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American Book Center

DutchAmsterdam.nl — The American Book Center in Amsterdam was born in 1972 when two American expats decided to sell erotic magazines and book remainders bought for 10 cents a pound dry weight.

Today the store is said to be Europe’s largest source of English language books and magazines.

Recently ABC moved from the expensive end (in terms of real estate prices) of the Kalverstraat to a large building in a prestigious location on Spui, where it is surrounded by publishers, other bookstores, literary cafés, and the 15-year-old weekly bookmarket.

American Book Center bookstore, Amsterdam

American Book Center at Spui, Amsterdam

The store carries a wide selection of American and British books, as well as many U.S. magazines not found at many other bookstores or news stands. A second ABC store is located in The Hague.

What sets the American Book Center apart from many other stores is its helpful and knowledgeable staff. At ABC everybody who is involved in selling is also a buyer for one or more sections. The staf can take part in Marketing, Window Display, IT, visit Book Fairs and scour the book world for bargains. It is obvious that the folks who work here truly enjoy what they’re doing, which explains why the story has such a nice ‘feel’ about it.

Prices are higher than you’d pay at home, but if you get the store’s Discount Card you will receive a 10% discounts on nearly every purchase.

Too, there are always sale and bargain books to be found.

Just around the corner from the bookstore ABC runs The Treehut and The Treehouse

The Treehut presently hosts a series of courses, workshops, training sessions, all run by individuals and/or organisations interested in sharing, passing on their knowledge and expertise to those who wish to do the same.

The Treehouse is a venue for workshops, discussions, exhibitions and open mike nights.

Address and Contact Information

American Book Center
Spui 12 [Google Map] Note: Google maps shows the right square, but the wrong location. The store is a little to the left of the marker, on the corner next to the tramrails.
1012 XA Amsterdam

Phone: 020 – 625 5537 [Amsterdam phone info]

Opening Hours

Monday, Tuesday ,Wednesday: 12:00 – 18:00 (12 noon – 6 PM)
Thursday: 12:00 – 21:00 (12 noon – 9 PM)
Friday and Saturday: 10:00 – 20:00 (10AM – 8PM)
Thursday: 10:00 – 21:00 (10AM – 9PM)
Sunday: 11:00 – 18:30 (11AM – 6:30PM)

Web Site

American Book Center

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This post was last updated: Feb. 20, 2012