Monday, October 8, 2012

At a Berlin flea market

Fun fact: I used to study German. For quite a while, actually. And quite willingly, too. This was no mere school language credit requirement. This was my own whim, and I ultimately studied German for several years. Circumstances forced me to quit three years ago, but the desire to master the language never really left. To be perfectly honest, I was never really trying to learn how to speak. The thing I wanted most from the language was its writing, and the ability to reads its literature in the original. I never quite got there.

I've been working on it, though. After suffering a slight disappointment at the traditional bookstores, Sunday found me browsing a couple of Berlin's many flea markets. Mixed with the furniture, the jewelry, and the old clothes, many of the sellers had little booths full of books. Most were well beyond my level, but I managed to find two books: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in German (which would bring the number of languages I've read the book up to a grand total of three; it is also the book I probably know best in the whole world), and a collection of four Magic Tree House books (which were some of my favorite books growing up... also, very simple language).

There are other books I want. I still really want to read The Neverending Story in its original German (possibly my favorite German language book of all times with All Quiet on the Western Front as a very close second), and I would love to find some additional, simple German young adult books. But this is a nice basis to go from; I've already got The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe at home (which I'm currently reading) and hopefully I'll be able to improve my German from here. Maybe some day I'll really be able to read All Quiet on the Western Front. But for now: children's books it is. Thank you, flea market.


  1. That's a good way to keep up with the language! I should buy myself some easy books in Spanish.

  2. how fun :-) I hope to learn Italian well enough to read books. I bought the Italian version of Boo and could just about read that, LOL :-) we all have to start somewhere!

  3. So you live in Berlin? I thought it was the US - or Israel ;)

    Keep practicing - the more you read in German, the easier it gets. Even a couple of years ago, I didn't really enjoy it as much as I do now.

    1. I was just visiting Berlin, but I'll let you keep guessing as to which of the two other options is the right one!


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