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For almost 30 years, Alfa Antikvariat has been a popular destination for book lovers in the capital. In June they close for good, and now sell all books at half price.
Alfa Antique Bookshop opened in 1990 at Drottninggatan 71 A in Stockholm and has since become one of Europe's largest antiquarian bookshops, with 800 square metres of space, 10,000 metres of shelves and 200,000 books. Since 2009 they have been located in the basement of Olof Palmes Gata 20B and have become a popular destination for book readers.
But on the last of June 2019, the antiquarian bookshop will close its doors for good. The finances are no longer viable. The rent alone is SEK 68,000 a month, according to store manager Henrik Einarsson, and competition from private online sellers is becoming increasingly fierce.
Henrik Einarsson, who has worked at the antiquarian bookshop for 25 years tells Svensk Bokhandel:
The last few years have been so difficult that it is a relative relief to have a good ending to it all. That's what we want now.Henrik Einarsson, Store Manager Alfa Antikvariat
Of course, I'm doing what I can to help this antiquarian bookshop come to a good end, and I'd like to recommend that if you have the chance, you visit Alfa antiquarian bookshop before the end of June and see if you can't find some books you like. Until closing, there is a 50% discount on everything in the shop, so it may well be worth a visit.
The antique shop is open Monday to Friday 10-18 and Saturday 10-16. First come, first served, as the saying goes. For tips on books to look out for, check out our unofficial Swedish literary canon.
What will happen to the tens of thousands of books they don't sell before the end of June is not for Henrik, the store manager, to say; it's up to the company's retired owner Staffan Bengtsson and his family. We can probably count on a lot of them ending up at other antiquarian bookshops, but the books face an uncertain future. Save what can be saved.
I conclude with some reflections from the ever-so-wise Balkan farmer Boris Benulic:
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