back corner.

Katrin Bietz is a person who is clear and straightforward and thinks and speaks very quickly. A woman who knows exactly what she wants, namely to do something meaningful, as she says. I envy her a little for the courage she has shown in starting her own business. After all, it’s easy to dream about opening a bookstore, doing it is the real accomplishment.

“My” bookstore, by the way, would be called “Love & Cake” and it would exclusively carry books that are about love. This would be accompanied by the world’s best cakes and pies made from my mother’s recipes. But since I can only bake chocolate cake and ultimately could not decide which book is about love and which is not, I am not the owner of a bookstore.

Katrin Bietz has proven over the past 5 years that she has the tools to succeed as a businesswoman. “No compromise” is the guiding principle of her actions. She focuses on the essentials and goes her own way. In “Prosa – Der Buchladen” you can find books also from smaller publishers. After all, they are the ones who often give up-and-coming authors a chance and publish titles on niche topics.

And the success proves her right: a large number of regular customers drop by regularly, and young people and men are increasingly finding their way to the “Prosa” bookstore, which makes the owner particularly happy.

Prosa - the bookstore in Lübeck. Bookstore to browse in the Hanseatic City

Prosa – The Excellent Bookstore in 2022

A bookstore run by a dedicated woman like Katrin Bietz is simply a very great gift. After all, it’s about so much more than buying a book. Every person who loves books knows that. It’s all about looking and browsing. To talk shop with the owner, to carefully leaf through a book that has sparked interest. To smile when accidentally discovering a line of text. It’s about the feeling of being meant. About all the associations that arise in the mind when reading a title.

In November, the German Bookstore Award 2022 was presented in Augsburg. Among others, the Lübeck bookstore “Prosa was honoured in the category Outstanding Bookstores By the way, already for the second time after 2019! The German Minister of State Claudia Roth paid tribute to the work of bookstores in Germany, quoting Philippe Djian, “When I feel bad, I don’t go to the pharmacy, I go to my bookseller ..” I’m sure Dijan must have meant people like Katrin Bietz: People who love books incredibly and who are extremely happy when customers go home with the desired copy, but even better with new inspirations.

Prosa - the bookstore in Lübeck. Bookstore to browse in the Hanseatic City

Curated book love

Having to choose between more and more products and offers in all areas of life overwhelms many people, says Katrin Bietz. The bookseller and germanist presents a carefully compiled selection of titles from fiction and children’s and youth literature in the “Prosa” bookstore. For the most part, works she’s convinced of. She read 108 books this year – not just skimmed them.

Katrin Bietz is in the fortunate situation of being able to decide for herself which titles she wants to give a temporary home. She wanders through the sheer impenetrable jungle of publishing programmes, researches on the web, reads reviews, and simply knows what’s going on in the publishing world right now. This is how she discovers new authors and titles that excite her and looks forward to finding the right readers. In the store, she enjoys talking to people seeking advice, asking about wishes and preferences, and is very happy to give personal tips. By the way, she also offers inspiration on her blog.

(Don’t) judge a book by its cover

The titles are sorted by categories, which also change from time to time. Notes such as “close to nature” or “for well-being” classify and offer assistance. The fact that all the books are placed frontally is another delight and awakens the desire for the sensory experience of reading. Each cover comes alive in all its simplicity or splendour. Many a title is tempting that might have stayed undiscovered elsewhere. Another boon is that you don’t have to tilt your head to read the spines of the books.

Prosa - the bookstore in Lübeck. Bookstore to browse in the Hanseatic City

Supper Dates

The “Prosa” bookstore opens about once a month for a supper reading and becomes a small temporary home for lively cultural exchange during these hours.

On these evenings Katrin Bietz as a reading ambassador offers delicious sandwiches and serves organic wine. Guests make themselves comfortable in the small room and learn more about three to four books that are on the owner’s mind. Katrin likes to present a mix of sophisticated and humour. These lovingly designed events are usually sold out in no time. It’s worth signing up for the newsletter to get early notice of upcoming dates.

If the earth is hard – women dance

Asked for a tip for a book with which I could start the new year 2023 in a positive mood, Katrin without hesitating picks up the title ““When the Ground is Hard” by Malla Nunn. A compelling novel that follows a 16-year-old girl as she changes perspectives during the apartheid era. According to Katrin Bietz, this book is a pleasure to read for people of all ages and a great book about self-empowerment. A must-read!

Prosa - the bookstore in Lübeck. Bookstore to browse in the Hanseatic City

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written by:

Barbara Schwartz