Bookshops all over the world have distinct personalities and comforting similarities. A local bookstore is an excellent way to jump out of the slipstream of travel and relax among the colorful bookshelves.
Although an e-reader is a blessing for people who love to travel — all your books in one slim device! — the appeal of physical books is undeniable. All those come-hither spines, lined up on tall shelves and promising the joy of a previously undiscovered story or author. When we travel, we always visit local bookshops, and we bring an extra carry-on bag to cart home our new treasures.
These two English-language bookshops are in Stockholm’s city center, so it’s easy to pop in while you’re enjoying the other sights of the city. Both shops offer a leisurely browsing experience and a wide selection of books that were clearly curated by people who love to read.
The shelves of The English Bookshop are tucked into a series of rooms with a few comfy easy chairs, warm lighting, and nooks that beg you to hang out for a while and browse.
There’s a whole section of the shop dedicated to Swedish authors in translation, and we got first-hand recommendations from the friendly bookseller.
Our haul included Popular Music from Vittula (recommended in our podcast Sweden: So Happy, So Murdery), the Swedish thriller Fog Island, The Locked Room from the wildly popular Martin Beck mystery series, a Scandi-noir murder mystery The Princess of Burundi, and a collection of golden age mummy stories called Lost in a Pyramid — all carried out of the store in a new canvas tote bag.
This shop is huge — multiple stories of books, board games, magazines, figurines, and other fun book-related tchotchkes — all devoted to science fiction and fantasy. The staff defines those terms broadly, so even if you’re not a hardcore SF/F fan, you’re sure to find appealing reads that cross over into the crime, mystery, and horror genres. We picked up a beautiful copy of Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes.
This shop is tucked into a charming street in Stockholm’s old town of Gamla stan. After your book browsing is complete, we recommend the homemade meatballs and cozy atmosphere at the nearby restaurant Meatballs for the People.
The English Bookshop has locations in Stockholm and Uppsala; we shopped at the Stockholm store. For opening hours and addresses for all locations, visit the English Bookshop website.
The Science Fiction Bookshop has locations in Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmo; we shopped at the Stockholm store. For opening hours and addresses for all locations, visit the Science Fiction Bookshop website.
Want to keep up with our book-related adventures? Sign up for our newsletter!
Can you help us? If you like this article, share it your friends!
Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.
Strong Sense of Place is a listener-supported podcast. If you like the work we do, you can help make it happen by joining our Patreon! That'll unlock bonus content for you, too — including Mel's secret book reviews and Dave's behind-the-scenes notes for the latest Two Truths and a Lie.
This is a weekly email. If you'd like a quick alert whenever we update our blog, subscribe here.
We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.
This 30-page Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.
Content on this site is ©2023 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.