The bookshop as a model of the world. Examples in Polish and German culture
It is increasingly difficult to find a classic bookshop in Poland. Old architectural divisions of relatively small shops into the reader zone–glass case with new releases–the bookseller zone have been replaced by open spaces, internal passages, as it were, sometimes even labyrinths of shelves. Unlike in the case of internet bookshops, we cannot see in them a hybrid character of reality, and even if we do see it, it is certainly on the level of information arrangement and — sporadically — debates with people visiting the bookshops. However, the fundamental network categories, i.e. diminishing roles of the publisher, seller, critic and reader, do not occur here. Apart from the information screen, where we can perform active penetrations, nothing blurs the roles of space arrangers and users here. It is just as difficult to observe — with the digitalisation dominant recognised in media studies — that e-books (as well as applications to buy, read or create publications) have overwhelmed printed books in the recognisable space. The proportions between the space occupied by paper products and the one dominated by plastic products (e-books, audiobooks, CDs, DVDs, Blue-ray discs, games etc.) are clearly balanced here, while the process of self-publishing authors becoming authors of traditional books, a process characteristic of the Internet, is unconvincing, because it is invisible. The author’s examples of such facilities include Empik in Wrocław and Lehmanns in Leipzig.