true book geek to my core, I find myself unable to resist the lure of a good bookstore, no matter where I am. This makes it hard for me to make my way around Amsterdam as there is always a new bookstore distracting me. A city of bookstores (internet be damned!), you’ll find a store around every corner maybe even with a focus—travel, art, spirituality…
Books spiral through the American Book Center
world of bookstores
a city of bookstores
Amongst them all, I have much love for the American Book Center (ABC) in the Spui Square. Ignore its moniker—this bookstore has so much more character than its generic name might suggest. Upon walking in, you are invited to climb the staircases spiraling with books. A very respectable YA section is found at the center of the store, as it should be. Here you can stop and admire the familiar names and have fun exploring their unfamiliar covers (different art for different countries, somehow I always find it unexpected!). Continuing along, you find that graphic novels, manga and artistic novelizations of films are definitely not overlooked.
On the top floor, find
the Espresso Book
Machine! Here you
are one PDF away
from watching your thoughts become a real, live book (ISBN number and all)!
Just across the Spui square, you’ll find Waterstones, the British bookstore. A warmth and love of books is found in even the most stately of bookshelves. You are welcomed to share their favorites and your own: a shelf to the left of the entrance contains the
The clever staff has even offered a blind-dating service, with a book!
Stop at the YA section to discover some internation-al covers for your domestic favs!
staff’s handpicked recommendations and a wall to the right hosts a board on which customers share their currents reads. The store’s cozy corners are built for real reading, always inviting you to feel unquestioned and unrushed.
The Spui is clearly a book-lover’s dream, containing these as well as an array of superb Dutch-language bookstores. On top of all of that, on Fridays a pop-up bookfair takes over the center of the square.
I must also give a shoutout to Mendo, found in the Nine Streets area. This store is a visual event. Elegant displays of stunning art, photography, history and other randomly beautiful books are fashionably arranged to maximize their impact. This store is worth a visit and just might contain that coffee table book you never knew you needed.
Cozy reading corner in the children's section