Latest book haul

Work will be more hectic in the coming months, so after work last week I went to four second-hand shops to look for books. I am not sure why, because I am a binge reader. I cannot read ten pages here and there – I need to finish a book over a couple of days. But maybe at Christmas time I will have more time to read.

As I mentioned previously, thrift stores are the best way to find English-language books in Stockholm. The downside of this is you cannot choose what you want to read. Crime novels and biographies dominate. If you are looking for a romance or general non-fiction you’re be better off buying digital.

I found loads of Michael Connelly books today, and all at the same shop. Someone must have been on a Connelly marathon (as will I, soon!) I also found one Led Zeppelin and two Cobain books. The average price is $1 to $2, with many 2 for 1 and 4 for 3 offers.

I am interested in grunge band biographies but there is way more written about Nirvana/Cobain than any other grunge artists. I have seen so many school kids near where we live make Nirvana their entire identity, despite the fact that their heyday was more than thirty years ago. I wonder if teenagers identify more with his angsty lyrics than contemporary bands?

Most thrift stores have a dedicated shelf for English books, like the one below, which was not alphabetised.

Last week though, I found one charity shop that organised English books by colour and size (not helpful!), and another one that mixed English (and other languages) – alphabetically – with the Swedish books. I prefer a separate, alphabetic shelf, but I am just grateful they have them at all.

Other foreign languages seem sparsely represented, with Polish seemingly the frontrunner after English.

When I finish my books I put them in our apartment lending library. We don’t have any English speakers in our apartment block, so if the books are still there a couple of months later, I donate them to our local charity shop.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

2 thoughts

  1. I’m not sure to what extent you’re genuinely interested in crime fiction and to what extent your current taste is shaped by what’s available, but in case you accept suggestions, I’d recommend Ruth Rendell, especially her non-Wexford novels. I’m not a huge fun of crime fiction as a genre, but I love many of her books. My top picks would probably be Going Wrong, The Rottweiler, Adam and Eve and Pinch Me, Live Flesh, Talking to Strange Men, Portobello, The Tree of Hands and one of the scariest books I’ve ever read, A Judgment in Stone. Some of the books she wrote as “Barbara Vine” – those are usually not “crime novels” per se – are great too, like King Solomon’s Carpet or Asta’s Book.

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