Book Shopping in Amsterdam….



This week went by in a blur. Every day I thought “today I will post the pictures from our trip to Amsterdam,” and then….it would be time to put on my pajamas, get my book, and call it a day!  But it’s Saturday….time to take a breath and share some book-fun from the Netherlands!

Our first stop: Dublin. Just the airport, but there was a promising sign. Colm Toibin, the author of Brooklyn, one of my top five favorite books, walked right by us.  I briefly thought of treating the situation like a rock star confronted by a crazy fan – where I would go up to him and say something ridiculous that I would immediately regret.  Instead, I was a grown up and just stared at the writer who imagined Eilis and Tony.

On to Amsterdam….

On our first day, we went to Waterstones (which we scouted out in advance). Not a big store, but lots of British books to look at and an opportunity to play one of my favorite bookstore games – comparing covers of British and American editions of books. Here are a few that caught my eye:



The first floor of the store has this cool sign:


When we went back to Waterstones a few days later, the wall had been erased and there were a few people writing on it – starting the cycle again.  Fun idea.

One of my favorite stores did not have one book for sale:


Here is the inside – along with the store’s mission statement:



Here’s the duck that travelled to Scituate in my suitcase:


There were Miffy sightings almost everyplace we went.  Dick Bruna’s now iconic bunny figure is available in book and chocolate and plush form – but also as a statue at the Rijksmuseum…




At a restaurant in Haarlem, this lovely statue caught my eye. It’s small. The man is reading on a table top at the front of the restaurant.  Excellent concentration in a bustling place…


We spent two afternoons at the Rijksmuseum, which reopened in 2013 after a ten-year renovation.  Visiting the famous Dutch museum, home to Rembrandt’s Night Watch, among other paintings, was one of the primary reasons for our visit to the Netherlands.


A buzzing crowd gathered around Vermeer’s Milkmaid, but she radiated calm…


We also went to the Anne Frank House, where Anne and her family hid during WWII. I’ve been there before, but this time I had an unusual experience. There were lots of people in the house and nearly 1,000 people lined up outside. But I  must have caught an interruption of the flow, and when I was in Anne’s bedroom – the room where she hung pictures of her favorite movie stars – I was alone for maybe 30 seconds. I stood looking looking at the same wall Anne woke up to every morning for two years.  Of course, I tried to conjure that young girl who opened my eyes to so many things the first time I read her diary as a teenager, but most of all, I was grateful for that moment to recognize the power of Anne’s legacy – manifested by the lines of people wrapped around her hiding place.

This statue is outside of the museum:


On a lighter note, I was happy to see this sign:


Finally…check this out. I’m not sure what to think. As we walked through Schiphol Airport on our way back to Boston, we saw this display of books that are printed sideways.  You flip up to read them. I wanted to buy one as a souvenir, but the check-out line was long and we were trying to find our gate. I don’t know about this. It may be fun as a novelty, but not sure about reading this way….



Een fijne dag gewenst!


8 thoughts on “Book Shopping in Amsterdam….

  1. Okay, that’s it. Booking my flight to Amsterdam right now.
    How do I arrange for the Colm Toibin sighting?

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