On World Book Day, a Gelsenkirchen bookseller emphasizes why books educate several times – and which reading material is currently popular.
“Books are important” – Christina Njehu, who manages the branch of the Kottmann bookstore on Heinrich-König-Platz in Gelsenkirchen, is firmly convinced of that. “Books are great for stress relief. You can dive into other worlds and escape from everyday life,” says the 33-year-old. The printed works can also be used to improve general education, vocabulary, concentration and cognitive abilities, especially among young readers.
Bookseller in Gelsenkirchen: “You can escape everyday life with books”
“Immersing yourself in the worlds of different people can also increase the reader’s ability to empathize,” continues Njehu, who has worked in the owner-managed bookshop since 2018. 8,000 to 10,000 books are available there. 60,000 new books are added each year, 20,000 of which are specialist books.
The bookseller describes the feel and smell of the book pages in particular as an advantage over digital media and e-books. Nevertheless, she also sees a benefit in the latter. In her experience, for example, children prefer to use the currently popular Tonie characters in combination with the right book. Even children from families in which reading is neglected gain access to literature through the speaking characters.
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In contrast to the past, books are often more beautiful in design. With some classics, for example by Astrid Lindgren or Michael Ende, images were recolored over time. There are also books in which fonts have been made larger and texts have been shortened to make reading easier. In recent years, the Gelsenkirchen native has also noticed that the topic of diversity is taking up more space in literature. For example, people with different skin colors are placed in a context without explicitly referring to a country of origin. But according to the bookseller, the normalization of taboos and climate change are also popular topics that are in high demand from customers.
A popular trend among families, especially during the pandemic, has been adventure books in which several people solve a case together. Equally popular: puzzle books. To end the action, for example, puzzled solutions are required. Adults in particular have also rediscovered handicrafts and cooking in the past two years and have bought suitable books. Historical novels that focus on a woman are also popular at the moment.
Christina Njehu names the thriller “Liebeskind” by Romy Hausmann as her personal favorite book. As a literature fan, after three semesters of teaching German and English, she decided to complete an apprenticeship as a bookseller. Further training to become a state-certified business economist also paved the way for her current career.
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