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Ten brilliant spots for bookworms to visit across Sweden

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Ten brilliant spots for bookworms to visit across Sweden
Sweden is full of inspiring spots to curl up with a book or discover a new favourite. Photo: arastorguev/Depositphotos
14:29 CEST+02:00
Sweden has undoubtedly made its mark on the literary world, from the enduring appeal of Pippi Longstocking and other children's favourites to the Nordic noir mysteries that captured the world's imagination.

Tourists come to the country each year to spend time in the impressive landscapes and quaint villages that form the backdrops of their favourite books, but for literature lovers Sweden also has plenty of inspiring libraries and shops worthy of a bookish pilgrimage.

Here are ten of the best places across the country to while away a day with a book, or discover a new favourite.

Antikvariat Röde Orm, Gothenburg

Wander through the historical Haga area of Sweden's second city and step through the doors of this haven for rare book fans. It has been running for over 20 years and has built up a strong reputation for its wide selection of volumes covering many varied subject areas, with friendly staff who will help you find what you're looking for.

Top tip: head to the nearby Cafe Husaren if you can't wait to start reading your purchases, where you'll find the biggest cinnamon buns you're likely to have ever seen. For those who can't make the trip to Gothenburg, the bookshop also has a wide selection available online.

 

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City Library, Malmö

If you prefer clean and crisp Scandinavian design to the musty smell of old books, this is the place for you. It's made up of three buildings with a blend of modern and traditional architecture. Wander through the Renaissance-inspired Castle, the Calendar of Light with its huge windows offering readers plenty of natural light, and the Cylinder which links the two.

You can browse a wide range of books in many languages while enjoying the view over the city. A perfect spot to study, with a large selection for children and a cafe-restaurant on-site.

Photo: Johan Nilsson / TT

National Library of Sweden, Stockholm

Located in the leafy and peaceful Humlegården park, this library has over 18 million written documents. One of the most impressive is the so-called Devil's Bible or Codex Gigus, a 13th-century manuscript taken from Prague by the Swedish Army in the 1600s. This huge book was handwritten by a lone and unknown monk, but the real draw is the unexplained drawing of Satan himself spanning one full page.

There's also plenty of space for quiet reading and study, as well as a cafe, and several special collections if you have a particular area of interest. Just be prepared for the security measures, which mean you have to leave any bags and water bottles in lockers.

Photo: Hasse Holmberg / SCANPIX/TT

Rönnells Antikvariat, Stockholm

Rönnells has been around in Stockholm since 1929 and it's a true treasure trove of rare and out of print books. Whether you're hunting for something in particular or just want to soak up the incredible atmosphere, it's always worth looking around.


Photo: Hasse Holmberg/Scanpix/TT

Junibacken, Stockholm

One for the mini-booklovers: Junibacken is a children's museum based on the stories of Astrid Lindgren, and the colourful bookstore is Sweden's largest for children. You can sit and spend a quiet afternoon in the reading corner, or browse for books, games and soft toys to buy.

 

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The English Bookshop, Uppsala

Recently voted the world's best international bookshop, this is a must-visit if you'll be staying in Uppsala or even just passing through. All the books are hand-picked by staff, and you can also buy plenty of literary-themed merchandise from tote bags to stationery. The shop also has a branch in Stockholm, and both venues regularly host events from author talks to book groups. 

 

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Science Fiction Bokhandel, in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö

With three stores in Sweden's major cities, Science Fiction Bokhandel does what it says on the tin, and a whole lot more. Alongside the books, films and comics, you'll find games of all varieties and merchandise for plenty of fantasy series and franchises including Harry Potter, Marvel, Star Wars, and many more. 

 

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City Library, Stockholm

They say don't judge a book by its cover, but this is a building that's beautiful inside and out, with its distinctive architecture making it a great spot for Instagrammers. With around 3,000 visitors each day, it's one of the busier spots on this list but you should still be able to find a quiet space to read, work or study.

Photo: Staffan Löwstedt / SvD / TT

Papercut, Stockholm

Cute and quirky, this is the perfect spot for picking up presents -- and they ship worldwide, so no need to worry about your luggage being too heavy if you're buying for friends outside Sweden. It's aimed at those with an interest in art, music, design and fashion, with a range of Swedish and international magazines, books and related items. 

 

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Bokhandel Laholm, Laholm

For anyone in Halland, Laholm's bookstore is well worth a visit. It's an independent shop where every title has been selected by the owners -- their slogan is "we love books". With a wide selection of reading material as well as stationery for sale, it's a relaxing spot to while away an afternoon (see the inner courtyard below) -- check the website for upcoming events.

 

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