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How The Local’s members are helping us get better 

Just over three years since the launch of our membership programme we are humbled to announce that you have helped us reach a milestone of 50,000 members.

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It’s hard to adequately express just how grateful we are to everyone who has taken the plunge and become a paying member. A surge in new members at the beginning of the pandemic meant that we were able to stay focused on covering the most important stories. And as we upped our reporting on coronavirus restrictions, new immigration rules, and the fallout from Brexit, you continued to pledge your support. 

As a result membership of The Local rocketed from 15,000 to 50,000 paying subscribers in just over a year and a half. This has allowed us to concentrate on being a key resource for readers. As a member-funded independent publisher, we are now able to spend more time than ever before getting answers on the issues that affect you. 

Back when we launched membership in 2018 we set ourselves the goal of making The Local much more of a two-way conversation between readers and our editorial teams. We have learned a lot from these conversations and are now in a position where we can re-invest revenues into exactly the kind of areas you have asked us to focus on. This means that in 2022 we will be dedicating additional editorial resources to: 

  • Expanded news coverage
  • Answering reader questions
  • Regular updates on rule changes in each country  
  • Immigration and visa issues 
  • Property-related stories 
  • Newsletters and email alerts
  • A major overhaul of our app
  • …and much, much more. 

We will of course also continue to ask for – and act upon – your feedback when it comes to the stories and topics you would like us to cover. 

This pandemic has been tough for everyone. We hope our reporting has helped make things a little easier. Your support has enabled us to continue to be a vital resource for millions of readers.

Thank you! 

Member comments

  1. While I appreciate ‘The Local’ focusing on Covid-related articles, because it’s obviously the dominant story, my main reason for subscribing was to gain knowledge about living in Italy. I just hope that Covid does not force that emphasis to the back page. News on Covid in Italy is available on a multiple number of sites, ‘living is not.

  2. I am so glad that The Local is going from strength to strength and long may this continue, but i have a question – what has happened to the podcast Sweden in Focus. It was mentioned that it would return after “a summer break” but still no further podcasts which i found to be extremely informative and good way to discuss the topics of the week.

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Welcome to The Local Sweden’s Book Club

The Local Sweden's Book Club is a place to learn about Swedish culture through reading, and we want you to be involved.

Welcome to The Local Sweden's Book Club
In a country with libraries this beautiful, how could you not be inspired to read more? File photo: Jann Lipka/

If you love books, want to learn more about Sweden, or to connect with like-minded people, The Local Sweden's Book Club is for you. You don’t need to speak Swedish or even be located in Sweden to take part, and it's free to join.

So how does it work?

Each month we read a different book with a connection to Sweden (chosen by Book Club members) and chat about it in person and in our dedicated Facebook group, which you can join here.

We're doing this because understanding a country doesn't just mean following the news, but also discovering its culture and reading its literature. For 15 years we've been reporting the news in Sweden, and our community of readers includes long-term expats, new arrivals, Swedes living abroad, and people who have never visited the country. This is our chance to read and talk about Sweden together. 

We cover a range of genres, going beyond Nordic noir to read fiction and non-fiction by a diverse range of writers, and we began with the wartime diaries kept by one of Sweden's most famous authors, Pippi Longstocking creator Astrid Lindgren.

This variety allows us to explore different parts of the country, and even different periods in its history, from between the pages of its best books.

Reading might be something we usually do in solitude, but something special happens when people come together to read, as you'll know if you've ever read a child's favourite story out loud to them, or read a book on a recommendation from a friend and found it helped you understand them in a new way.

In June we'll be reading Factfulness by Hans Rosling.

Our previous books are:

April: A World Gone Mad: The Diaries of Astrid Lindgren 1939-45
May: Quicksand by Malin Persson Giolito
June: The Little Old Lady Who Broke all the Rules by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg
July: Everything I Don't Remember by Jonas Hassen Khemiri
August: Never Stop Walking By Christina Rickardsson
September: Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekbäck 
October: A Sister in my House by Linda Olsson 
November: Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell
DecemberFishing in Utopia – Sweden and the Future That Disappeared by Andrew Brown

The Serious Game by Hjalmar Söderberg
February: Beartown by Fredrik Backman
The Circle by Sara B Elfgren & Mats Strandberg
The Red Address Book by Sofia Lundberg
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

Click the links above to read what those books were about, and what Book Club members thought of them.

Throughout 2019, we held five events in Stockholm, and kicked off with a talk about Astrid Lindgren and discussion of her wartime diaries on World Book Day, April 23rd. 

We also send out two to three newsletters a month with reflection on the month's book, and you can sign up for that by entering your email address below. 

And each month we try to interview the author and translator of the book we read where possible, putting Book Club members' questions to them. You can find all the interviews we've done so far below:

Above all, this is a community, and we're keen to hear from readers about your preferred genres or any book or event suggestions. Let us know what you'd like to get out of the Book Club! We do our best to select books that are widely available in translation and as e-books and audiobooks so that as many people as possible can take part, and will announce each title in advance so that we all have time to track down the book. 

If you'd like a say in how the Book Club is run and what we read, fill out the short survey below. You can also get in touch with us directly through email or, if you're a Member of The Local, by logging in to comment. The Local's Book Club is run by Catherine Edwards, and in 2019 has been supported by the European Journalism Centre's Engaged Journalism Accelerator.