On a summer visit to Scandinavia, I made it to the Oslo and Copenhagen Public Libraries, as well as a few book stores. Tronsmo Bokhandel was loaded with personality and style, and I synced with it’s energy immediately.
I knew we found a special place when we first encountered a thoughtfully curated assortment of titles spanning modern art, design, photography and fashion. I further knew I was meant to be here when I saw a massive photograph of my patron saint, Patti Smith, hanging on the wall.
The entry leads directly to a shelf of vintage records, below a rack of fun postcards. The shops walls are hung throughout with uncommon prints and paintings that make the space unique.
Another reason I was able to enjoy the place so much was the large selection of English language books. It felt as though at least half the books were in English, so there was plenty of content I could digest fully. Every section had discoveries to make - most of the books I’d never seen before, it all felt new.
There is a centrally located stairway, hung with original artwork, that leads down to a potent comics and graphic novel treasure trove. It got hard to not buy everything. A few of the titles I had or had seen in the US, but the majority of the books were revelations to me.
Lastly, I was charmed by the Children’s section, marked by a red elephant on the side of the register. So many fantastically illustrated books for kids. I was in visual overload at this point, but caved and selected a couple books to take home. I was trying to keep my suitcase light, but what better to carry around than books?
If you are ever in Oslo, don’t miss it! Give yourself tons of time - you can really lose yourself in this fascinating, bountiful store.