It’s no secret that Germans love to read. As avid book readers, there’s even a German word for those who love to curl up with a great story. Leseratte, or “bookworm,” is the perfect term to describe Germans and German speakers whose favorite pastime is spending time turning the pages.
In 2020, over 20 million people in Germany shared that they read every day or several times a week, often buying from small booksellers or the local bookshop. Currently, the most popular German books sold worldwide rank as:
- The Diary of Anne Frank, which has sold 30 million copies
- All Quiet on the Western Front, with 20 million sales
- The Neverending Story, which has sold 16 million copies to date
Whether you’re starting a new novel, re-reading an old favorite, or brushing up on your German with one of our many books for readers of all ages, there’s nothing better than cozying up with a hardback or paperback.
An Abbreviated History of Book Accessories
Humans have a long history of documenting and sharing the printed word, which stems all the way back to prehistoric cave paintings and more recently, symbols carved into stone tablets in 3500 BC.
But Germans really should get much of the credit for mass printing and distribution of books, thanks to the invention of Johannes Gutenberg’s moveable type printing press in 1455 AD. By the end of the 15th century, printing had spread to 236 European countries, resulting in the printing of over 20 million books.
Just as long as people have been reading, they’ve been searching for ways to make it simpler and more convenient. Here are a few ways humans have been enhancing their book-reading experience.
Who wants to lose their place when they set their book down? Bookmarks have solved this problem for centuries.
The oldest found bookmark dates back to 1584, when the Queen’s Printer, Christopher Barker, presented Queen Elizabeth I with a bookmark made from fringed silk. Another bookmark from the 16th century is currently located in the Royal Museum of Brunei and is made from ivory that’s been carved into a geometric pattern.
As literacy spread throughout the world, so too did bookmarks. In the early 1700s, book publishers often sewed or glued a narrow silk ribbon into the spine of the book to serve as a page marker, which we still see in some modern books today.
Bookstands and Book Rests
Thomas Jefferson even invented a revolving bookstand, made from wood, which was made to hold as many as five books or letters at a time so the reader could easily view all of these materials. Each book rest was adjustable, and the whole contraption could then be folded down into a compact cube shape when not in use.
The Latest in Book Accessories: The Book Bird
Kinder Books is pleased to offer an accessory designed with voracious readers in mind: The Book Bird. Book Birds were designed by a father-daughter duo when the daughter, a burgeoning young entrepreneur at 14, wanted to share an easy way to hold books open with one hand.
Her helpful father, a carpenter, developed a design and created their Book Birds in two sizes; a medium size to fit the daughter and a larger size for adults. Smaller sizes for children are also available.
The Book Birds are handcrafted and fabricated from recycled hardwood. Today, they are available in walnut, hickory, and mahogany woods, and are as stunning sitting on a bookshelf as they are holding open the pages of a book. Of their design, the creator shared, “Our idea is to make Book Birds both elegant and practical for all to enjoy."
A Book Bird will be a welcome addition to your reading, and can also be the perfect offering for the book lover in your life.
Pair the Book Bird with several books from the Kinder Books collection for a thoughtful gift.
Divided by German reading level from early readers to advanced readers and everyone in between, browse our collection for your favorite German language learner or German teacher. You can even find something for the German-speaking grown-up book lovers in your life too!