Here are the answers to the competition set before I went a wandering around Germania.

1) How many books in the bookstack  did I take with me? 

There were 11 books – almost 1 for each day.  A perfectly reasonable amount for a beach holiday.  But I don’t do those – I wander round cities and collapse exhausted (in a good way) at the end of each day.  After giving myself a good talking to about being realistic, I pruned the pile somewhat and packed “only” 7!

2) Which were they?  Have you any idea why?

Two titles were dead certs.  The travel guides – Top 10 Berlin, CitySpot Frankfurt.

Then I took 2 more for each city.  One classic and one modern title.

Berlin:  (1) Cecile – Theodor Fontane  (2) Berlin Tales – Edited by Helen Constantine

Frankfurt:  (1) The Sufferings of Young Werner – Goethe (A cheat this – as I bottled out on taking the German version.  I knew I would just be too tired and besides I would be surrounded by the language.) (2) 98 Reasons for Being – Clare Dudman

The 7th book was indeed Grimm’s Fairy Tales, guessed correctly by some of you.  Although the mystery destination was not.

3) How many of the books did I actually read – in whole or in part?

I read parts from all 7 and because of that I didn’t finish any.  Although I bought a few more and read three of those from beginning to end.

4) How many book purchases did I make while I was away?

There was only one title on my wishlist – Daniel Kehlmann’s Ruhm (Fame). In reality I purchased 6 more books and 2 magazines (each costing and weighing as much, if not more than a paperback).  All of which were tucked into my hand luggage as I came back home.  No pain, no gain is the saying, and never was a truer word spoken.  Here they are, weighing in at an impressive 4.5 kilograms (9 lbs) and worth every aching bone in my body.

Left Column: Heinrich Heine – Buch der Lieder – Beautiful illustrated edition of Heine’s poetry. Weighing in at 2.5 kgs on its own! But it only cost 5 Euro. My head and my heart had a real battle about purchasing this own. My heart won …. obviously!
Centre Column (From top to tail): 2 x GEO Magazines – Special Edition on Berlin and another on the German Romantic movement, 3 Struwwelpeter-related books, 1 original facsimile, 1 German/English edition and the one in the middle, the satirical Struwwelhitler.
Right Column (From top to tail): Chauseestrasse 125 – a souvenir from my visit to Bertolt Brecht’s former appartment, Ruhm – Daniel Kehlmann.

5) From the original bookstack can you identify the mystery third destination?

Hanau – birthplace of the Brothers Grimm.

Brandenburger Strasse, Potsdam (Courtesy of Gertrude K on Flickr)
Brandenburger Strasse, Potsdam (Courtesy of Gertrude K on Flickr)


I also made a spur of the moment trip to Potsdam – you couldn’t do that last time I was in Berlin. What a beautiful and book-friendly place! 5 books shops in just 500 meters along Brandenburger Strasse. I could live there you know!




Final scores on the doors for competition entrants as follows:

Savidgereads: 1) 0, 2) 4, 3) 0, 4) 0, 5) 0  Total: 4

sdechantal: 1) 0,  2) 7 (a wily answer you gave there!) , 3) 0.5 (as you correctly guessed that I wouldn’t read anything in full) , 4) 0.5 (loved your comment about finding a way ….) , 5) 0  Total 8

Colette Jones: 1) 0, 2) 6  (Sooooo close, it’s scary!) 3) 0, 4) 0.5 (this for the one you can’t resist comment) 5) 0.  Total: 6.5

ant: 1) 0 2) 4 +1 for correctly identifying that I would leave Inkheart behind because of its size, even though I was already reading it, 3) 0, 4) 0, 5) 0.  Total: 5.

Congratulations, sdechantal, the surprise prize is yours. A copy of the little orange book at bottom centre of the picture above.  Struwwelpeter by Heinrich Hoffmann is  a world-famous children’s book from Frankfurt, translated in this edition by Mark Twain. Lots more to follow on both the book and Heinrich Hoffmann in the next couple of weeks. So here’s hoping you enjoy discovering more about it as time goes by ….