April Shop of the Month
When did all start?
It all started a long time ago when we first fell in love with books and reading. Characters like Winnie the Pooh and Heidi and the feeling of totally immersing in a story hooked us forever. Then, almost three years ago, herr holgersson was opened on July 3rd, 2014. The sun was shining, we were pretty excited and tired as well, and the people came right away.
Why did you decide to open the store?
We, Jasmin Marschall and Elisabeth Windfelder, both have worked as booksellers and after graduating university we ended up in an office job being colleagues. We missed recommending books, meeting people, working with literature and we both longed for creating something on our own. We’ve always had an own bookshop on our minds that would not look like the „typical bookshop“. So when we met in 2010 we started dreaming together and after a pretty long period of planning, we finally found the perfect place to live that dream.
How would you describe the neighborhood in which the store is located?
The shop itself is located in a former wine cellar at the marketplace in the center of Gau-Algesheim in Rhenish Hesse, an area in the South West of Germany where a lot of wine grows. With Frankfurt around the corner, you can also work in industry or other creative jobs. Many families live in Gau-Algesheim as there are schools and kindergartens. You're close to nature and trekking- and cycling paths although you are in an economically booming area. Our neighborhood is a pretty special one. Gau-Algesheim has 7000 citizens and is something between a city and a village. We feel like we have found our “Stars Hollow” - if you know what we mean ;-) - people are really community-oriented. They show us their newborns and bring us flowers. It is really idyllic.
Please describe the kinds of books and other merchandise that you carry. What do you offer your customers?
Our bookshop is designed as a flat. We have an area that looks like a living room where you can find fiction, a kitchen space (that actually works) for cooking books, an eating area for everything related to being creative, a children’s room with a little bed and a creative spot for the kids. We offer a unique choice of books that we like and of authors we appreciate combined with a cozy atmosphere where you are allowed to look around and find the perfect book for you. Our focus is on books. It has become a habit of bookstores to sell many different things like candles or teacups – we don’t do that. Therefore you will find books from some smaller publishing houses which you would not find in big bookstores. Sometimes we add some really nice stationary.
What are your favorite Gestalten books?
Northern Delights; because the interior of our shop has definitely a Scandinavian touch (e.g. a string shelf is the centerpiece of our living area and the first thing you see when entering herr holgersson). The Shopkeepers; It is always an inspiration and helps us getting creative. And we really, really love Just Married.
What are your customers’ favorite Gestalten books?
What kinds of people shop there?
We wanted to create a bookshop for everybody and everybody should feel welcome here. We have customers from 0 to 99 – from Gau-Algesheim as well as from cities and villages around us. Families or children on their own after school, architects, grandmothers, students
Do you do anything at your store besides selling books?
We have a lot of events, readings from authors, creativity workshops with illustrators for kids and grown-ups, concerts, we even did movie nights in the beginning. In autumn we reveal our personal reading-highlights of the year on one special evening. People can also get „locked up“ in our shop. They come in small groups, are welcomed with a sparkling wine and then stay alone for a few hours and browse trough the books. People really love it.