The American Book Center (ABC) is a special spot in downtown Amsterdam. It’s home to a huge selection of English books and a tiny cafe. This three story heaven is one of the few places that houses only English books. There are tons of bookstores in Amsterdam but this one is where I feel the most at home. It’s all about English books and always brings a crowd. I’m serious. There’s never been a time that we visit where the store is empty. It’s always so crowded that you need to duck around other customers to look at something to climb the stairs.
I don’t mind though. I love this location because it reminds me so much of my days working in a bookstore. There’s the smell of fresh books, the tucked away location, and the endless rows of unread titles. When I would read about far away bookstores, I would picture something like ABC. There are shelves from floor to ceiling. A winding staircase leads up to the 2nd floor and a super tiny one leads to the 3rd floor. Books on all topics occupy the shelves too. Art and fashion call the 1st floor home. Children books and all fictional books cover the 2nd floor. The 3rd floor lends the space to non-fictional titles.
The American Book Center covers all sorts of material too. I’ve found older publications and brand new titles for sale inside. There are also maps, travel books, calendars and other items one would expect in a bookstore. I’ve never been disappointed though. I think if you’re looking for a book, they’ll probably have it.
It’s so hard to take a photo inside because of the crowds and the layout of the store. Trust me though, this is one bookstore that every book lover should visit at least once. I’m excited to say we go every time we visit Amsterdam. Even if we don’t buy something I love the atmosphere of ABC. It’s homey and nostalgic for someone like me.