You might remember me mentioning Deventer when it comes to the yearly book market in August. It is one of the biggest in Europe with over 800 stands. New books, second-hand books and pretty much all genres. By the time this posts the 2018 market will have just been the Sunday before.
Earlier this year however we visited Deventer on a whim and came across the book store Praamstra and a cute little street next to it called the Walstraat.
Praamstra will be a very familiar name to those that might frequent Deventer. If you have visited Deventer by train (especially if you go to the Deventer book market) it is en route to the city center and across from a few eating places. Not only that however. Praamstra has existed in Deventer since 1893 and this year is celebrating their 125th year.
From the outside it kind of looks tiny but once you go through, the ground floor has a very open space. I quite enjoyed the feel of this. The ground floor offers a varied selection. From children books to thrillers. From chick lit to quirky present ideas.
The first floor is more of a balcony that goes along the back wall and one of the side walls. And then the second floor is a complete floor again.
We moved to the children section first with the young adult. This section falls under a section of the first floor and that made it incredibly dark compared to the rest of the book store. We also found it hard to manouvre with the stroller because from age 0 to 18 was all shoved into this small section with tables that had books laid out.
I found the selection of children’s book pretty decent but the selection of young adult was a bit lacking. I didn’t see any of the books that released earlier that month in Dutch which is a shame.
Browsing the book store further it became clear very quickly that this book store is not one to visit as a young adult or fantasy lover. They have bits and pieces. But chances are, you already own it. Their focus lies more on literature, classics, history and so on. If you are interested in any of these kind of books than this will be a great book store to browse for you.
One of the first things I noticed was the below little glass book case on the first floor. I noticed it from afar and it was just across from the staircase. They had a great selection of pretty English editions of classics. Next to this book case there were about 2 or 3 more shelves filled with English books. This mainly focused on classics and literature however. I was very pleased to see how many of these kind of editions they had though. You don’t very often see them outside of the Amsterdam book stores. And if you do than it is a tiny selection. You can understand why I broke my book buying ban for two classics here I am sure.
If you are very interested in antique books and expositions of various things than don’t hesitate to climb the stairs (or use the elevator) to go to the second floor. Since 2015 antiquarian book shop En Passant has moved in with Praamstra and it is well worth it to check them out.
When we left Praamstra we turned to the left and found a sign to welcome you to a street. As we liked the look of the street, cozy, we wandered down it.
One of the first things I noticed were some of the illustrations on the wall. Especially these with the cute store fronts was very cheery way to enter the street.
But as we moved further down the street we found more art that was inspired by Charles Dicken’s books. It turns out that this is one of the street where they hold the yearly Dickens Fest of Deventer just before Christmas. Dickens events are held all across the world and the Netherlands is certainly no stranger to those. Volunteers play various characters from his books. I’ve never visited one because the timing is always a bit difficult so close to Christmas but I would like to go some day.
A little way down the street you can find the Charles Dickens Cabinet, which is a tiny museum about Charles Dickens. It is only opened on Saturday afternoons unfortunately so we could not visit. But through the windows we could already see a tiny selection of items they have.
Further down the street there were two more antiquarian book shops. I didn’t visit them as they were so tiny and we had our very touchy toddler with us. But they certainly looked like interesting places to visit.
There were different kind of interesting stores in the street. There was one where they sold interesting kind of things made of metal to put in your garden, to hang on the wall there. But there was also a little tea store that had a hall way where you could pick and scoop your own tea in a bag. It looked pretty awesome.