Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Who decides what Finland reads?

Apparently it's the Finnish Bookstore - Suomalainen Kirjakauppa, which according to this article in the business-oriented newspaper Taloussanomat occupies such a powerful and central position in Finland's book world that it virtually dictates Finns' reading habits to them. One concerned observer remarks that something needs to be done so that "the whole of Finland reads nothing but Stieg Larsson and Sofi Oksanen." "We sell what people buy," says Suomalainen Kirjakauppa....

(via Parnasso)

2 comments:

  1. A couple of things.

    Firstly, Suomalainen Kirjakauppa, at least in the capital, has had a serious rival for the past 30-40 years: Akateeminen Kirjakauppa. But it is true that its position in Tampere and Turku does give it a national edge on its rival, not least because it's part of the newspaper kiosk concern Rautakirja, in turn part of the huge Finnish conglomerate Sanoma, which also owns Helsingin Sanomat.

    So the Parnasso article and its reference in Taloussanomat almost risk becoming a backhanded advert for Suomalainen Kirjakauppa.

    Stieg Larsson and Sofi Oksanen are curious bedfellows. Larsson was a left-wing (Trotskyist) Swedish journalist who went on to write crime fiction. Oksanen tries through her novels and calculated Gothic look to interest Finns in, for instance, the fate of neighbouring Estonia. If Finland were to read only Oksanen, they would at least get some insights into "near abroad".

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  2. >>the Parnasso article and its reference in Taloussanomat <<

    Actually, I think it's the other way round - the post on Parnasso's blog refers to the article in Taloussanomat...

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