For Jo’s Monday walk this week let us have a short walk to the Norwegian book town (den norske bokbyen) which is situated in Mundal, the centre of Fjærland.
MILES OF SECONDHAND BOOKS IN QUAINT BOOKSHOPS:
The Norwegian Book Town is an experience out of the ordinary, situated in a bewitchingly beautiful spot between fjord and glacier in Western Norway. Between May and September, various bookshops are open every day 10am-6pm, some of them are combined with a café, art gallery and souvenir shop and even hotel. Numerous events are arranged all season.
How is it possible having thousands of second-hand books in a small 280-inhabitant rural town?
The Norwegian Book Town in Fjærland started out very modestly in 1995, and now stocks about 2.5 miles of shelving, filled with books, in a variety of abandoned buildings – from ferry waiting rooms, stables and local banks to post office and grocery shop. Besides taking care of books, the idea here was also to preserve the old buildings, this makes some of the shops rather exceptional and characteristic.
Three large shops are selling only second-hand books: Straumsvågs Antikvariat and Den norske bokbyen A/S. Solstice bookfairs are arranged every year in May/ June.
Requests by e-mail, post, fax or telephone are served all through the year, and the book town enjoys a lively postal order business. During winter, the office hours are 9am-2pm every weekday.
During my short visit on weekend I was able to get two books by Ernest Hemmingway but of course I shall visit this place again.