Other great places to meet fellow book lovers in Norway are the Literature houses (Litteraturhuset in Norwegian). Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Fredrikstad and Skien all have their own. Check their websites to see what's on - some events are in English.
Norway boasts some beautiful libraries, several of which have received international accolades for their architecture and design. The most striking is probably Vennesla Library in southern Norway, build by Helen & Hard, almost entirely made from wood. Also worth mentioning are Bodø's Stormen and Tromsø Library, both in northern Norway. Travelling with teenagers? The uber cool Biblo Tøyen, Oslo, opened in 2016, is Norway's first library for 10-15 years olds only! Here kids can do homework inside a converted tuk-tuk, learn to prepare food in the back of an old Volvo truck, or read in a recycled gondola hanging from the ceiling... No grown-ups allowed. Located in Bjørvika, next to the Opera and the new Munch Museum, the new Oslo Public Library (Deichmanske bibliotek), due to open in 2020, will be Norway's finest, and a must see for any visitor.
Norway's book towns
The bookish destination par excellence, the village of Fjærland in Fjord Norway, the original Norwegian Book Town (Bokbyen), boasts miles of shelves, housed in quaint little sheds along the picturesque fjord. There are also a few second-hand bookshops, most of which sell books in foreign languages as well as Norwegian. Bokbyen is open daily May to September, 10am–6pm Tvedestrand, on Norway's southern coast, also brands itself as a book town, and here too you will find a few second-hand bookshops, as well as guided tours and a range of events. The town even has its own book hotel.
The Future Library Project
Started in 2014, the Future Library is an original art project where a new writer contributes a text every year, to be held in trust until 2114. Will these texts find a receptive reader in the future? Time will tell. In the meantime, the unpublished books will be held in a special room in the new Oslo Public Library (see above). A special Future Library forest of 1,000 trees has also been planted in Oslomarka to supply the paper needed to print an anthology of the works in 100 years time. Acclaimed authors Margaret Atwood, David Mitchell and Sjón were the first three to contribute texts to the project.
If all this has made you want to go buy a book, you will be glad to hear that most big bookstores in Norway have a section selling books in English. But Tronsmo in Oslo is arguably the best bookshop in the country for English language books. Here you will find a great choice of contemporary English language literature, as well as Norwegian authors in translation, a fine selection of art books and comics, and more.
Read other news on the city site of Oslo.