Books I Bought Abroad: Amsterdam Edition
As a bookseller I'm always keen to see other bookshops. I want to see what kind of stock they have and how they've chosen to display it. Though, I suppose, all booklovers have a cosmic pull towards bookshops at all times. We can't help ourselves.
While I was in gorgeous Amsterdam (I included some pictures because you have to see this place, I mean my gosh) I picked up four books. One of the nice things for English speakers traveling in Holland is that they speak and read English readily. We stopped in three shops but I only made purchases at two of them. We went to American Book Center, Waterstones Amsterdam, and a little used store called Antiquariaat Kok which was my favorite. Waterstones I hit first and got so excited I spent entirely too much there but it was worth it. I only got one used book from Kok and while I had a great time prowling the many floors of ABC I didn't buy anything.
I follow many of the Waterstones accounts on Twitter and always enjoy their quirkiness. They as a chain are the antithesis of big box stores in the states like Borders or B&N. They blend into the community more than others so I was very pleased to shop in one, which is why I spent a lot money right off the bat instead of thinking ahead. So it goes. What I am happy with are the purchases that I made. I got the UK cover for The Dog Stars by Peter Heller which is one of my favorite books now purchased in one of my favorite cities in the whole world. Nice. Then, I picked out two books that I had never read but wanted for a while, We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and The Reckoning by Edith Wharton. Again, the Adichie cover is the UK version which for some reason they're always more interesting than the US version. The Wharton is part of series out from Penguin Classics that are less well known short works by classic authors. I've had my eye on the series for a while and now #48 has started it off. Many more to come for me I hope.
I only bought one book from Antiquariaat Kok even though their selection of used books was quite impressive. While most of it was published in other languages they did have a low, long row of used but in good condition books printed in English. I went to the front with two books in hand but made the decision to only take home the Katherine Mansfield, The Garden Party, a collection of short stories that I've always wanted to read. It was hard to leave with just one but now I have an excuse to return to that distant land again.
I love to browse a bookstore. What are some of your favorite not-so-local bookstores to browse?