What is next for the bookstore “Leseinsel” in Ebern?

An interesting thriller, beautiful paper or a fun board game: Whether you are looking for a new book or a good gift, you will usually find what you are looking for in Ursula Gräbe. The 60-year-old is the owner of Ebern Reading Island, the city’s only bookstore. The woman in love usually has good advice for her clients. But he himself faces a problem.

So far no successor has been found

The bookseller does not want to stop. But it should be. Due to health problems, he was looking for a successor for some time. He placed advertisements, informed professional bookstore schools and informed their representatives. “I network well,” says Graebe. But so far the search has not been successful, because so far he has not found anyone to follow his trail.

The Reckendorf woman started an attempt three years ago. But that didn’t go down well with the pigs at the time, he reported. In recent weeks, the rumor has circulated again in the old district town that the bookstore is closing. “But I don’t want to close it,” explained Gräbe in an interview with the editors. “I put a lot of heart and soul into the shop. It would be a shame if the reading island no longer exists.”

A constant in Ebern since 2003

The Gräbe bookstore has become a fixture in Ebern in recent years. The reading island in Kapellenstraße has been around for almost two decades. Before Gräbe opened the shop in May 2003, he was a sales representative for school books in the schools of Bamberg and Ebern. He still gives them good literature today.

“We had almost 28 square meters of retail space at that time,” the deliveryman recalls. It quickly became clear that there was not enough space. Two years later, Gräbe moved directly opposite to bags and luggage. The former Elektro Einwag shop, where City Döner is now located, was empty at the time. At the same time, the conversion of the old shop began.

“Then we just carried the books across the street,” he recalls. “That was great.” In 2007 Gräbe and his team returned to the rooms of the old domicile – since the renovation they are more than twice as big. The 60-year-old is currently supported by four employees, part-time and full-time. However, none of them could take over the shop, reports the businesswoman. Children and family planning would come in between.

Better local retail than Amazon

Business is good, says Graebe. He is particularly happy about the younger customers who come to his store and request the books instead of ordering from online retailers. Especially in the last two years, in times of closures, shop closures and major incidents, the businesswoman received great support from the population.

Customers not only come from Ebern, but also make their way from Maroldsweisach, Itzgrund, Kirchlauter or Baunach. This is no accident. In addition to normal day-to-day business, Gräbe has done a lot in recent years to bring its customers closer to the love of literature.

Whether evening reading in the shop, reading in school, crime events with Franconian authors or trips to the book fairs in Leipzig and Frankfurt – the list of events that Gräbe lists is long. “But it’s getting less because I just can’t lift that much anymore,” admitted the 60-year-old.

But what’s next for the bookstore? “The island of reading is my child,” said the bookseller. His job is not a normal job for him, but it is his calling. “I don’t want to just throw this away.” He hopes that they will find someone soon to take over his business. Otherwise he will continue to work, even if it is not good for his health.

More time for family – his own children and grandchildren – would be good for Gräbe. And vacation. It has fallen short in recent years. There are already interested parties. But it would never fit before.

“I want to be able to buy my books somewhere later.”

Ursula Gräbe, owner of the reading island in Ebern

Interested parties do not have to be millionaires to take over the business. “It’s affordable,” assures Graebe. It is important for him that the transfer is made to someone “who knows how the shop works,” says the businessman with a smile. “I want to be able to buy my books somewhere later.”

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