There’s no shopping quite as exhilarating as book shopping. But, here in the Netherlands, those who can’t read Dutch have it tough. Unless you know where to go. Here’s our list of some key English language bookshops, most of which offer a decent student discount.
One of the biggest bookshops in Delft, Boekhandel Huyser opened in 1931. Though their section of English books is relatively small, it spans from Salman Rushdie to Roald Dahl and best sellers such as Dan Brown. “Over the past couple of years we have doubled the size of our English section. Also, if we don’t have a specific book in stock, we can easily order hundreds of thousands of English books, often within a few days,” says Benjamin van Dijk, who works at the shop. The shop offers a 5% student discount on English study books.
Where: Choorstraat 1, Delft
Second Hand Steals
Delft has a few books shops dedicated to second hand books where you can often find the best books and the best deals. The first floor of Antiquariaat Franke en Seij is a treasure trove of collectors books (all in English!) rare books on art and history and even old editions of classics by Bernard Shaw among others. Just around the corner from this is Second Story, another second hand book shop with shelves stacked high with choice books. On some days they even put out a basket of books for a few euros.
Where: Antiquariaat Franke en Seij: Choorstraat 16, Delft
Second Story: Vrouwjuttenland 25, Delft
American Book Centre
Popularly known as the ABC, the centre has two stores in the Netherlands. One in Amsterdam that opened in 1972 and another in Den Haag, which opened in 1976. “Most of the more popular titles are stocked in both stores. However, the buyers for each section can order books which they think will sell or are of local interest. For example, we sell more books on law and the EU in Den Haag due to the presence of the World Court” says Joe Neesan, who has been running the store in Den Haag since it opened. The ABC offers 10% discount to students with a valid ID from their school or university.
Where: Amsterdam: Spui 12 1012 XA
Den Haag: Lange Poten 23, The Hague
Part of the well-known British chain, Waterstones opened in Amsterdam as WH Smith almost 30 years ago. The store stocks all sorts of titles and genres and even books in languages other than English and Dutch. Among the few big English book stores in the country, Waterstones boasts of regulars and fans. “We offer a discount to everyone in the form of both Loyalty card (3%) and a stamp and save card (10%),” says Tim Eastwood, Branch Manager. They also host monthly book groups for classic and contemporary fiction.
Where: Kalverstraat 152, Amsterdam
The English Book Shop
Quaint and cozy, the English Book Shop is a small, independent store with an eclectic collection of English books. Here you can find a beautiful edition of Margaret Atwood or early books by award-winning authors such as Jeet Thayil and Hilary Mantel. Besides a monthly book club, they also organize literary and cultural walking tours around Amsterdam on Tuesdays and Saturdays. There’s a cafe on the premises, the perfect venue for their scrabble and quiz events. And, if you become a member, you can get discounts on your book miles.
Where: Lauriergracht 71, Amsterdam
First published in TU Delta, the student magazine of TU Delft on December 2, 2013.