Modern Reading: Swedish Book Consumption during the Late Nineteenth Century
AuthorHansen, Poul Henning Gustaf
This study focuses on the reader and the book market in Sweden during the dynamic era of the Modern Breakthrough, with emphasis on c. 1879–90. It is a comparative study of three principally different kinds of literary institutions, which together constitute something of the backbone of the contemporary Swedish book market: Gumpert’s bookshop in Gothenburg, the parish library in Munka-Ljungby, and Sjöblom’s commercial lending library in Lund. From these three institutions, which served readers from all sections of society, extensive sales’ and borrowers’ records have been preserved. On the basis of these sources, using a theoretical and methodological framework from the fields of book history and sociology of literature, the study contributes to knowledge about the readers of the time, their access to literature and their preferences, as well as of their relation to the Modern Breakthrough literature. The study finds that the reading public of the period was highly segmented, and that access to literature was dependent on a number of factors. At the same time, the three institutions and their activities were, in different ways, part of, and contributing to, an on-going democratisation process of society as a whole, and increasingly, people from all layers of society could access their literature of choice – although, for a long time, economy, education and geography would be decisive factors for who would read what.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
CitationHansen, P.H.G. (2017). Modern Reading: Swedish Book Consumption during the Late Nineteenth Century. Tromsø: UiT The Arctic University of Norway. ISBN 978-82-8244-197-1. https://hdl.handle.net/10037/12397
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