About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Norwegian Booktowns

Though it is February 28 winter clings to Saskatchewan. It was -20C this morning in Melfort. The snow still has a cold weather crunch when walking. Most winters Sharon and I would either be away in some warm locale at this time or able to go visit a spa or at least go somewhere in Canada a little warmer. Covid 19 continues to prevent travel. Vaccinations are proceeding but it will still be months before most Canadians are vaccinated. Thus I looked upon the internet for places to dream about visiting.

I came upon a pair of book towns in Norway that look and sound like magical places.

The first is Fjærland by the Sognefjord on the west coast of Norway. It is accessible by ferry from Bergen. There is road access from the interior.

The website www.visitnorway.com describes the town:

The first of Norway's two book towns saw the light

of day in 1995. Mundal, the centre of the small

village Fjærland by the Sognefjord, is home to about

four kilometres of books. Most are second-hand, and

the dozens of outlets are also based on reutilization -

here you'll find books in ferry waiting rooms,

stables, banks, an old post office, and a grocery

shop. The giant Tusund og ei natt is the only shop

built specifically to house books, while the small

outdoor shelf



own) calls.

itself "the


most honest


and trusts you

to leave a

small amount of money in a box for every book you take.

The website culture trip says the village of Mundal in Fjærland with 280 people has about 150,000 used books for sale.

Prime book season is from May to September. The indoor stores are open in the winter. There are  books for sale online year round.

There is a summer solstice book festival

The second community is Tvedestrand which is southeast of Oslo.

The visitnorway website says:

     If you are travelling through Southern Norway, you
     should definitely stop by Tvedestrand, which calls
     itself "a gold mine for bookworms".

     "The joy of books, in books, and for books. When
     we open them, they open us", Norwegian best-
     selling author Lars Saabye Christensen said in his
     speech at the opening of the book town by the
     Skagerrak strait. And the town offers more than just
     bookshops. Throughout the year you can join a
     variety of events, festivals, and guided tours related
     to books and literature.

And, if that were not enough to entice a reader, the website describes an amazing hotel:

At the end of the day, you can check into Norway's

first book hotel. Bokhotellet Lyngørporten is æø

    idyllically located in Gjeving by the Lyngøfjord.
Suzanne Brøgger describes it like this in her book
Omelette Norvegienne: "We are accommodated at
Bokhotellet, where I live on page 303 with a white-
painted balcony and a view of the archipelago. Why
do people say that Norway is more about nature than

I am not sure what is happening at the hotel but it is now called the Hotel Lyngøporten.

Their Facebook page does have several posts about books and authors.

A few years ago Sharon and I were enchanted by Sidney, British Columbia. It is Canada’s only book town. Located on Vancouver Island there were 6 bookstores downtown. I visited every one of them. Links to my posts on Sidney are below this post.

I do not know if I will get back to Norway but should travels allow a return I will make every effort possible to visit the Norwegian book towns.





  1. Oh, those both look like wonderful places, Bill! The physical beauty of the places is amazing enough, but those books, too! It's nice to think of places like that where people are real readers...

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. Fjords and books and passionate readers. Heaven on earth.

  2. Love booktowns! I have been to one in the UK, and would love to visit another, but to find one in another country would be truly exciting.

    1. Moira: Thanks for the comment. I have visited two book towns and would love to visit more.