Waterstones will be a familiar book store to most, especially to those in the UK where it is based. But did you know that Waterstones has some stores in Europe? Brussels in Belgium, St. Heliers in France and of course Amsterdam in the Netherlands. It’s not to strange to see Waterstones in Amsterdam. Amsterdam is one of the most tourist cities in our country. Even when we visit there shop and museum employees would often talk English to us just because they are used to that.
The book store is on the Kalverstraat, one of the more well known shopping streets of Amsterdam. It is hard to miss, being situated on a corner where you will walk straight onto if you come from the direction of the train station. It has a large sign with Waterstones like other Waterstones have. I think the building from the outside looks quite great with different ridges. The windows are filled with books on both sides of the door, one going around the corner. Unfortunately the last time I visited I couldn’t take a picture of the front as it was raining quite heavily. Inside it was also quite busy and I am still awkward when it comes to taking pictures inside book stores. I did manage a few for you.
Waterstones has four floors. A ground floor and three floors on top of that. When you enter the register is in the middle of the floor, but still quite close to the front door. On both sides of the door book cases start. On your right it starts with bestsellers of that moment. Then moves into literature further into the store. On the left side it starts with crime and detective type books that move into classics. They have all kinds of editions of classics. They also have a section with sale books right behind the register and next to the staircase.
After doing a half a round of the ground floor by the right side I always go straight up the staircase. The staircase throughout all floors displays varous items as well. Sometimes posters, bookish tote bags and cardboard figures. The first floor is relatively small as you can look down onto the ground floor from it. It carries mostly British food, bookish items, stationary and magazines. I think there is also a selection of travel books. After a quick browse at the items I move up to the second floor quickly.
This is the floor I personally spend the most time at when at Waterstones. It has the books that I come for to a book store. While a small section to the left holds interest type of books like gardening, most of the floor focuses on my most loved books. When you move to the right, you will quickly find a corner with two large book cases with fantasy books. Next to that are sci-fi books and a small selection of manga. But two of the largest sections to browse is the Young Adult section at the back with the Children’s section next to that. Both these sections have places where you can sit near the windows. Especially the one in the children’s section is really cute and looks out onto the Kalverstraat. There are also various tables spread out over the floor, more so than on the ground floor. Some have a 2 for 1 or 3 for 2 sale going on. It’s always interesting to look at those. Other tables just display interesting books in each section.
The third floor is a floor I personally have only ever glanced at once. It holds mostly interest and hobby books. Like photography and art. It’s about the same size as the second floor so if you are interested in these type of books I think it is a great floor to have a look.
One downside to Waterstones are the prices. With the conversion from the pound to the euro the prices at Waterstones are generally a bit higher than in other book stores that sell English books. Though I have to admit that the last time I visited there (back in June) the prices were actually lower than I remembered. I do always buy at least one book when there regardless. They do offer more variety and recent releases in English books than most other book stores in the Netherlands. But that shouldn’t surprise you.
In any case I always have to visit Waterstones when in Amsterdam. I like the book store because it does hold on to their Engish vibe. I suppose that is easier when in Amsterdam than it would be in other Dutch cities.