Obituary: East of Eden

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East of Eden Bookshop

Its so sad to see the last ten years of East of Eden reduced to a few lines written by someone who, no fault of her own, didn't know the shop. So just to set the record straight.
East of Eden wasn't the latest victim of anything. East of Eden was a wonderful place, with wonderful customers, the majority of whom were certainly not unemployed or layabouts. Instead my customers were artists, musicians, teachers, doctors and lawyers, mums and dads and grannys and grandads. They were all people who saw the shop as something mighty special. It always amazed me how many people wanted to photograph the shop, how many appreciated the uniqueness of the place. As Damien McGuiness commented when he interviewed me for BBC radio "This is a shop that could only exist in Berlin". He was right, that it lasted so long was down to the love and commitment from many people, all of whom were unpaid, that it ended well sometimes we all need to move on and yes my children will need new shoes!
But please lets not forget in our efforts to fill colums that Berlin is a city that allows many creative people to live out their creative dreams, it may not create a whirlwind around them, it almost certainly won't make them financially richer, but it will give them the space they need to develop towards their own form of creative realisation.I love this town, Berlin gave me the chance to raise a bookshop from the ground with very little other than creative desire and goodwill and it remains for me a dream come true.
Please remember East of Eden as an idea that flew for ten years and then let your own ideas fligh. I am still inspired by what we achieved with that shop so far east of everwhere and I hope that others will be inspired by its example.
With best wishes to the exberliner, long may you run
Alan Garvie
proud ex owner of East of Eden Bookshop

Alan Garvie more than 4 years ago

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