First English Book Case in Frankfurt

Sharing the newsletter sent out by the English Theatre Frankfurt on 30 October 2013.


On Thursday 24th October 2013, the English Theatre Frankfurt (ETF) opened Europe’s first public book case exclusively for books written in English.

Our guests of honor were Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann and the former Mayor of Cultural Affairs, Hilmar Hoffmann, among other wonderful friends of the ETF.

Take a look at the opening with the ensemble of Saturday Night Fever and our Lord Mayor:

The book case works like this:

People are invited to leave books for others to take, like a book exchange in a public space. We believe this will work splendidly in front of our main entrance, as the performances draw not only thousands of teachers and students but also native speakers who live and work in Frankfurt as well as people who are generally interested in the English language.

The ETF has taken on the responsibility for the book case. Our staff will make sure that the book case is clean and that there are no inappropriate books on display.

Please join us in launching our book case by bringing an English book with you to the previews of Saturday Night Fever, or when passing by the theatre. Whether it’s a classroom favorite or a personal favorite, your book will help make the first English book case in Frankfurt a success.

Please pass this message on to your friends who might want to contribute to the first public book case IN ENGLISH.

“The young need discipline and a full bookcase”

– Vivienne Westwood –

– end of quote –

Free Books at Rushmoor Park Oberursel

In July 2011, a typical English phone booth at Rushmoor Park in Oberursel opened its doors to become host to another public library.

Since it is open to the public, anybody can borrow a book or drop one off. You can sit down and read on the spot (there are some benches for your convenience) or take the book/books home.

There is no signing in or out – feel free to take what you need. Of course, you can also drop off your unwanted books there. At the moment, among many other books, you also find three math books and a French dictionary. The range of available books keeps growing.

BookCrossing members also use this spot for a convenient drop-off. I had a notification just this morning from a member, who has registered and released three books, such as Falsetto by Anne Rice, at the phone booth at Rushmoor Park.

Either way, this is a great way for people to read books and/or meet.

Note: You do not have to be a BookCrossing member to use this facility.

Volunteering at a Library

At dinner time, my husband mentioned the opportunity to earn Creativity-Action-Service (CAS) points working at the international school’s library to our daughter Margo.

Every year, upper schoolers have to collect 20 points in each section and working at the library would supply her with enough points to cover her service requirement for the year.

She was not too enthusiastic about the idea, so we tried to persuade her a bit and I ended by telling her this personal story. If her father had not worked at a library in the U.S., her brother would not have been born in Japan.

My husband, then a college student, supplemented  our no-income status by working weekends at the college library. The year was 1990, and the recession would soon reach its peak.

As  a young wife, without a work permit yet, I was too bored to stay home on weekend nights and went to the library myself. Books are my best friends.

At the library, I met my very best Japanese friend, Nobuko. Through her, we learned more about Japan and its need for English teachers. She pointed out  an ad posted by the Japanese embassy in the library’s foyer, looking for teachers to join the Japanese Exchange Teaching (JET) program. With both of us intrigued by Nobuko’s tales about Japan, my husband applied and got accepted.

Off we went to Japan, specifically Kitakyushu on the most southern island of Kyushu in Japan, where we lived and worked for three years.

Hence,  her brother Thomas was born there.

Boshi techo - the Japanese maternity book

More about the boshi techo on Comprehensive Living Guide for Foreign Residents in Japan.

Anyway,  libraries are wonderful places of discovery for like-minded patrons, wonderful books, peace and quietness, making new friends, and straying off the beaten path.


The word Amtsleitung has two possible meanings:

1. It can refer to the phone line between the exchange and the socket in a flat or house, also known as the Letzte Meile (last mile).

2. It can also be used to talk about an “outside line” in a corporate environment.  People talk about “ein Amt holen” or “eine Amtsleitung holen”, ie. obtaining an outside line.  Since ISDN is more popular in Germany than other countries, even private homes may have internal extension numbers require a number, eg. 0, to ring an external number.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

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