About The Guide

Hello! We are Sonja and Ivan. And this is our Bookstore Guide - an amateur guide to book shopping throughout Europe. We hope this Guide will help you find the book(stores) you are looking for.

The American Book Center, Amsterdam

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
(The Hague, The Netherlands)

May, 2007
Our visit of Amsterdam dates back to the days when Bookstore Guide was still just a vague idea waiting to be realized a couple of months later. Of course, although we haven't been taking pictures and notes, we have still visited several local bookstores, and The American Book Center is one we would like to revisit in the future.

The American Book Center, or simply the ABC, is actually much more than a bookstore and it plays an important role in the promotion of English literature and language in the multicultural city of Amsterdam. This bookstore has a long tradition in Amsterdam, and in 2006 it has moved to a new location - a three hundred year old building in the center of the city. The ABC's three floors are ready to satisfy the needs of even the more exigent readers. Actually, the ABC is often stated as the biggest American bookstore in continental Europe. A second ABC store was opened in the Hague in 1976.

Be careful not to get lost among all the books and if you plan on visiting this store, be sure that you spare at least one hour to indulge yourself in all the wonders The ABC has to offer. While climbing up from the ground floor where you can find a wide selection of imported American magazines and newspapers, but also the books which are currently on sale, shelves full of books will accompany you all the way up to the carefully selected offer of general fiction and non-fiction books on the upper floors.

While in ABC, we picked up a free material summarizing the history of the ABC in Amsterdam, and some history it is... It dates back to early 1970s and an adventurous attempt of a young American couple to open a store which originally intended to sell used books from the US and erotic magazines. What we really like about the ABC is that although it has transformed into a general bookstore with a regular offer, the spirit of its audacious roots has managed to survive up to the present day.

The ABC's cultural activity is a chapter for itself. The so called Treehouse space holds all sorts of events related to the bookstore, book readings and signings, discussions with writers and even workshops for aspiring writers. The ABC even has its own blog, where you can follow all the action and find lots of interesting reading material.

The American Book Center AmsterdamThe ABC in Amsterdam:
1012 XA Amsterdam
Spui 12
abc amsterdam bookstore


Phone and email:
020 625 55 37

Working Hours:
Mon-Sat 10-20
Thursday 10-21
Sunday 11-18:30

The ABC in Den Haag
2511 CM Den Haag
Lange Poten 23

Phone and Email:
070 3642742

Working Hours:
Monday 11-19
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10-19
Thursday 10-21
Saturday 10-18
Sunday 12-18

Extra Information:
10% discount for students, 65+, teachers and ABC discount cardholders.

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Bookstore said...

bought in May, 2007:

Gaarder, Jostein - The Christmas Mystery (5.95€)

vukc said...

My favourite place in amst is FORT VAN SJAKOO - a great place for progressive and anarchist stuff.

Micky said...

Selexyz - Scheltema?