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70,000 books in the house: where to put the largest private library


Books are wonderful. But sometimes there are just too many. An engineer collected 70,000 books in his private home.

Books are wonderful.

But sometimes there are just too many.

An engineer collected 70,000 books in his private home.

The mining engineer Bruno Schröder died in the tranquil town of Mettingen at the age of 88.

This wouldn't be worth a big story outside of a local newspaper if he hadn't collected several thousand books in his small family home.

This amount of books should be unique.


A civil engineer hoarded thousands of books in his house.

Every centimeter was built up with shelves (symbol image).

© Christoph Schmidt/picture alliance/

Mettingen with its almost 12,000 inhabitants is a tranquil place in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Perhaps one or the other knows from the confectionery Coppenrath & Wiese, which has had its production site there since the 1970s.

For a few days, the small town has gained an attraction that is not open to the public.

In a small family home, Bruno Schröder had accumulated several thousand books in every corner and on self-made shelves.

Weight of 15 cars of books

While reading, memories of Kai Mayer's "The Books, the Boy and the Night" came to mind.

Again and again, the historical novel is about huge private libraries and the search for very special titles.

Collections that are expanded with individual items.

In Bruno Schäfer's collection from Mettingen, you first have to see what's in the more than 70,000 books.

If you add up all the books that were collected there and multiply them by an average weight of up to 400 grams per book, you would arrive at the weight of around 15 cars that weigh on the old man's house.

What to do with all the books?

Antiquarians are the wrong place to start.

According to

, charitable organizations that earn their money from the trade in used things will probably turn their backs


Even online retailers who specialize in buying used books would not accept this large amount.

Finally, there would also be the time required to scan all the books or laboriously enter them by hand.

It is also unclear how many books the deceased read from it, where the journey of what is possibly the largest private library in Germany will go.

Assuming two novels as weekly reading, Bruno Schäfer would have been reading for a fraction of around 80 years.

There would not have been time for anything else.

List of rubrics: © Christoph Schmidt/picture alliance/

Source: merkur

All life articles on 2023-02-07

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