Knesebeck 11 The beauty of books

Monday, November 13 2023

Opening Times

Monday to Friday 10-19
Saturday 11-18


Buchhandlung Knesebeck Elf
Knesebeckstraße 11
10623 Berlin-Charlottenburg
.How to get there


+49 30 23888119

The renowned Knesebeck 11 bookshop in Charlottenburg is one of the most popular bookshops among die-hard literature lovers. Founded in 1976, it is now run by Felix Palent, who has breathed new life into this West Berlin institution and has made a name for himself with exciting readings.

Felix Palent had his personal literary awakening in the 12th grade when he read "The Tin Drum" in class and has needed at least 50 pages every day ever since. His hobby became his profession. After training as a publisher's bookseller and studying theatre studies, he worked for seven years in the Wist literature shop in Potsdam before taking over the Knesebeck 11 bookshop in 2021.

As already mentioned, Knesebeck 11 is a West Berlin institution. It was founded in 1976 and managed from 1980 to 2020 by Leo Baumann, who has achieved legendary status in the city's book-loving society. With a strong vision for literary excellence, he ran his business until his death two years ago, after which the shop stood empty.

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Independently of each other, many customers and acquaintances came to lay flowers and candles in front of the shop. Amidst the mourners, Felix decided to follow in Baumann's footsteps and take over the business - modernised, but with respect for the previous owner.

After 40 years, the premises of Knesebeck 11 looked more like a hobby cave. The books were piled up to the ceiling, and some rooms were no longer accessible. And so a thorough renovation was carried out, the stock was cleared, the stucco ceilings were uncovered, and a fresh, inviting and well-stocked bookshop was created.

Felix Palent shares his predecessor's desire to keep the selection as appealing as it is sophisticated. There are, therefore, few, if any, pop authors to be found, but instead selected new releases and various versions of classics, from paperback to hardback.

The organisation of the books is fresh and appealing, nothing seems overloaded, and books with particularly beautiful covers are cleverly placed at the front to liven up the shelves with great attention to detail. The new releases are in the centre, with classics on the left and English and French books on the right, the latter carefully compiled by his colleague from Paris.

The right-hand aisle leads to children's and young adult books, including graphic novels. At the back is an oval room, also with a concept. On the left are non-fiction books, on the right philosophy and in the centre a table that changes monthly and focuses on the complete works of a single publisher. Readings are also held in this room.

Another of Baumann's legacies can be found in the so-called Salon. Here, you will find the special editions, a real treasure trove for bibliophiles. Fans of beautifully designed book editions will be delighted here. Baumann also had a penchant for publisher's editions, which Felix Palent continues. Out-of-print editions can also be found here.

Anyone who wants to give a gift to a book enthusiast or is one themselves can discover a lot at Knesebeck 11. Felix Palent gives advice with genuine enthusiasm.

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Knesebeck 11 – The beauty of books
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