Blogsterdam: My Favourite Bookstore

Blogsterdam is supposed to be a monthly thing but alas, the blogger behind this blog is very forgetful. Proof: the last one was posted in April, it is now July. Anyway, Blogsterdam is a blogging series in which this forgetful blogger talks about her hometown Amsterdam, as the city is so much more than drugs, cheese and the Red Light District.

Today I’m going to talk to you guys about my favourite bookstore in Amsterdam: The American Book Center. There are quite a few others that also solely sell English books (like Waterstones, which is my second favourite), but when I go out to buy books I’ll always automatically go to ABC first.

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They often have really nice displays and I’ve seen drawings like these on the windows before. I had to take a picture of this one though, because it’s just so cute.

The other photos used in the post are from ABC’s blog because whenever I’m there I feel too awkward to take pictures haha.

In the middle of the store there’s a tree, which makes the store so unique and adds to the atmosphere.

   

How cool is this? Fun fact: it took me a while to notice the tree, because I was too distracted by the books the first times I went there

The books are cheaper than at Waterstones (price difference between paperbacks at both stores really isn’t funny) and as a student I get a discount when I show my ID. I’m not 100% sure but I think that if you’re not from The Netherlands and show your student ID you’ll get a discount as well.

And of course, very important: the staff is lovely and helpful. I’ve never felt uncomfortable and I always feel welcome. There’s another bookstore that solely sells English books (and is often cheap) but the atmosphere there is so bad. The staff isn’t really friendly and make me feel like they want me to leave as soon as possible. I don’t want to bash another store while praising another one so I won’t call them by name, but thankfully this isn’t the case AT ALL at ABC.

Waterstones does have a bigger YA collection, but it’s still a pretty good one that ABC has. Also note: some books aren’t necessarily in the YA collection, but among the other fantasy books (like Marissa Meyer). So don’t immediately give up if you can’t find what you’re looking for! They also have a big manga and graphic novels collection.

They don’t just sell books, but I also got a lunchbox that looks like a Gameboy there and other fun stuff like that and Pop Funkos for example. They also have some stuff from Blossom Books (a Dutch YA publisher) like Shut Up I’m Writing or Reading mugs, bookmarks etc. And of course cute tote bags.

Important information:
Address: Spui 12 (really easily to reach by tram)
Opening hours: Monday 12:00 – 20:00 | Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 – 20:00 | Sunday 11:00 – 18:30
Don’t forget your student ID!

What’s your favourite bookstore where you live? Let me know in the comments!

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Dutch Comic Con 2016

For my post on last years edition, click here

Two weeks ago it was time for the second edition of Dutch Comic Con! If you’ve read my post on last year’s edition, you know that I had a lot of fun back then, and I sure did again this year. I have to admit that I prefer last year’s edition, simply because it was too crowded this year (last year we went on a Sunday and most people go on Saturdays, plus it was more well known this time). This is also why I hardly took any pictures and it just didn’t have the same atmosphere like last year did. Back then it was so much easier to talk to other people, including cosplayers. It doesn’t mean I didn’t have any fun though!

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This year I went as Totoro: I wore a Totoro hoodie my mom had made a few years ago, a black skirt, my Totoro tights and my Totoro bag. I got some compliments and people even called me cute haha. If you’re wondering what’s on my head, it’s a Susuwatari/Soot Sprite. They’re in my hair as well!

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When we got home I found out that there had been a Pikachu here at some point. As you can imagine, I’m still incredibly pissed that I missed him. I WANTED TO TAKE A PICTURE WITH PIKACHU.

I was mostly looking forward to a panel hosted by the American Book Center, about Dutch writers, who live here, but write in English and are published in America. The writers they had invited for this panel (who were at other panels as well) were Corinne Duyvis, Marieke Nijkamp and Thomas Oldeheuvelt. It was really hard to hear anything though, so Thomas gestured for us to come stand behind them haha. Thomas if you’re reading this I’m sorry that I was basically breathing down your neck.

I still missed some things, but I caught most of it and it was really interesting and helpful. Not to mention all three writers were so lovely and funny. I should really get to reading their work haha. I hope that next year they’ll have microphones, but I’m sure they will. They probably already had some on Sunday.

Afterwards I had a huge headache from the way I had been standing and how hard I needed to concentrate to hear everything though, which sucked. But it was still worth it and I hope they’ll hold panels again next year! There were other panels I wanted to catch as well, but since it was so hard to overhear, I decided not to. This one was the most important one to me anyway!

The other highlight of my day was meeting Baymax!

