Culture of Reading
- © Eric Lichtenscheidt / DAAD
People would more readily forgive a German politician for having no knowledge of maths, than for never having read a word of Goethe, Brecht or Thomas Mann. Besides the classics and the German literary canon, there is a young and dynamic literature scene in Germany.
Reading is part of everyday life
Modern book stores plus antiquarian and second-hand bookshops can be found in practically every town or city. Libraries, bookshops and literature clubs organise readings and book signing sessions. Many cities arrange reading competitions for young children and teenagers. Young poets go head to head in public poetry slams. And Europe’s largest festival of poetry takes place in Berlin every year. Reading is still one of the most popular German pastimes. Now, in the modern age, many enjoy literature by listening to audio books. The number of new audio book releases continues to grow at a considerable rate. And wireless reading devices, like Kindle, are on the march, as are electronic books.
German book fairs
Two major book fairs are held in Germany every year – one in Leipzig in March, and the other, the world's largest and oldest book fair in Frankfurt/Main in October, extending back over 500 years to the days of Johannes Gutenberg. Besides the new books presented by publishers, visitors can also attend lectures and readings given by the authors themselves. These fairs are a booklover’s paradise.