I have always wanted to visit The Netherlands. Thanks to the European Council for High Ability, I had the perfect reason to finally see Amsterdam and The Hague (the latter being the venue of the conference where I presented a paper). Naturally, I had to do some book hunting while I was there, but also with our #DecolonizeBookshelves2022 reading theme in mind, somewhat.
This was the first bookstore I went to. It’s huge, four delicious floors of book goodness. Their curation is pretty well done as could be seen here in the photos I took inside the bookstore.
I like their LGBT-themed collection as well – the entire city of Amsterdam made me homesick for another favourite European city, Munich.
As impressive as the collection is, I was hard pressed to find just one entire section of books written by and translated into English by Dutch authors – which is what I was looking for.
From the minute I entered the store – despite the fact that the ground / entrance level had little to no English titles, I knew it was my kind of place. I also liked their newly-arrived curated titles:
And then, I found exactly the books I was looking for. Fun fact: when I went to Barnes and Noble, Antioch – they had no clue what The Seven Moons of Malaa Almeida (Amazon | Book Depository) is – not the author, not the book title, not the publisher. Here in Scheltema, they have the Man Booker prize longlisted titles all waiting for the avid bibliophile to purchase.
And as if the booksellers read my mind, we have this beautiful shelf right here:
Now we’re talking. Here’s my book haul:
(01) Amsterdam Stories by Nescio with an Introduction by Joseph O’Neill (Amazon | Book Depository)
(02) Amsterdam Noir edited by Rene Appel and Josh Pachter (Amazon | Book Depository)
(03) Dreamer by Mark Janssen (Amazon | Book Depository)
(04) Bibliophile Diverse Spines: Reader’s Journal by Jamise Harper and Jane Mount (Amazon | Book Depository)
American Book Center
(05) Mokusei! A Love Story by Cees Nooteboom translated by Adrienne Dixon (Amazon | Book Depository)
(06) Max Havelaar, Or The Coffee Auctions Of The Dutch Trading Company by Multatuli (Amazon | Book Depository)
(07) Amsterdam Trilogy: Three Serial Killers In One City by Weso (Amazon)
Anne Frank Museum
Address: Westermarkt 20, 1016 GV Amsterdam, Netherlands
Naturally, our visit to Amsterdam would not be complete without a trip to the Anne Frank Museum and purchasing the definitive edition of Anne Frank’s famous diary with the slip-case.
(08) Anne Frank: The Diary Of A Young Girl, The Definitive Edition (Amazon | Book Depository)
American Book Center – The Hague
Address: Lange Poten 23, 2511 CM Den Haag, Netherlands
Around this time, I was also apprehensive as to whether we would have enough space in our luggage for more books, so I refrained from purchasing any, although naturally I had to take photos of some of the titles that caught my eye.