Friday, 10 April 2009
If you're looking for a source of books in Finnish, Finland-Swedish or Swedish, Helsinki's Academic Bookstore (Akateeminen Kirjakauppa/Akademiska Bokhandeln) is hard to beat. Since 1969 the store, which was founded in 1893, has been housed in one of the most highly regarded interiors by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, next door to the Stockmann department store on the corner of Keskuskatu and Aleksanterinkatu, of which it now forms part. There is also a large English-language section. The sales and display area is constructed in the form of a three-level piazza, lit by geometric crystalline glass skylights and surrounded by white marble, and a visit is also an architectural experience. There are two cafés, including the famous Café Aalto, which makes its own sandwiches and cakes, and has table service.
The Academic Bookstore has an efficient mail order department, and will ship books overseas. However, the website's mail order facility is intended for use within Finland only -- ordering from abroad needs to be done by email, which should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.