I get easily excited by all kinds of subjects, history, people, cultures, sports, you name it. And when I do, I need a shot of what has been written on the subject. So a second-hand bookstore is a good thing to have close by, and Antiquariaat Kok is one of Amsterdam’s finest.
Antiquariaat Kok is located in a historic building in which there used to be one of the first department stores of Amsterdam and a little bit later the second store of HEMA. This fact, and how the shop owners in the street used to be a close-knit community, are some of the many stories you will get to hear when you get a chance to chat with the owners.
And yes, old books smell amazing, and this place is full of them. But the best part is the big counter area. You would think this takes away lots of valuable shop floor. This is the working area of the staff and they specialize in finding needles in haystacks. If you are trying to find that one book about mealworms by an author of which you only know the name of his stepmom and that he was bullied in second grade, they will get it for you.
So there’s no better place to go on a rainy Saturday afternoon than Antiquariaat Kok and browse through the books, prints, and maps. I always find what I was (not) looking for.