The English Bookshop in Stockholm, a much-loved local institution with its sister establishment in Uppsala, has just moved from its old location in the historic Gamla Stan to new and bigger premises at Södermannagatan 22, in the stylish and creative SoFo residential area of eastern Södermalm. The new premises are big enough to allow for readings and events, as well as much-needed extra shelf space.
In a Swedish book market that has also seen its share of bookstore closures and chain mergers, according to staff, the English Bookshop’s move has attracted attention for being both a relocation and an expansion. Yes, it serves a niche audience. But it does so extremely well, and should be part of the itinerary of any Anglophone visitor or resident in Stockholm.
The English Bookshop has only been in residence a fortnight or so, but already looks completely at home. Its tagline, “The book lover’s paradise,” for once isn’t an exaggeration. It has little for the ebook reader, besides wi-fi, but that’s a function of the Swedish market, where the ebook audience remains small. And Julia, who mans the shop, wears a wrist brace due to so much lifting books. Such commitment deserves support.