Already the 31st edition this year, on August 4th the Deventer Book Market will be held again. If you are new to this blog or if you have missed my general flailing at the start of each August, the Deventer Book Market is a book market of 6km in lenght and over 800 stands. All filled with books. Some are new. Others are second-hand. But you are for sure going to find a bargain there.
Deventer is of course a city in the Netherlands and likes to call itself a book city. It hosts a Dickens festival in December and has a Dickens Museum (though it is only open on Saturday afternoons I think) just to name a few things next to the Deventer book market. While it is Dutch you can find a lot of stands with English or competely in English. I know there are UK and German book sellers that also have stands there as this book market is seen as one of the biggest in Europe. So for international people it is still very appealing to visit.
So if you are first time visitor or are doubting on going I am going to give you some (simple) tips to help your experience.
Check the Weather and Wear Comfortable Clothes
First check the weather and pick your outfit accordingly. It might be Summer, it is still the Netherlands. It might rain, it might storm, it might not be as hot as you think or it is going to be extremely hot. Or anything in between. So prepare for it.
Also make sure you have sunscream, there is little shade at moments. And since it is 6km make sure you wear shoes that you are comfortable walking on because it is a long line of stands and a lot of slow walking people.
Make Sure You Have Cash
While using a card is more popular these days a lot of the stands still won’t have it as a payment option. Deventer has a few nearby ATM’s but you certainly won’t be the only one wanting to get cash from it. So my advice is to make sure you take plenty of cash with you so you don’t have to get anything there.
Decide on a Budget
Adding on to that, decide on a budget. You will see a lot and you will spend a lot. So if you don’t want to go too far decide on a budget with yourself. It helps to take that amount with you.
Bring Enough Bags (Cloth/Tote) You Can Fold or Backpacks/Trolleys
Of course with all those books you need a way to carry it. And sometimes books don’t fit as neatly in a bag as you’d like so make sure you bring plenty of bags. Backpacks also work great but can be hard for the shorter people in the crowd when they get them in the face (aka me). Also watch your elbows tall people. Another great way is to use one of those groceries trolleys you can just roll along with you. It can take a lot and you don’t have to carry it.
Hydrate Plenty / Bring Your Own Water
There are a lot of nearby places to drink. But there are so many people and you might not want to walk away from all those glorious books so make sure you take your own water with you. If you are worried about peeing, you can pee at the restaurants and there is at least one extra restroom along the way.
Check Map and Social Media
Deventer book market offers a map where you can see where which numbered stand will be on route. Some of the stand holders are on social media like publisher blossom books. They often will let us know beforehand what their number is so you know where to find them. It will also be easy to see the route.
Use Public Transport
This book market is very populair so you can imagine that parking spots might be limited. I would highly suggest going by public transport, especially by train. The train station is nearby and you can just follow the long stretch of people all heading that way. You won’t even have to search.
Lastly I would suggest going early, especially if like me, crowds are hard for you. While the official time is 9.30 to 17.30 a lot of the stand holders are already present and filling up or done with it at 8.00. So you can come early, beat some of the crowd and look a little more comfortable. By 10.00 the crowd is really getting big and by 12.00 it is getting really hard to go forward.
I hope this helped. Even if you arent going this year, remember this book market as it returns every year on the first Sunday of August!