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This village in Norway officially has more books than people and we approve

A book shelf in front of a lake with Mundal mountains in the background.

Book lovers, we have found your nirvana! There’s a little village in Norway that has embraced and celebrated a love for literature in the best way possible – by filling every available inch of space with books. They’ve done it so well, there are now more novels than people in the town.

The remote and picturesque town of Mundal, is home to only 280 people but boasts a collection of over 150,000 books. There is a paperback at every turn in Mundal. Makeshift bookshelves line the roads, at bus stops, the ferry port, the grocery store, the post office, sheds, banks, stables and even in telephone booths. They are literally EVERYWHERE!

A red telephone booth.

While there is a regular bookshop for purchasing brand new books, Mundal’s many novellas are second hand as the town believes in preserving the memory of books in an increasingly digital age. Instead of sending pre-loved books to landfill, they are given a home in the town so everyone can enjoy the magic of a good story. With so many beautiful views in the isolated location, it really is the perfect place to sit in the sun with a tall tale.

Mundal is kind of like a library without borders, and similar to a library, it works on the honour system. Anyone can pick a book at the self-service shelves for 10 kroner (around $1.50) per book, and you can donate your finished books right back. The residents of Mundal are obviously passionate about reading and claim that if you line up all the bookshelves in town, it would stretch a cool 2.5 miles!


A Mundal bookcase in front of a house.

Mundal isn’t the only book town around either. The very first one (that people know of anyway) popped up in a Welsh town called Hay-on-Wye in the 1960s, when locals started filling the abandoned cinema with second-hand books. It started attracting book lovers and helped keep the memory of books alive. You can find rare, unique or unheard of books perusing the shelves – an adventure within itself! We for one are adding book towns to our travel wish list.

A Mundal book store with a scenic lake and mountain view.