Antique Book Shop, Wienzeile
Shop opening hours in general tend to be a bit shorter in Austria than elsewhere. However, the small antique book shop at Linke Wienzeile 40 carries this difference to extremes; opening its doors for a mere two hours per week, on Saturday from 10 to 12 a.m., as the busy Naschmarkt flea market takes place across the street. The small, narrow shop is a branch of antiquary Hans Lugmair’s more frequently accessible Inner-City-shop in Seilergasse. Apart from old books, there are also picture postcards, photos, documents and lots of other paper-made antiques to be found. Selling old goods – especially books – has a long tradition in Vienna and started more than 230 years ago, when the rules for booksellers allowed for trading with antique books for the first time. The industry quickly developed as secularization and the decline of aristocracy changed the Viennese society at the beginning of the 19th century. At the same time growing interest in sciences raised demand for old books. Despite universities, schools, libraries and monasteries being good customers of the antique shops, most of the booksellers had a hard time running their businesses. Many of them suffered from poverty. After several up’s and down’s in the bookselling industry since then, antique shops are nowadays omnipresent in the city and add their share to Vienna’s historic flair.