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Das Berliner Buro Российский офис

Like the axolotl in the story by Cortazar of the same name, I look at you through the glass of your monitor screen and, at the same time, out of the large window of our office in Berlin. A table stands next to the door of our publishing house, and on the table are our books. You can come in, choose a book, leaf through it, put it down and pick up another, and, if you like, buy something. Yet, what are your thoughts, what moods stir inside of you, what kind of feelings are evoked when you glance at the covers of our books?

Take, for instance, the grandmother and her grandson. The boy pulls a book out of the shelf. It is our Dinosaurier Straße (Dinosaur Street), a book written for children somewhat older than this boy. Yet, his grandmother buys it. Is it that she can’t say no to her grandson? Or does she simply buy it in advance for when he grows a bit older?

Then, there are two policemen. One is carrying a folder in his hands. They look at their papers, then they look at me. And again at their papers. And once again at me. At last, a moment of rejoicing – they recognize me! Who would have thought that policemen had read an interview that I gave in the Börsenblatt, the weekly magazine of the German book trade. I take a moment to compose myself. Under the weight of all this sudden praise, I reach out and shake their hands. As it happens, they were looking for the owner of a car involved in a traffic accident who looks very much like me. The moment of praise had passed. I explain to the police that I only drive a scooter. I bid them a polite farewell and sit back at my desk. In front of me is my iPad, brimming with our publishing house’s endless ideas and concepts. As I write, I notice that a new customer is approaching our book table. I look up to see his face and try to guess his impressions, moods, and inclinations.

That’s because guessing what you want is my main job.

Yours truly,
Alexander Grebennikov

Grebennikov Verlag GmbH