Set up five months ago by Berliner and longtime bookshop vet Frithjof Klepp, Ocelot is, as its subtitle brashly suggests, “not just another bookstore”.
First and foremost, it’s an alluring ‘space’. Large and modern, dreamed up by local designer Martina Zeyen, the beautiful oak-panelled interior is hard not to appreciate. But what’s quasi-revolutionary for Berlin is the possibility to read over coffee. (There are exceptions, like the English bookstore Shakespeare & Sons, but they’re few and far between.)
Take a seat at the cosy in-store café and bury yourself in great graphic novels, comics and books on urban culture while munching on Prenzlauer Berg’s Wunderkuchen baked goods (€2.10-€3) and drinking coffee from Kreuzberg’s Espressolounge (espresso, €1.40; david rio Chai, €2.90).
Klepp also hosts graphic design talks, concerts, readings, films and exhibitions in the evening and has even directed his over-spill of chic literary nerdiness into the ocelot online store (www.ocelot.de) with both digital and print books on offer.
Although the selection of English literature is small, they do cover a reasonable spectrum with Mark Haddon, Dan Brown, James Joyce and Haruki Murakami. And if you’re yearning for more (or feeling guilty about all those chai-stained pages), the Phillip Schaeffer public library is a stone’s throw away in the Hinterhaus.