A Photographic Impression of the First Twelve Years at Arkadia International Bookshop!

Dear friend of Arkadia,

We just published an album of photographs! Prepared with love and care during the months of lockdown last spring, the album is for sale at Arkadia now (it can also, of course, be shipped to you)!

The price of the soft back version is 35e, and of the hardback version 45e. (Since the book is new, members of the Friends of Arkadia International Bookshop association will sadly not benefit from their usual 50% discount.)

The book will bring back many fond memories and ready you for all the good times to be enjoyed at Arkadia in countless years to come!

Most warmly,

 Foreword of the photo album:

This is an album of photographs taken at Arkadia International Bookshop in Helsinki between the years 2008 and 2020. They represent a small fraction of the 11 000 or so photographs taken at both ‘Old’ Arkadia (Hesperiankatu 9) and ‘New’ Arkadia (Nervanderinkatu 11), all of which have been published earlier on Facebook.

Twelve years is a peculiar time period to celebrate with this collection of photographs – unless
we measure time in a duodecimal system, which has become unusual. Instead, we conceived of this publication for a less festive reason: the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) that is caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. The pandemic is far from over at the time this book is being published, and for now, it is hard to say exactly how the world, and Arkadia as a part of it, will continue functioning. For the first time in its existence, the bookshop had to close for two straight months. The space which is normally filled with life and people has been utterly quiet. Thus, we thought that it was the right time to look back and reflect on the past in order to look forward and act with decisiveness and spirit to preserve Arkadia for the future.

This album is not a historical document. We do not name the people or the events depicted in the photographs. Instead, the captions only present the date (sometimes just the year) of the photograph. Our intention has been to convey the spirit that has animated Arkadia these past twelve years and to give a sense of the flow of time with its cheerful, pensive, rowdy, light, intense, focused, funny, serious, serene, dramatic, and innumerable other kinds of moments. The days we have shared with you at Arkadia have exhibited an enormous variety not only of moods but also of colours, smells, sounds, angles of light, intensities of shadow, and so on. We have tried, in as much as it is possible, to show this variety in the photographs selected for this book.

We have frequently referred to Arkadia as a ship (MS Arkadia) and as a stage. Both feelings are often present when we stand behind the desk. We thank all of the people who appear in these photographs – as we thank equally all those whom we could not fit between these covers – for stepping into the bookshop, for appearing on its daily stage and sailing further with it. In these twelve years, Arkadia has grown beyond us, and it has come to represent more than what we, as its founders, have done. The state of grace we have benefited from is entirely due to every single one of our visitors.

As we write this, we are preparing to cheerfully welcome you all back for more books, erudition, music, comfort, laughter, joy, and comradeship for many years still.

Ian & Liisa Bourgeot