Bokbordet is a long-established Stockholm tradition, with Drottningatan transformed into a massive book market for a day, the perfect opportunity for the curious to find some new reading material, or for the obsessive to track down that paperback they’ve been hunting for years. We met Gunilla Berglund, the coordinator for Bokbordet, to discuss this year’s edition.
With the Bokbordet now 29 years old, how does it feel to be running an important cultural event like this?
It feels great, as I am a person who just loves books and love to read. 2017 was supposed to be the last year for Bokbordet. Then my working partner Claes Karlsson, and Liljevalchs director Mårten Castenfors came with the brilliant idea that it still could go on and be on Drottninggatan and go in to the courtyard of Norra Latin to make that area an attractive place to be. So now it is the property owners in that area who pay for the event and not the City of Stockholm.
Can you tell us a little about this year’s programme?
This year is specially dedicated to the children. Usually we have had very few programmes for children but this year we will have theatre, music, the children’s book-bus, and children’s authors will present books. All this will happen in the garden in front of the main entrance of Norra Latin. In Centralbadet’s garden we will have four authors presenting their books, we will also have a programme around ‘Stockholm läser’. There’s a book that every year is chosen to be the book of Stockholm, that everyone is supposed to read and discuss. This year’s book is För Lydia by Gun-Britt Sundström. At the schoolyard there will be jazz music from 12:00 till 16:00. On the bottom floor of Norra Latin there will be a literary café. There will be presentations around famous Swedish authors.
Bokbordet helps people share and pass their favourite books around? Do you think that sharing is the most important part of the event?
Of course sharing is very good, but the most import thing is all the conversations around books that take place. Young people and old people talk about their reading experiences and discuss. It is a joy to see and listen to all the talks.
How should people prepare to get the best day out of Bokbordet?
If you are looking for a special book that is hard to find, come early. Stroll along the street and into Norra Latin’s schoolyard. Take your time, you will find books that you never knew existed. It is so much fun, and books last forever.
Bokbordet Stockholm, Norra Bantorget to Drottninggatan, Aug 18. For more info see bokbordetstockholm.se/
Photo: Courtesy of Bokbordet.