Another Country is one of The world’s greatest bookshops according to BBC Travel.
Sophie was on the cover of the September issue of "The Exberliner"!
The Harvard Center for European Studies Berlin did a long interview which should answer a lot of questions about the bookshop.
Expatica.com - A man and his country :"Sophie Raphaeline has played a chief role in expat life in Berlin with his bohemian haunt, the Another Country bookstore. And he says he can't imagine leaving the place he describes as "the ideal living room," with over 25,000 books, masses of living space and its own social scene packed into one building."
From the print-edition of "Lonely Planet Berlin": "Another Country is a welcoming 'culture club' owned by bearded and slightly eccentric Brit, Sophie Raphaeline. Knowledgeable and always up for a chinwag, he presides over a meticulously sorted library/store of used English-language books, including a vast science fiction collection. You can borrow or buy, join the book club, come for film screenings and poetry readings, or simply hang out on the sofas."
The Berlin Review: "Down in the heart of Kreuzberg, where the punks and the Turks like to play, the Another Country bookshop is a cosy place where they do not seem to mind if you sit in a comfy chair and read for a while."
The Berlin Paper: Quirky, cozy Another Country in Kreuzberg 61 is more of a library than an actual bookstore. Regulars come for weekly cultural events, stay for the staff's British humor. The latter being said: don't ask where the "Dan Brown" books are located.
Kilometer Zero / The store meets all the needs of a bookshop—you might not find a specific title but you’ll always be able to walk out with a book you’ll be pleased to read—but it also reaches for that deeper desire, the desire for community. * If you’re in this town for any length of time, life would be a little better if you dropped by here.
Berlin Guide /Alex, the English guy who runs the place is a bit quirky, but after a few visits he'll warm up to you. There seems to be a system for returning books you've bought at the store for credit, with color-coded labels to indicate how much you'll get back, but I'm fairly sure Alex makes them up on the spot." (The quirky gentleman is called Alan, not Alex, by the way.)
"The Urban Travel Guide":
"Expat bookstores often hover between a comforting taste of home and an irritating nexus of smug trustafarians. Paris's Shakespeare and Company is full of bearded pretentious Americans reenacting Hemingway sans talent. Happily, Berlin's Another Country, a large English-language bookstore, doesn't fall into the muck of a 1,000 poseurs."
"The Nylon Girl": "Amy and I met Sean, originally from Philly but now working a theater technician and celebrating his 12th year in Berlin. He spoke English softly and haltingly, his accent no doubt tempered by years of speaking deutsch. (...) Sean told us about Alan, the British man who founded and owns the bookstore, whom I had the pleasure to meet a couple of days later. While holding a big pot of cabbage soup...."
NY magazine's Winter Travel 2002 special: "A young generation of artists (and would-be artists), lured by rock-bottom rents, edgy nightlife, and an "up for it," liberal culture, are singing Berlin's praises.
Darius James is busy. Not the New York busy of constantly ringing cell phones or Palm pilots impossibly filled with appointments, but Berlin busy, which is something else entirely. "There's my book proposal about voodoo," the slim African-American writer explains while sipping coffee with a group of fellow expats in a Berlin bookstore called Another Country. "Then there's a film project I'm collaborating on with Philip Virus, which is based on Nation of Islam theology about the creation of the white race. Oh, and I've got an interview with Bootsy Collins tomorrow for a German techno magazine."
Read the story in the New York Magazine
Penguin's Berlin Guide: "You'll find Another Country not far from western Kreuzberg's Bergmanstraße. It's more than just a second-hand English bookstore though: they have around 20,000 used books which are for sale, but if you find you're running out of shelf space they'll take your purchases back and refund the purchase price - minus a €1.50 fee per book. Almost a sort of library, and with some nice chairs to sit and browse in."
The shop is no. 7 of the 25 top locations in Berlin on MyDayTrip.com, a social network for globetrotters : "Part bookshop, part library, this eclectic, brainy hub is a "country" of its own. The "cult" leader of "Another Country" is Alan Raphaeline, who would be more than happy to challenge anyone and everyone in extemporaneous discussions/debates about almost any topic (except for Harry Potter)."
Berliner Zeitung: "Another Country: Der kleine Laden in der Riemannstraße ist etwas ganz Besonderes. Mysteriös, fast märchenhaft, mutet der Verkaufsraum an, der mit Sofas, Sessln und einem blauen Küchenbuffet eingerichtet ist. Im Hinterzimmer bunte Bücherregale und ein schwerer Holztisch, an dem sich zwei Herren bei einem Glas Sherry auf Englisch unterhalten. Dieser Sprache sollte man als Kunde mächtig sein, denn es gibt keine Bücher auf Deutsch. Die Auswahl ist sehr groß und vielfältig: alle möglichen Genres von Mainstream bis Reiseliteratur. Neben dem großen allgemeinen Angebot kann man im Keller in einer riesigen Abteilung unter etwa 6000 englischsprachigen Science Fiction-Taschenbüchern stöbern. Alan, der Inhaber, hat den Laden vor sieben Jahren eröffnet und sich ein eigenes Konzept ausgedacht:
Die Bücher können in einem Leihverfahren jederzeit wieder zurückgebracht werden, man bekommt dafür den Einkaufspreis minus 1,50 Euro zurück. So entfallen lästige Leihfristen und Mahngebühren. Wer neben neuen Büchern auch Filme und andere Menschen kennen lernen möchte, der kann jeden Dienstag und Freitag um 21 Uhr den English Language Filmclub besuchen.
(Berliner Zeitung, 4.10.2006, S. 27)
Pictures from the shop: