Iceland is a country of voracious readers. I read somewhere that the country has the highest per capita consumption of books globally.
As part of my endeavour to visit bookstores in different parts of the world, I visited Pennin Eymundsson on my recent trip to Reykjavik. Pennin Eymundsson is a classic Icelandic bookstore with branches all over the country.
The store has an excellent selection of books, magazines, and other reading materials in Icelandic and several foreign languages. They also have a wide selection of gifts, stationery and travel products. Their foray into items other than books could probably be their way of meeting their costs.
The multi-level store is very well laid out with attractive and eye-catchy displays. The displays make you want to stop and admire them. Though the store has various sections, I focussed on the book section, which was vast and diverse. The selection included fiction, non-fiction, history, biography, nature, poetry and children’s books. It felt good to see lots of familiar titles and some new and different ones too. The staff was also very courteous and helpful.
The store has a café which is located on the top floor of the store. The cafe offers a book lover the opportunity to enjoy a cup of coffee with a book in a lovely ambience. As I have observed, most bookstores nowadays have a cafe within their premises and this, to my mind, makes the book reading experience immensely enjoyable and holistic.
Eymundsson, a 145-year-old store, was acquired by Penninn in 1996. It is Iceland’s oldest and most distinguished bookstore.
Since its acquisition, it has become the leading bookstore in Iceland.
The company now runs 17 branches all over Iceland.