Anywhere I go, I need to find a trustworthy bookstore to feel at home. In Amsterdam it was easy. You might think that Amsterdam, as the capital of The Netherlands, is not the ideal place for English language books. There is, however, a place that will defy your expectations. The American Book Centre, right on bustling Spui square, has it all; all the books in English that you’re looking for, distributed over three storeys. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent there, reading and daydreaming.
The ABC also has the charm: the staircase bookshelves spiraling upwards, the knowledgeable employees, the seats scattered across the place, the book presentations and events. And, of course, the cosy cafe where you can quench your thirst — which, by the way, also has a great view over the Spui. This is a good address for those looking to buy postcards, a souvenir, or magazines as well. The offer is never-ending. Unsurprisingly, once you enter the place, it’s difficult to leave.
Here’s the pitfall: you’re most probably ending up buying more books than you had promised yourself to. But then again, who can resist a three-storey book heaven?