I’ve been absent for three days now, because it’s been a busy week. Besides, I took the day off on Wednesday to take the train to Osnabrück, a city approximately 120 kilometers to the southwest of Bremen. I really like these occasional day trips and taking the train means that you won’t arrive (and worse, return) tired by the drive there.
I’ll be posting some photos of Osnabrück tomorrow. Plenty of churches, some public artwork and a 17th century townhall among other things.
I also got lucky on the shopping front, for it turned out that Osnabrück still has a Sinn Leffers store. Sinn Leffers and just plain Leffers were two related chains of clothing retailers known for their excellent selection of underwear and nightclothes. They got into financial trouble a while back and many branches closed, included the Bremen one. I was heartbroken at the time, because I had been buying all my underwear and nightclothes at Leffers for as long as I can remember, because no other store had the same selection. So I was very happy to find a surviving store and stocked up on underwear as well as pyjamas. Just in time, too, since two of my pyjamas are in urgent need of retirement.
Osnabrück also had a surprisingly good selection of bookshops, including a nice Thalia store and a couple of independents. I got lucky and went home with a Susanna Kearsley novel and Ghost Story by Jim Butcher, which has only just come out in paperback. Fifty Bloody Shades of Grey was all over the Thalia store, but at least the independents were more discreet. Interestingly, the first book is not a big success in Germany in spite of all the advance publicity. It’s not even on the fiction bestseller lists, let alone near the top.
One of the independent stores, Bücher Wenner, also came up with a great term for the whole paranormal romance/urban fantasy/time travel romance complex, for they had labeled the respective shelf “Romantasy”, i.e. a portmanteau of “romance” and “fantasy”. It’s a great umbrella term and more handy than “speculative romance”, which is the one I use. I may borrow it, giving full credit of course.