BookTrail Great Bookshops around Amsterdam
A BookTrail around Bookshops in Amsterdam
I had an unexpected visit to Amsterdam recently. I was supposed to be in the airport for a few hours – just enough time to have a nosy in the bookshops – but the plane was grounded due to extreme winds. A storm was coming…
It meant I would miss a meeting in Stockholm with publishing people (which I was very upset about) BUT I decided I would make the most of the time in Amsterdam. I had to buy a few essentials as my case was held at the airport until the following day but happy to say I was so looked after by the airline. A gorgeous hotel, transport, dinner, breakfast and dinner the next day!
Anyway I digress….let’s head to Amsterdam and see the bookshops shall we? I read Dutch fairly well since my time living in Brussels but I’m a bit rusty but always end up buying at least one to pop in the suitcase.
It was raining so it was the perfect day to hid in bookshops. As if I needed an excuse!
First up was Waterstones Amsterdam. A home from home, but you have to visit this little store. Three floors and numerous nooks and crannies. It looks pretty small from the outside but think of Dr Who and the Tardis…..
I did feel sorry for that poor dog sitting outside. This is the face of a dog who is used to his owner spending hours in a bookshop. Right?
….tables, bookcases, shelves in the middle of the floor, shelves running along the wall with the latest releases…
Soon, it was time to leave however… I was gifted a bookmark and having said hello and goodbye to English friends, I braved the rain again and headed to bookshop number 2..
New English Bookshop Kalverstraat 223, 1012 XC Amsterdam
Small but perfectly formed this one. Lots of books, helpful staff and lots of gems to find. More of an indie vibe here and it had charm and character that only an indie can. I forgot to take pics inside! I just soaked in the atmosphere and loved my visit.
Then if I was feeling lost in this huge city of canals and bookshops, I stumbled upon this one… called Perdu…which means lost in French. I certainly didn’t feel lost when a bookshop came into view! Poetry too here. Charming music as I browsed, flowers on the tables and right by the canal so views pretty nice outside the store as well as inside.
Perdu – Kloveniersburgwal 86
Then…another little hidden gem… full of second hand gems. English and Dutch here but mainly English. This felt very personal as if going inside someone’s house. It was a house I imagine, back in the day, and this felt very special because of it. Very nice. Well worth a visit.
Now this was the gem of a find. I chanced upon this whilst walking down a street eating frites with mayonnaise. To be fair, I have a nose that seeks out bookstores and I sensed the aroma of old books, book ladders and map magic well before I saw the lights in the windows.
This was one of my favourites. Why? The books, endless shelves, LADDERS, maps, globes, old typewriters, that dusty aroma of time having left its mark on the objects in front of you.
Books of every genre, type and age under the sun. I found an old Dutch copy of Anne Frank’s diary which was particularly apt. Lots of English and Dutch titles here but mainly Dutch. See if you can spot the typewriter in the picture above and that small child!
They had a huge counter and those old chemist’s drawers where I half expected an apothecary from the Golden Age to appear and hand me a bottle of something. Tell you what, if you could bottle the feeling I got in this shop, I would sell it and be a millionaire!
View here of the store from the back with the whole greatness spread out before me. I wandered around slowly and took ages to reach the door and the exit 😉 Ah I could have lived here!
That is only a selection of the stores in Amsterdam. One left which I had time to visit before I had to dash back to the airport. That’s for another day….