As of 2018, ten firms in Germany rank among the world's biggest publishers of books in terms of revenue: C.H. Beck, Bertelsmann, Cornelsen Verlag [de], Haufe-Gruppe [de], Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, Ernst Klett Verlag [de], Springer Nature, Thieme, WEKA Holding [de], and Westermann Druck- und Verlagsgruppe.[1][note 1] Overall, "Germany has some 2,000 publishing houses, and more than 90,000 titles reach the public each year, a production surpassed only by the United States."[4] Unlike many other countries, "book publishing is not centered in a single city but is concentrated fairly evenly in Berlin, Hamburg, and the regional metropolises of Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, and Munich."[4]


See also: Global spread of the printing press § Germany

In the 1450s in Mainz, Johannes Gutenberg printed a Bible using movable metal type, a technique that quickly spread to other German towns and throughout Europe.[5]

In the 1930s Nazis conducted book burnings.

German publishers issued around 61,000 book titles in 1990, and around 83,000 in 2000.[6]

Recent historians of the book in Germany include Bernhard Fabian [de] and Paul Raabe [de].[7]


The influential Frankfurt Book Fair began in 1454, and the Leipzig Book Fair in 1632.


See also: List of libraries in Germany

Outside of Germany, collections of German books include those stored in the UK at the British Library[8] and London Library;[9] in the US at Harvard University[10] and Yale University.[11]

In popular culture

In 2006 a temporary sculpture about German book history was installed at Bebelplatz in Berlin as part of the Walk of Ideas.

See also


  1. ^ Of these, several also topped the list in 2016 and 2017.[2][3]


  1. ^ "The World's 54 Largest Publishers, 2018", Publishers Weekly, US, vol. 265, no. 38, 14 September 2018
  2. ^ "World's 52 Largest Book Publishers, 2016", Publishers Weekly, US, 26 August 2016
  3. ^ "World's 54 Largest Publishers, 2017", Publishers Weekly, US, 25 August 2017
  4. ^ a b "Germany: Media and Publishing". Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  5. ^ Proctor 1898.
  6. ^ Euromedia 2004.
  7. ^ Raven, James (2018). What is the History of the Book?. Cambridge, England: Polity Press. ISBN 9780745641614.
  8. ^ "German Printed Collections, 1501-1850". Help for Researchers. UK: British Library. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Guide to German Collections" (PDF). UK: London Library. Retrieved 8 December 2017. (Describes German-language holdings)
  10. ^ James Walsh (1985). "Twenty Years of German Collection Building, 1966-1986". Harvard Library Bulletin. US. 33. ISSN 0017-8136. + Wieck, Roger (1981). "Exhibition of German Illustrated Books from the Sixteenth Century". Harvard Library Bulletin. 29. icon of an open green padlock
  11. ^ "Collections: German Literature". US: Yale University Library. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
This article incorporates information from the German Wikipedia.


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in German



  • Man with book, Stuttgart, circa 1890s; photo by Friedrich Brandseph [de]
    Man with book, Stuttgart, circa 1890s; photo by Friedrich Brandseph [de]
  • Readers in Bonn, 1950
    Readers in Bonn, 1950
  • Felix Jud bookshop, Hamburg, 2010
    Felix Jud bookshop, Hamburg, 2010
  • Frankfurt Book Fair, October 2017
    Frankfurt Book Fair, October 2017