How Alexandra Stiller Shares Her Love of Literature with Other People on Instagram

“As if I were sitting in a café with the person talking about a book”: Alexandra Stiller of Aubergembern writes subjectively and emotionally on literature. Photo: Christiana Koons Photo: Koons, Christiana

I just want to bring books and people together. This is, if possible, on a personal level,” says Alexandra Stiller of Aubergembern. That is why the Hessen native has run her literary blog “Bücher Kaffee” for ten years. She is also active on the social media platform Instagram, publishing regular posts like alex_coffee_books for example. Example with book reviews, quotes from novels or questions for people who follow her.Her account has nearly 14,000 subscribers, the majority of whom are female.

While the term bookstagrammer – a combination of English wordbooks and the platform’s name – has become popular for users who post pictures, text and videos on the topic of literature on Instagram – Stiller likes to describe itself as a literary medium. Her main job is to be a signatory in her husband’s company.

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Coordinating events, providing journalistic support to honorable host countries at book fairs, and promoting books to publishers: book bloggers and website book users who are widely positioned and consistently committed to the cause can certainly make a living today, the 43-year-old explains: “Some are becoming completely on their own.” However, it was not easy for the book industry to recognize this form of conductive literature.

She has herself registered a side business and does about six campaigns a year for publishers, for example. However, on the condition that you like the book, as Alexandra Stiller assures. Contributions due to a collaboration with a publisher are flagged as an advertisement or collaboration. “It’s a fair deal,” she says. Stiller then created paper collages in a very similar fashion, two of which were recently chosen by publishers as book cover decorations.

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Alexandra Stiller sees her personal and emotional contributions as a complement to the classic style

“What did a book do to me?” This is the most important question for Stiller when you reflect on reading her contributions. She sees her subjective and emotional examination of the literature as complementary to professional reviews. In this way it also reaches a different target group, i.e. “readers who do not read classic writings take with them every literary program and value my personal opinions”. “For me, it should be like sitting in a café with the person and talking about a book,” says Alexandra Stiller, summarizing her way of addressing an audience.

“I can’t do without books, reading is the elixir of life for me,” she says. This passion began as a child, and her mother introduced Stiller to literature at an early age. She spent a lot of time in a small library in Bingen near Sigmaringen, where she grew up. “At that time there were still these cards in the back of the books that you had to sign when you borrowed them,” recalls the 43-year-old. On some cards there was almost only her name, for example on the name of Astrid Lindgren’s “Ronja the Robber’s Daughter”. She does not have a favorite author or literary genre. But there are writers Alexandra Stiller reads, including Haruki Murakami, Doris Knecht, Marieki Valwickl, and Sybil Berg.

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This is how the 43-year-old came to blog and post

Stiller started blogging when she moved in with her current husband a few years ago and initially had trouble finding friends in her new home and finding people to talk to about books. The presence of Facebook and Instagram was added later. The focus has now shifted to social media. Still, Stiller never wants to abandon the blog in the background with sometimes longer texts. Also because, according to her, it logs a lot of access via Google.

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The literary medium noted that Instagram and the like have brought different actors closer together. The smartphone is an important tool. “The communication between publishers, authors and bloggers is becoming different, faster and more efficient.” And of course the exchange with subscribers. Alexandra Stiller invests two to three hours a day in her online presence and more time every weekend. And then you read a lot. Because that’s actually what it’s all about.


Reading Tips

When asked for three reading tips, Alexandra Stiller recommended the following titles: The Rage That Remains (Roelt) by Marieki Valwickl—a novel that illustrates, among other things, “how important it is to recognize the job of a mother in our society.” “A book about never having a child” is Lynne Stromsburg’s “Never, Never, Never” (Dumont). Also: The wonderful volume of short stories “Milch BlutWärme” by Dantiel W. Moniz (CH Beck).

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