Which crime novels do you like best?

What Germany reads

Germany. Classic or crime novels? Books or e-books? How and what do people read in the land of poets and thinkers in 2017? We checked bestseller lists and statistics.

How do Germans read?

Paper books are in demand - and still are. Germans prefer to read books rather than e-books, and not so rarely. According to the portal statista.de, 39 percent read five books a year, 27 percent even more than ten. The most popular are novels and thrillers. Only about one in five reads e-books, but the demand is increasing. Readers are buying more and more printed books on the Internet, however, and owner-operated bookshops are becoming rarer in cities.

These are favorite places to read

Book lovers prefer to read on the sofa at home, and they also like to read a few pages in bed before falling asleep. They revealed that in a survey by the German book trade association. Public transport, such as buses and trains, is the third favorite place to read.

These are the bestsellers in July 2017 in Germany

Exciting things from the north, entertaining things from the south, funny things about teenagers, interesting facts about bees and people - the range of topics in the top 5 of the bestseller list is quite varied and international. A total of almost 10,000 first editions were translated from abroad in 2016, reports the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels - mainly from English, French and Japanese.

  1. "The history of the bees" by Maja Lunde
    In her novel, the Norwegian describes what generations of people have in common with bees.
  2. "And puberty sleeps forever" by Jan Weiler
    In the third part of the series, the journalist and bestselling author reports with wit and esprit from his life as the father of two teenagers.
  3. "My brilliant friend" by Elena Ferrante
    A novel from Italy about a lifelong friendship between two young women.
  4. "Selfies" by Jussi Adler-Olsen
    A thriller from Denmark about a murder in Copenhagen
  5. "Times of departure" by Carmen Korn
    The second part of this trilogy of the century takes place in Hamburg in 1949.

Overview: Order lists for fiction, non-fiction, children's books and audio books:

Which literary prizes are the most important?

Anyone looking for inspiration for excellent reading material can also orientate themselves on the most important literary prizes for German-speaking authors:

  • For the German Book Prize Every year at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October, a jury selects the German-language novel of the year. Before that, a shortlist and a longlist appear with the books in the shortlist.
  • The Georg Büchner Prize is awarded in memory of the writer Georg Büchner (1813– 1837). The youngest winners: Jan Wagner (2017), Marcel Beyer (2016), Rainald Goetz (2015).
  • The Ingeborg Bachmann Prize is awarded during the Days of German Language Literature in Klagenfurt, Austria. The authors are only allowed to present unpublished prose texts there.

Where can I find more information about the book market?

Anyone looking for more information on the book market in Germany will find what they are looking for at the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels. The association, based in Frankfurt, represents publishers and bookshops in Germany. The Mainz-based Reading Foundation is committed to promoting reading. Her aim is to teach children how to enjoy reading and to strengthen reading skills. The foundation also runs an institute for reading and media research.

study Reading behavior in a country comparison

Exchange Association of the German Book Trade

Reading Foundation