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Best. Cosplay. Ever

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Just kidding haha. The guy was really nice. We saw him pass by and I got really excited, so my mom was like: ‘You should’ve taken a picture with him!’ and he immediately turned around haha. He also got really excited when he saw my Baymax phone case (which I just realised I never showed you guys, but it’s adorable and perfect)

Because of the size of the costume he even walked like Baymax, which was brilliant.

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Look at him go. Off to bump some fists and heal some wounds

I mean HELP people. And HEAL them. Not destroy. Evil!Baymax is scary. Especially since he still looks like a fluffy marshmallow.

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I also ran into the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

All in all it was a fun day. Not so much for my wallet though haha. Last year I was on a mission to find an Alice Pop!Funko, but sadly she was sold out everywhere. So this year I was still on the hunt for her, but also for Harry, Ron and Hagrid (I already had Hermione and Dumbledore, and Snape and Voldemort aren’t my biggest priorities)

And I succeeded!

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And I found a few more too haha. And I just realised I forgot to put Phoebe (Friends) in the picture! Well I bought her too haha. LOOK AT MY SMALL ARMY OF POP! FUNKOS! TOGETHER WE SHALL- well I don’t know what we’ll do, taking over the world sounds so exhausting.

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And of course I got plushies as well. I’ve got a problem guys. But I got less plushies than last year (only because my mom stopped me a few times lol). So I may have missed that big Pikachu in front of the Pokémon poster, I did find myself this adorable sleeping Pikachu, which I didn’t think I’d find since I thought they were only sold in Japan. I also got another Pom Pom Purin plush (I wish I could tell you guys that my other one is smaller, but it’s not. I’m pretty sure that it’s bigger) which is adorable and soft and perfect for hugging. I also finally got my hands on green tea Kit Kat! I did find it before, but it was just so expensive. I’ve always wanted to try it, because I love green tea and I love Kit Kat. I’m happy to say that I like it. I can’t eat too many of them in a row though, or I’ll get nauseous. Pikachu likes them too haha

So that was my day at Dutch Comic Con! A summary anyway haha. I don’t even remember everything anymore. But it was fun.

Have you been to a con lately? Did you have fun? Let me know in the comments! 

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All The Bright Places in Amsterdam

As you may know, last month The Bookclub of the Opinionated Hufflepuffs read All The Bright Places and inspired by the book we decided to find some unique things in our state/city/country etc. just like Finch and Violet in the book. So in today’s post I will be talking about some unique things in Amsterdam!

Muziekboot Notendop (Musicboat Nutshell)

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A few months ago my mom and I were in the centre of the city when we encountered this man. I had no idea who he was, but my mom knew him. Apparently he’s quite famous (he’s even been abroad!) and he comes in the ‘grachten’ (canals) quite often where he plays music. His concerts are ‘surprise concerts’ though (at least according to this documentary on Youtube with English subtitles) and he doesn’t only give them in Amsterdam, but where ever there is water.

Parrots

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Okay, parrots are not an unique thing. I mean, they live all over the world, but would you expect to see them in Amsterdam? In the wild? You can find them for example in the Spaarndammerbuurt and Plantage-buurt (buurt means neighbourhood), at least these are the places I’ve encountered them myself!

American Book Center

Image from ABC.nl

Of course there’s a bookstore on this list. How can there not be? The ABC and Waterstones are my favourite bookstores in Amsterdam, but ABC probably a little more. The books are cheaper and I just love the design of the store. I mean, how many bookstores have a tree in their middle?

The clog on Dam Square

Image from Let’s Go Digital

I was actually planning on going there and taking a very touristy picture with it, but I was busy this week and couldn’t! Anyway, at the Dam Square you can find this big clog, sit in it and take a picture (something a lot of tourists do).

Zaanhof

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When you enter this ‘courtyard’ (it’s not exactly a courtyard, but it’s the only good translation for ‘hof’) it feels like you’re entering a small little village. The trees are always beautiful, even in winter (they’re really good for photography haha). It’s nice to sit there and enjoy the weather in peace (there’s hardly ever any commotion) and there’s a nice artsy bird thing that sprays water called the Woezel, which you can’t see in this picture, nor the memorial stone for WOII.

And these are some bright ‘places’ from Amsterdam! I wanted to go with some less known things and more positive ones (we’re not all about drugs guys. Far from it)

Have you been in any of these places, or have you seen the musicboat and/or the parrots? What are some of the bright places where you live? Let me know in the comments! And don’t forget to keep an eye out for Alyssa’s and Emily’s posts!

– The Writing Hufflepuff