Good Reading : March 2008
����� ���� ��������� ������� � ���������� ������� ������ ������ ��������� lived and worked in Basel for many years, founded the bookshop as a cultural meeting-place for members of both the expat and local communities. She has been so successful that many expats treat the bookshop as a tourism office. Dicks hosts regular ‘Talk Parties’, infor mal discussion evenings with authors and illustrators. Since 1990 she has published occasional books relevant to the expat experience, often with a humorous theme. Located on a busy corner where several tram lines intersect, in an area both financial and cultural (nearby are banks, upmarket shops, museums and theatres), the Bider & Tanner bookshop offers Basel’s largest English-language collection of books.Tables along the pavement display tempting sale books, while revolving stands offer bestsellers in English. Inside, on the first floor, is the extensive travel section, with guidebooks, maps, photographic books, and personal experiences in several languages, including English. Particularly useful are titles about walks, cog-railways, ferries, and other means of exploring Switzerland. The opposite side of this floor is given over mainly to English-language books. Stephan Winiger and Sabine Scherrer preside here, assisted by a helpful staff of six, including a trainee. Herr Winiger told me it takes three years of study and work experience to become a bookseller in Basel. In this welcoming space over 10,000 titles in English are organised into sections on history, current affairs, biography, cookery, gardening, and literary and popular fiction. Children’s books are housed separately in the children’s section downstairs. Enticing stacks of new books fill low tables while computers on island stands help readers find titles they want to order. I first met Frau Scherrer when reviewing books supplied by Bider & Tanner for Hello Basel, a local English- language magazine. Later, as a member of the Anglo-Swiss Club, I agreed to present an illustrated talk about Australia, and learned that she generously arranges such evening events in the bookshop, providing displays of books appropriate to the subject. So if ever you find yourself in Basel, take a look at these three shops.You’re sure to find something that will enhance your stay in Switzerland. BuchBasel, Basel Book Fair, 2-4 May 2008, at the Messe, Basel; www.buchbasel.ch Bergli Bookshop, Rümelinsplatz 19, CH-4001 Basel; www.bergli.ch Bider & Tanner, Bankenplatz, Aeschenvorstadt 2, CH-4010 Basel; www.biderundtanner.ch Thalia, Freie Strasse 32, CH-4001 Basel; www.thalia.ch Far left: outside Thalia bookshop. Left: Basel’s twisting old streets. Bergli Bookshop. Bider & Tanner bookshop.