The fascinating world of books
Here you can find gift ideas in the middle of the old town of Regensburg
Inside the bookstore near the Kohlenmarkt, everything revolves around the fantastic world of books. The bookstore is located in the heart of Regensburg’s old town. The owner Heinrich Altenbuchner talks about his passion: books. The assortment is personally selected by Heinrich with a lot of prudence. He is particularly keen on providing customers with individual and personal advice: „We take people seriously. The focus is on the content and not on the checkout. It’s not about what else you could sell.“ At Altenbuchner’s, you get the feeling of entering a bookstore, the likes of which are no better described in fantasy books: it smells like books, paper, old knowledge, hidden adventures, and somehow it also smells like experience and „wisdom.“ Entering the bookstore also means entering a world of wondrous silence and tranquility, coupled with a loud joy for the literary journey to come. The wooden shelves, the small staircase to the upper floor, the minimalist checkout area – everything speaks for itself in a pleasant and unobtrusive way.
Tough literary years
Heinrich studied Latin and theology to become a teacher in Regensburg and has completed training as a bookseller. Heinrich gained his first experience in the book business as an employee in a bookstore. In 1987, he fulfilled his own personal life’s dream of opening his own bookstore. Heinrich reads a lot himself and has many favourite books. He expects a book to have a personal anchor and to surprise its reader. His current favourite is Hard Years by Mario Vargas Llosa.
Personal preferences instead of bestseller lists
The level-headed and rather introverted bookseller has managed to build up a loyal clientele over the years. He now knows most of his customers very well and knows which books fascinate them. That may be the secret behind his ability to make highly individual recommendations to his customers. Heinrich follows his personal intuition: „I don’t have a bestseller list, because those do not touch the readers personally. People are so fixated on ratings, but not everything that has been rated positively by many has to inspire the individual reader.“
An exquisite selection instead of mainstream literature
The assortment at Altenbuchner bookstore is carefully selected by the owner himself. The special feature? There are hardly any mainstream books represented in the bookstore. Also, not every conceivable category, such as „sports“ or „travel guides“ is available. Instead, there is a specific assortment of, for example, children’s books, picture books or cookery books. Visitors also like to browse through the gardening books or natural science articles sections and discover surprising finds.
A paradise for music box lovers
In addition to the books, exceptionally beautiful music boxes with a wide variety of melodies, such as „Jim Knopf“, „Pippi Langstrumpf“ and „Für Elise“, make the hearts of some customers beat faster. By the way, the music box is the only by-product offered for sale. Our tip for Regensburg visitors from near and far: a visit is worthwhile because of the music boxes which make perfect souvenirs from the cathedral city of Regensburg.
„I want to stay the way I am“
Heinrich talks about his ideas for the future: „A few years ago, I was advised to sell additional products alongside the books in order to stay in the market. About three years ago, I was advised to focus purely on selling books again. I’ve hardly changed anything about the bookstore for so many years, only the number of books I sell has increased.“
Author: Alexandra Berger, OTH Regensburg
Buchhandlung am Kohlenmarkt
Firmeninhaber: Heinrich Altenbuchner
Website: Buchhandlung am Kohlenmarkt
Social Media: Altenbuchner at Facebook
German Version: Buchhandlung am Kohlenmarkt