The fiercely independent Oslo bookstore Tronsmo Bokhandel has found a new home after months of uncertainty prompted by a cancelled lease. As it turns out, the bookstore can even stay in its current neighbourhood downtown.
“I’m very relieved,” store manager Eva Stenlund Thorsen told newspaper Dagsavisen this week. Tronsmo and its 40,000 books will move just down the street from the location it’s had for more than 40 years. The new corner location at Universitetsgata 12 currently houses a clothing store that is moving into smaller quarters.
The threatened closure of the bookstore, which has been called Oslo’s version of the old Beatnick-generation bookstore City Lights in San Francisco, set off a major cultural debate earlier this year. It lost its lease in a building owned by state real estate giant Entra AS, which is converting the property into expanded quarters for the University of Oslo’s law school nearby.
The conflict was uncomfortable for the university, which generally supports both literature and independence. Now a solution has been found that satisfies all parties and Tronsmo will get more space as well. It will also reopen its acclaimed comic book department in the cellar, which was a popular fixture at its exiting site.