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Sweden’s best English-language bookstores

Sweden’s best English-language bookstores

Published: 02 Jun 2008 17:39 GMT+02:00
Updated: 02 Jun 2008 17:39 GMT+02:00

International bookstores such as Amazon might have made it easy and cheap to get English books wherever in the world you are, but sometimes there’s no substitute for browsing the shelves and taking your book home with you. And while Sweden’s numerous English-language bookstores are rarely the cheapest options, they can be great places to broaden your literary horizons, to find books by Swedish authors in translation and to learn about local history and culture. Here are some top tips:

STOCKHOLM

Hedengrens – A Stockholm classic: Hedengren’s Bokhandel in Stureplan was founded in 1897 and has stocked English literature since the 1950s. The lower floor is dedicated to foreign languages, and the store has around 35,000 English titles on the shelves. Fiction, the humanities and languages are particular strengths and there is no particular bias to either British or US literature.

Location: Sturegallerian, Stureplan, Stockholm.

Mon-Fri 10am-7pm

Saturday 10am-6pm

Sunday 12pm-5pm

Phone: 08-611 51 32

www.hedengrens.se

Nordiska Kompaniet – The NK English Bookstore, located on the fourth floor of the venerable Stockholm department store, stocks a good range of fiction and reference books from across the English-speaking world, with plenty of British and US titles. The store hosts numerous book-signings, including an annual signing every December by the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Location: NK, 3rd floor, Hamngatan 18-20, Stockholm

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10am-7pm

Sat 10am-6pm

Sun 12pm-5pm

Phone: +46 8 762 83 39

www.nk.se

The English Bookshop – The Stockholm branch of the English Bookshop was founded in 2008 in Gamla Stan, in an attempt to replicate the success of its Uppsala sister store (below). The owners have created a similarly relaxed atmosphere to the original, with space to sit and browse through books before you buy.

Location: Lilla Nygatan 11, Gamla Stan, Stockholm.

Phone: +46 8 790 55 10

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 11am-6pm (closed for lunch)

Sat 11am-4pm

www.ueb.se

Alfa Antikvariat One of Stockholm’s best-loved second hand bookstores, Alfa Antikvariat has a great selection of used English-language books in its basement. This quaint old store specializes mainly in fiction, although in the best traditions of second hand bookstores there are plenty of oddities and specialist books, from A Syntactic Study of Egyptian Colloquial Arabicto a first edition of the script for John Osborne’s 1961 television play ‘A Subject of Scandal and Concern.

Location: Drottninggatan 71a, Stockholm.

Phone: +46 8 21 42 75

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10am-6pm

Sat 10am– 4pm

GOTHENBURG

Clara Bookstore – This small independent bookstore in Gothenburg’s picturesque Haga district was founded in 2000. Originally stocking books in a variety of languages, Clara Bookstore is now entirely dedicated to English-language books. Particular specialisms include Art and Design, Crime and Classic Novels as well as other strands of fiction. The store also stocks art posters and postcards, and is attracts a mixture of Swedes, tourists and foreigners living here.

Location: Haga Nygatan 3, Gothenburg

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 12pm-6pm

Saturday 11am-4pm

Phone: +46 31-339 17 65

Utbildningsstaden – As its name suggests, this bookstore is primarily aimed at Swedish teachers of English rather than casual readers. Nonetheless, it has an impressive selection of English-language books, with modern and classic novels, dictionaries, audio books and children’s books well represented. The store, located next to the city’s famous Feskekörka (‘Fish Church’) also takes online orders, although the website is entirely in Swedish.

Location: Rosenlundsgatan 3, Gothenburg

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am-6pm

Saturday 10.30am-3pm

Phone: +46 31-41 93 00

www.utbildningsstaden.se

MALMÖ

Hamrelius Bokhandel – Malmö’s leading independent bookstore, Hamrelius has the city’s best selection of English-language books. Art and design-related books are a particular speciality – and the store’s gorgeous new premises reflect this – but this is also a good general bookstore, stocking everything from paperbacks to reference books.

Location: Södergatan 28, Malmö

Opening hours:

Mon-Fri 10am – 7pm

Sat 10am – 5pm

Sun 1pm – 5pm

Phone: +46 40 12 02 88

www.hamrelius.com

UPPSALA

The Uppsala English Bookshop - Since it was founded in 1995, the Uppsala English Bookshop has become something of an institution in this university city. Regular book-signings and a monthly reading club attract a loyal crowd. Prices here are lower than in many English-language bookstores in Sweden, and new books are imported weekly from the US and UK. Visitors to the store, located by the Fyris River, are encouraged to relax in a comfy chair and browse through the 10,000 titles on display. The store's website offers an even wider selection of titles.

Location: S:t Olofsgatan 32, Uppsala

Opening hours:

Mon-Fri 10:30am – 6pm

Sat 11am – 3pm

Phone: +46 18 10 05 10www.ueb.se

NATIONWIDE

Akademibokhandeln – Sweden’s largest bookstore chain, Akademibokhandeln is part of the Swedish Cooperative Union (KF). The store on Mäster Samuelsgatan in central Stockholm is Scandinavian’s largest bookshop. It stocks a decent range of English-language books, including plenty of novels. Many of the larger branches nationwide also have decent English selections. Call for more information.

Location: Mäster Samuelsgatan 28, Stockholm; branches nationwide.

Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 10am-7pm

Sat: 10am-5pm

Sun: 12pm-4pm

Phone: 08-402 11 00

www.akademibokhandeln.se

James Savage (james.savage@thelocal.se)

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