Sweden is filled with book lovers, and though there might not be as many brick-and-mortar bookshops as there used to be, readers will still find some great shops to poke around, especially in Uppsala, a bustling university town.
The English Bookshop
There are several English bookshops in Sweden these days, but The English Bookshop is the original. It was founded by two men who realised that many people in Sweden read books in English but didn’t have access to the more obscure literature, just the formulaic bestsellers and little else. So, they changed the landscape, and Swedes and the international community have been grateful ever since. The employees are happy to help you find any book you want, and they’ll recommend some you’ve likely not heard of.
The English Bookshop, Svartbäcksgatan 19, Uppsala, Sweden, +46 18 10 05 10
Opened in 1963 by the Student Union Interest Agency, Studentbokhandeln is jointly owned by the Uppsala Student Union and Uppsala University and is one of Sweden’s premier outlets for course literature. Although this might sound dry and academic, it’s anything but. The store is full of treasures, including Swedish fiction, biography, travel, history, literature and loads of more specialised books in Swedish and other languages. It’s an essential stop for any self-respecting bibliophile.
Studentbokhandeln, Sysslomansgatan 7, Uppsala, Sweden, +46 18 65 33 30
This is comic central, with an incredible selection of comic books and related materials—some say the best selection in the country—they feature Swedish, American and international comics and comic-book artists. The owner is friendly, knowledgeable and passionate about comics, so this is a must-stop for anyone into the scene.
Seriezonen, Drottningatan 8, Uppsala, Sweden, +46 18 13 43 20
This shop, affectionately called Nerdfyndet, opened in 1977 and has attracted proud nerds ever since. If you’re looking for role-play, comics or collector cards, this is the place for you, particularly if you’re an old-school nerd who plays Warhammer. There might be slicker options, but there isn’t anything like Prisfydnet, which means “bargain find”.
Prisfyndet, Kungsgatan 39, Uppsala, Sweden, +46 18 10 66 07
A bit more academic, Campusbokhandeln is a treasure trove of books that cover pretty much any subject you can dream up. Even better, they will buy back the books, so once you’re finished, you can get some money back, maybe to put towards your next book purchase. The super helpful staff makes this place a delight.
Antikvariet Röda Rummetn
If second-hand books are your thing, then Röda Rummet is right up your alley. This packed little shop is floor-to-ceiling books, with more or less everything under the sun represented in some way. Basically, this is the kind of shop you visit when you’ve got time to spare—once you start poking around the stacks, you’ll be lost forever. They also have a large online presence and are happy to help you hunt down whatever it is you’re looking for.
This shop really caters to its clientele, offering top tips across a wide spectrum of genres, as well as plenty of deals, which is important as the book budget never seems to be quite enough. Although mostly Swedish-language works, it’s worth checking this place out, if only for the amazing atmosphere that can only be described as ‘I love books, you love books, we all love books. Books!’
Although technically not an independent bookstore, Akademi is definitely worth a visit, particularly if you’re keen on books about Sweden or written in Swedish, as the selection here is pretty amazing. The staff is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about books, and they’re happy to send you to the right shop if they don’t carry what you’re looking for.
Akademibokhandeln, Stora Torget 3, Uppsala, Sweden, +46 10 744 14 00