The local bookstore on the corner
I am still trying to capture more of life on Södermalm; this is on the corner of Mariatorget and Sanct Paulsgatan. I never pass this shop without enjoying the window display.
When I posted this on Twitter and Instagram, some people responded with their memories of this bookstore that seems to have a special place in the hearts of some people that love the Mariatorget area of Södermalm. Some others had never visited Sweden but felt it looked familiar because of stores they had seen elsewhere; “it reminded me of many ‘mom-and-pop’ grocery and miscellaneous goods stores that used to be prevalent in urban areas.”
One follower wrote that it reminded her of the ‘Bookshop Around the Corner’ in the movie You’ve Got Mail. I can see why; although this is not a children’s bookstore, and even though Meg Ryan is missing. This is typically the kind of small local gem where the owner manages to create a unique and cozy atmosphere, where you can get lost in browsing through books, art, and references to local history.
For those of you that would have loved to visit the children’s bookstore of the movie, I have some good and bad news. To start with the disappointment, the store in Manhattan’s Upper West Side where the movie was filmed isn’t a real bookshop. It used to be a cheese and antique shop, which was temporarily converted into the children’s book store for filming the movie. Later it has been a cafe, and now it is a dry cleaner where nothing reminds you of the charming bookstore that it briefly pretended to be.
The good news is that the original bookstore that inspired the one in the movie can still be visited. It has grown a bit and moved to bigger premises next door, but the original feel of a charming store where you feel at home is still there. You may want to have a look next time that you are in New York City. ‘Books of Wonder’ is located in Chelsea, at 18 West 18th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenue. On the weekends they the staff reads books for children during ‘storytime’.