The name Cottage Antiquariat - On the business...
The name derives from the Cottage area in Wien Waehring (Viennas 18th district).
The first bookshop "Cottage Buchhandlung" was founded there in the 1930s in Sternwarte-Strasse.
After the 2nd World War (around 1946) it was re-founded in the Gymnasiumstrasse.
That was a small store, heated by a pot-bellied stove. The antiquarian stock was limited to a few meters of shelf space. It was purchased just as much as the shelves could hold. The store sold new books, used books and had a lending library. Mr. Kurz led the store to the 1970s, Then Mr. & Mrs. Knessl bought the bookshop and relocated it in a much spacier place just at the other side of the street. Here was now room for antiquarian books also and 2 long window fronts. This period was the heyday of used.book-trade. After the death of Mrs. Knessel 1998 I took over the business. Economic and technological developments have meant that the trade has shifted more and more to the Internet . Today, the Cottage Antiquariat is just a mail-order-business operated from Langenzersdorf (at the Vienna city limits). We offer more then 60.000 titles.
The stock covers many areas, not least because of the rich and only partly recorded old stocks from Gymnasiumstrasse.
In recent years collections from the areas of law, art, philology, theology, literature, etc. were purchased.
Due to the versatility is the work not boring.
After an apprenticeship as a bookseller and some time of sniffing in this and that I have found my place here, made a few professional and private detours.
I am in my mid 40s and have more than a quarter of a century of experience.
Dealing with books is my passion, I read a lot and at random - one of the dangers of the profession: there are so many books that are interesting ...
... but that is just part of the job. To have an instinct for the "right books", that develops over the years, but it is always difficult to assess which books turn around quickly and sell well.
Like most booksellers I tend to buy too much. The market is limited, despite globalization.
The market for old books is constantly changing. This affects not only the sales channels, but also the demand. What is today wanted and desired, may tomorrow be virtually unsellable.
This is why by buying books intuition comes next to experience. When I hear the simple question "do you buy books?" - the answer might be...
Yes but ...
The main criteria are rarity, merchantability, condition and of course my strong preference for one or the other.