A café for reading promoting

Image: Swedish Television svt.se

Image: Swedish Television svt.se

Café Pilgatan is not just any café. A quite small café with narrow premises, situated in Umeå in the northen parts of Sweden, what´s so special about this? Well, according to Swedish National Television, Sweden’s foremost writers are in fact queuing up to come to this small café. Because beside the ordinary café business, there are extensive reading promotion activities going on: visits by authors, social debates, café evenings, education , exhibitions, literary tours – often focusing on children’s and young adult literature. This year, the café turns five years and has got attention in the Swedish media. Annika Edlund, children’s librarian, reading promoter and member of the ALMA jury, is one of the initiators behind Pilgatan.

– We want this to be a living room for literature and  when people from here go to Stockholm or Gothenburg Book Fair and meet with writers and intellectuals, many of them already know about Pilgatan, says Annika Edlund to Swedish National Television.

Photo: Stefan Tell

Photo: Stefan Tell

The general idea when Café Pilgatan opened in 2007 was to be a book café for cultural meetings. As stated on their web:  “We need places that take people’s need for education and culture seriously, in a way that makes them feel comfortable and relaxed.”

(A curiosity about the café is that each and every chair is bought by an author, as a contribution to the work of the book café.)

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