Meet the expat: Interview with the Founder of Books on the Brain

For the love of books.

Recently we had an opportunity to talk to Maggie, Frankfurt expat from Northern Ireland and the founder of the Books on the Brain, an intersectional feminist book box company.

Maggie, Founder of the Books on the Brain books box

Hi Maggie, why and when you moved to Frankfurt?  

I’m Maggie, and I am originally from Northern Ireland. I moved from Belfast back in 2015 to study in Luxembourg then moved to Frankfurt in 2017 for work. My day job is Civil Engineering, and I work for an Irish company.

What was your first impression about Frankfurt? 

I immediately liked Frankfurt! I like that there are a lot of expats & a lot of events going on (in English!). It can be easy to meet people if you put yourself out there. The restaurants & bars are also brilliant. It’s also perfectly located for travel around Europe (though that seems a distant memory now!)

What inspired you to launch Books on the Brain? 

I adore books and have been reading since I was tiny. It was rare to see me without a book growing up & I have always loved sharing recommendations.

I love book boxes & have been a subscriber of some over the past few years. My only issues with the popular U.K. based companies are 1. that they often share new books, and as an avid reader, many times I have already read the books! and 2. high postage costs to the EU.

I felt inspired to launch something a little different – with a focus on slightly lesser known books & based in Germany – helping to save postage costs for customers. 

Books on the Brain, books box company from Frankfurt

What is Books on the Brain and how it works?

Books on the Brain is an intersectional feminist book box company, highlighting womxn of all intersections.

Each box will have a theme, the option of one or two books, a gift from a local creator, a BOTB bookmark & several other treats! I have some themes ready to dispatch (Galaxy & Baby Feminist) & have recently launched a quarterly subscription!

I’m also excited to have launched a holiday box, based on an Icelandic tradition to exchange & read books on Christmas Eve. The box will include romantic comedy books and lots of treats to create a perfectly cozy night in over the upcoming holiday period.

Describe your perfect day in Frankfurt :

Brunch at Milch und Zucker in Nordend, a cycle or walk by the river, browsing in Hugendubel for the latest bestsellers, a wander up Berger street dipping into the independent shops, dinner in Berger Streetfood (best sushi in town) & finishing off the evening in one of the city’s many wine bars (I love Raum & Wein and Sommering). I dream of when this day can happen again!

What do you love/hate about Frankfurt?

I love that Frankfurt is compact & easy to get around. You are never too far from anywhere, especially with a bike. I also love the range of restaurants & bars.

I think the only thing I hate is that it can be quite an expensive place – and that there are no direct flights to Belfast!

What is your “special” place in Frankfurt?

I love Lohrpark – it’s a bit of a trek to get up without a car, but the views are worth it. 

What are your tips / recommendations for the new expats in Frankfurt?

This one is a little harder to answer during pandemic times, but I really recommend putting yourself out there, exploring the city & joining all the events you can! I have loved joining English Yoga Meetups & have also attended a few book club groups.

The easiest way to meet new people you’ll connect with is to join activities you enjoy. I plan to attend more & meet new people once things open up a bit more too, though a lot of the groups are doing online meet ups as well.


Follow Books on the Brain on Instagram or Facebook

Don’t forget to use the discount code (FFM) for the reduced postage (only for customers based in Germany).

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