Best Bookstore: Nexus Afþreying
Nexus is Iceland’s only store dedicated to fantasy and science fiction and features a large fiction section, as well as non-fiction books on drawing, knitting, handicrafts and other hobbies. The store also has numerous aisles filled with games, DVDs, comics and just about everything else related to fandom.
The store has been running in one form or another since 1992. After 18 years at Hverfisgata 103, the store relocated last August to a bigger space at Nóatún 17. Although some were disappointed that the store would no longer be in downtown Reykjavík, the new space has allowed for a wider selection of wares and its non-fiction section in particular has grown.
Gísli Einarsson has been a part of Nexus from the beginning and is now the sole owner and mastermind behind its present incarnation. When we called to let him know that Nexus had won the ‘Best Bookstore’ award, he was so overjoyed that he accidentally hung up the phone.
Despite the book section taking up so much of the store’s floor space, Gísli was surprised that Nexus was considered for the ‘Best Bookstore’ award, and when we met up with him the following day he was beaming with joy, having just proudly told his staff the good news.
The atmosphere at Nexus very relaxed, and on a quiet day it is easy to spend a while chitchatting with staff members about the latest books, upcoming films and new developments in the hobby world. They are very helpful when it comes to finding something for yourself or gifts for others.
The bulk of the book section consists of a decidedly nerdy selection of literature (read: sci fi and fantasy), with books ranging from ‘Ender’s Game’ to ‘Twilight’ and ‘Game Of Thrones,’ and staff is typically willing to track down and order books, DVDs, games and other wares for its customers at no extra cost.
“We do a lot of special orders,” Gísli says. “If the book is available somewhere in the world, we can probably get it for our customers at a reasonable price.” New releases from the US usually arrive a week after an order is placed, with a slightly longer waiting period from Europe.
Be warned, many new customers that wander into Nexus come out having spent a lot more money than they initially intended. Judging from the smiles on their faces though, they probably don’t regret any of it.
(Disclaimer: the writer worked at Nexus from 2007 to 2010)
Comic Book Manager Þórhallur Björgvinsson’s Best of Nexus Books
Best children’s book:
‘I’d Really Like To Eat A Child’ by Sylviane Donnio
Best teen fiction:
‘The Fault In Our Stars’ by Anthony Ryan
‘Blood Song’ by Anthony Ryan
Best science fiction:
‘Red Shirts’ by John Scalzi
Best short story collection:
‘Zombies Vs. Unicorns’ by Justine Larbalestier and Holly Black
‘Girls Like Us’ by Rachel Lloyd
Must read comic book:
‘Saga’ by Brian K. Vaughan
Must read manga:
‘Attack On Titan’ by Hajime Isayama