Batgrl: I had a moment of love for this idea - can you imagine if every country had a certain week in a month set aside as book week but where ALL the stores participated and had sales? Not that we don't always have sales and promotions, and not that we don't have book and library love - but having this book-sales-time be a yearly tradition just for books (and nothing to do with holiday sales) - I would SO love this. And I already don't need an excuse to buy books!
We now take you to our scheduled reblog, already in progress...
So, Swedes have a bunch of probably very strange habits, but this one, I think most of you would love.
Every year at the end of February, since 1940 there is a national book sale. Like EVERYWHERE. Every book store has this huge sale with books piled high as far as you can see, and it applies to their e-book sales too (om nom nom nom!). Grocery stores push aside aisles to put out enormous tables full of cheap books. I've even seen great big baskets of books set out in IKEA and clothes stores and you name it. The MacDonald's happy meal toy at this time of year is often a kids book instead (although, it's a few years since my kids were getting happy meals, I once got a beautifully illustrated hardback version of Selma Lagerlöf's "The Changeling" from one. Well, my daughter did, technically, but I loved it more than she did).
It's a really good sale too, sometimes as high as 70% off new releases, or buy 1 get 2 free deals. And it's all genres, you can as likely find highbrow coffee table books that normally cost a fortune, as well as 10 for 100kr YA romance packs. A lot of stores do mystery packs, and just bundle up 2-3 books already wrapped, for a set price, and those are quite fun. But mostly, it's any book you can think of, for really cheap.
Swedes love to read, and love to share books, I often take a bus that has a "take one, leave one" book basket in, and it's always full to brimming over. I've gotten some great reads out of there! You'll find the same thing in coffee shops and restaurants catering to the lunchtime trade. In a coffee shop, you're more likely to see 20 people buried in a book than with laptops, like I'm used to seeing in other countries. But the book sale is above and beyond, and I think it's really cool and a bit special.
http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bokrean (in swedish, but google translate will probably give you the gist).
http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=2054&artikel=5456283 in english, SR is pretty much the equivalent of NPR.