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EBKS Die Bibliothek

25 Aug

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This was one of the words on my first German spelling test at school, I probably got it wrong, but I’ve never forgotten the pronunciation and the way the word bubbles off your tongue. It’s one of my favourite German words and also the place in Erlangen that saved my sanity on occasion.

Considering it’s a place that is open to the general public it was initially hard to find…

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Off the Hauptstrasse, this is the entrance!

Well that just screams library doesn’t it? you actually have to walk through the cafe seating to get to the doorway. Sign? I hear you cry, no. It is written on the glass door inside that unlighted entrance so if you get within a foot you can actually tell it’s a library!

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Yes that gorgeous building is in fact the library

If you miss the side door off the main street you can always look for the main entrance, which is clearly marked indistinguishable from all the other buildings on the Marktplatz. There are certain clues, high volume of traffic in and out and a lot of parked bicycles outside, but to me as a newcomer I just assumed that it was some sort of Amt and I tend to avoid those unless its absolutely necessary.

Stadtbibliothek Erlangen (Erlangen city Library) Marktplatz 1 91054 Erlangen

Mon,Tues,Thurs,Fri 10am-6.30pm Saturday 10am-2pm Wednesday closed

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Returns, registration etc

The library is decorated simply and maintains many of its original features, it also has automatic doors and a lift so everyone can enjoy it.

Membership of the library will costs you 17.50 euro per year (they didn’t have a card machine when I registered so best to take cash), there are discounts for students etc and children under 18 are free. You will have to take your passport as ID and your German registration paper to confirm your address (although they are sympathetic to you living in a hotel and will just ask that you change your address when you move) and become a member.

Once you are a member, you can use the self checkouts to get your books, really easy to use and great for when you just don’t want to talk to anyone, you can also renew online. The assistants are helpful and are willing to speak English if you get stuck.

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The atrium

This area of the library is free to use you don’t need to be a member, it’s a quiet reading area and has a good selection of newspapers and magazines (though none in English) for you to read. Don’t attempt to take them with you though, they are tagged and need to be put back when you are finished.

At the far end of the atrium is the children’s book section, it has two floors, books (a decent english selection), audio books, music, DVDs and is generally a nice safe place to hang out with your little people. It is slightly separate to the rest of the library so no one expects your little darlings to be utterly silent whilst they are there.

Apologies for no more photographs but I didn’t want to annoy anyone that day.

Now for the grown ups, the second floor (turn left on exiting the lift, then right, and right again) houses a decent English language book selection, I haven’t read them all yet and it’s been 3.5 years, they get new ones fairly regularly too. They also cater for other languages but not in so great a volume. The audio book section is also nearby, just check that it is in English if that’s what you are looking for.

The CD/DVD section is just across from the English books, most will have an English language selection and there are a ton of box sets to chose from. There is a small charge to rent DVDs I think about 1.50 euro and you can only have them for a week, but when you’ve got no internet that’s a small price to pay!

The library also has great selections of written music, games and comics. It is a great place to study or just get lost in for a few hours, there is an modern art museum inside the  library which changes quite regularly, they even have a small shop of arty goodies.

You can access the internet (via the library computers) on the first floor, you do need to be a member to do this though.

So now you know where the library is, will you be visiting?

 

EBKS English books

20 Aug

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Finding English books that don’t cost the earth locally can be difficult and finding non bestsellers even more so which is why today I’d like to share with you my Erlangen treasure trove for book lovers.

Musicland – Helmstrasse 9 91054 Erlangen

Monday-Friday 11.30am-7pm Saturday 11am-1pm

Just like with books, never judge a shop by it’s cover!

Just like with books, never judge a shop by it’s cover!

Just off the main street and next door to Curry House (yum) you will find so much more than just music in this Aladdin’s cave of  CDs, DVDs, LPs and books! The window display is wonderfully eclectic and a true example of the wide ranging stock they have, stock does rotate fairly regularly (though the music faster than the books) so visit as often as you can, or in my case when I have money and space for new books. Everything here is pre loved, this makes the prices utterly reasonable, for a girl who misses her charity shop hauls, this place is close to heaven.

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As you walk in, it’s impossible not to browse in this shop

I didn’t manage to get a full picture of the whole of the shop because there were too many shoppers, this is about 1/6 of the stock in the front room of the shop. They also have turntables, see those green stools near the steps? so you can test out your vinyl before purchasing.

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Up the steps to the pure vinyl room

This room contains pretty much every genre of music available, old and new, from Schlager to Classical, traditional to modern(ish). I don’t even own a turntable anymore, I just love looking at the cover art.

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Soo much vinyl

Carrying on into the shop, which is very tardis like in it’s size and kind of reminds me of ‘Mr Penumbras 24 hour bookstore’ (wonderful book, you must read!) there are books filling every nook and cranny.

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Language learning section

If you turn left once you’re passed the vinyl on your left you will find a dictionary/language learning section. I have picked up some wonderful finds here, English-German dictionaries, verb books and even the ‘Deutsch als fremdsprache’ books I’ve used in language classes, and all for a fraction of the price of new books (even though they are maybe six months old).

Once you are ready to move on follow the path into the next room

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This will be right in front of you

On the left there are loads of travel books, some amazingly old and most pretty up to date, buying a German guide to a city/country can be a good way to practice your German, you can also find the occasional one in English. If you want something thats definitely in English go to the left of the bookcase with the travel books….

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All in English!!!!!

It’s a random selection, but a good one. Some of the shelves are two deep with paperbacks, which generally cost 2-3.50 euro, how much do you love me right?

There is also a selection of books in other languages, though it is smaller.

If you carry on to the back of the shop (yes there is more) you can even find written music (super cheap). Also at the back of the shop, you sometimes you will find a selection of books that are for sale by their weight, I cleaned up that way one day on random purchases.

This is a buy and sell enterprise but I have not yet sold anything back to the shop since I have a circle of book buddies locally who I exchange books with quite regularly, keeps my purse closed and my shelves from overflowing. The people who work in the shop have always been lovely and friendly, and in Germany I can’t say no to that kind of customer service now can I?

One of the great things about this shop is that you can take your time, no one will bother you and there are even random chairs and stools placed around the shop for friends bored of book shopping piling up your book booty.

There also have branches in Ausburg, Fuerth and Regensburg. Go try it out and let me know how you get on.

Introducing…..

4 Jul

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My new series of posts coming up.
I’ve been here for a while now and I’m ready to share some of my tried and tested utmost favourites with you, and I guarantee that all my opinions are my own, I don’t have sponsors, it’s all my own personal recommendations.
Also look out for an Insiders guide to Annafest and some fun expat related posts too.
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