Saturday, September 6, 2008

Backyard sale @ Tronsmo 2008

It's become kind of a tradition in Oslo for publishing houses to have annual 'backyard sales' in which they sell old stock at low prices in their ... back yards. :-) Not sure which publisher started it, or when. It's a neat event though. You can make some great finds ... but where you will make them depends on what you're looking for. The sales are normally held the first weekend in September, or thereabouts.

Aschehoug normally has one of these events, but apparently they will not be doing it this year. Although I do normally go to their sale I won't be missing it much, since they are so very mainstream that I don't normally find a whole lot there that interests me. Sounds like I'm so special ... !! :-D But it's true. Anything at their sale you can normally easily get from any library. So. Not such a big deal to me.

The one I am really psyched about is the one held by Tronsmo. They are not a publisher but a bookstore ... a genuine bona fide independent bookstore, one of the last of its kind in the city. In the country. Their profile is political and leftist. They have sooo many interesting books ... !! and most importantly, books your average chain stores do not and will not stock. A lot of titles on politics, philosophy, etc, and a lot of fiction from South America, Asia, Africa ... books you just won't come across in a regular store. And they have comics too. I luvs dem. :-)

Tronsmo almost went out of business some years ago ... they had too little money coming in and the rent was too high. So they started a PR campaign to get people to shop there more ... because although everyone agrees that Tronsmo is so important and it's so wonderful that Oslo has a store like that, that's just no good if nobody shops there. I decided back then that I would buy something there every month. Just to do my bit. Because I'd be SO sad if they had to close down. This was about five years ago and I have kept my private promise ever since. :-) September's purchase last year and this year was made at the backyard sale. I first discovered their sale last year; I don't know how many times they have held it. Last year's may have been the first for all I know.

For any out-of-towners reading this: Tronsmo is a fantastic store, very well worth a visit even when there's no backyard sale in progress. :-) It is located centrally downtown, just behind the old University building and across Tullinløkka square. Any subway, any streetcar will take you to somewhere close by. Neil Gaiman thinks that Tronsmo is one of the top ten bookstores in the world (actual quote). So if you're ever in Oslo, don't miss it. :-)

The sale this year, which was this weekend, was as good as last year's. A lot of nonfiction books, a lot of fiction (mostly in Norwegian, some in English and Swedish), some crates of comics, some T-shirts and other merchandise. The prices are generally 30 or 50 NOK per book (various paperbacks and hardcovers); some smaller ones will be 20 or even 10, and some heftier hardcover volumes 75 (ie about $2-$13.50). Everything is brand new (as in unread; they will not all be very recently published, but there were books there today of dates as recent as 2007). This place does cater to special interests and leanings, but if you have those, you'll love it. :-)

I got about a dozen books - most of them to read and then maybe, probably, BookCross. Some of them I got just to 'Cross - like one in French which I plan to offer as a RABCK on the French BookCrossing forum. It's a Norwegian comic translated into French; I want to spread the good word. :-) In all I spent 420 NOK there (about $75) and was very happy with my haul. My friend KAS was there with me today; she (unsurprisingly) spent much less ;-) but found some gems too. :-)

The sale:

My loot:


Anonymous said...

you must have a loooooooooot of time on your hands......gaaaaaaspp

Leisha Camden said...

Anonymous, you are so right. I have no life, and all my free time is wasted on shopping for books and recommending bookstores on blogspot and similar idiocies.

You have pegged me completely! I hang my head in shame.

(One tip for you, though, since English is clearly not your first language: the Norwegian word gjesp does not translate into the English gasp (that's the equivalent of our gisp). The word you're looking for is yawn. Maybe if you spent more time reading, and less time writing pointless comments online, you would already know that.)