learning Swedish to spite IKEA


A while ago, my best friend and I went on a shopping trip, the main objective of wich was a somewhat far off IKEA. Not that either of us needed anything IKEA-specific: he only needed a laptop pillow wich he could easily have purchased online and I didn't need anything at all[1]. He's just the kind of person who likes going to IKEA recreationally. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that he's THE person, cause this is some straight up abnormal behaviour i've never heard of before, but his adamancy made me curious, since I had only been to IKEA once before as a child and all I could remember from said visit was a mime handing out crepes on a tiny metal tray at the exit, so I was willing to join him to figure out what all the fuss was about. My immediate impression is that it's a very strange place to be. Walking through these fake, uninhabited, and always slightly off[2] showrooms that incoherently lead into each other makes you slowly lose touch with reality. Other furniture stores can also invoke this feeling, but as they usually put less effort into presenting believable rooms to be in, it doesn't hit too hard. Plus, most furniture stores have WINDOWS and aren't large and convoluted enough to need a fucking map to traverse, and they still exude that retail vibe through their general lack of comfort and busy atmosphere. IKEA, meanwhile, actively tries to cultivate an atmosphere of relaxation, cleanliness and homeliness[3], wich takes away the unsettling edge an IKEA trip might otherwise have, leaving a dream-like quality. Especially since, just like in a dream, opening up any of the books peppered mindlessly throughout the exhibits will give you nothing but swedish might-as-well-be-gibberish to read. Wich brings me to the point of this page:


All of the possibly thousands of books in any given IKEA branch are in swedish, because in the fucked up interior designer minds of the "people" who run these things, books are nothing but decoration. It is more important to them that their books push that lovable swedish stereotype that their brand pretty much single-handedly created than that they can actually fulfill their purpose as works of literature and BE READ. This pisses me of a bit. Books are a wonderful thing, y'know, something that can be very personal to both the author and the reader, containing life-changing knowledge or even just an escape from the mundane in a little piece of cardboard that you can carry in your jacket pocket, and these mfers buy them by the bucketload[4] and glue them to the tables in their exhibits for style points while stopping their patrons from reading them through a language barrier few'll be able to cross.

They won't stop me, though.


My plan is to teach myself Swedish, in whatever way is most efficient, and read a whole BUNCH of books in IKEA. I will lounge around in those comfy-ass exhibits with my legs crossed, reading their books like i'm in a goddamn library. If the staff start trying to get me to stop, i'll switch over to STEALING THESE BOOKS. Aside from catching me on camera, they won't have any way to interfere with this, as single books going missing can't possibly be noticed with the abundance of books in those stores, and I heavily doubt that they tag each and every one to trigger the alarms. If I do end up having to steal, I will donate the books to charity after finishing them. Don't ask me what charity would take stolen swedish books, that's a question for future me to answer.[5] This page shall at first serve as a chronicle of my swedish learning journey, and then as a hub for me to review the books as I read them.


[1] but ended up getting two plants.
[2] One room that was supposed to represent a 2021 rich bitch teenager's bedroom had an xbox 360 hooked up to the tv.
[3] I think that this is why my friend likes going there.
[4] Good for the authors though, writing's tough money...
[5] Don't worry, I'm just joking, I'd never actually steal anything...[6]

[6] ...Or would I...?