International bookshops in the Netherlands
Looking for international bookshops in The Netherlands? Winter is here and there is nothing cozier than staying inside, watching snow fall, with a cup of tea while reading a book. Or perhaps you want to spend Christmas like they do in Iceland, with a book flood, or Jolabokaflod. Yes, in Iceland people gift each other books and spend Christmas Eve reading them. Perfection.
However, if you are looking for foreign literature you might not know where the best international bookshops in the Netherlands are. You can always order online, but you have to pay for shipping and there is nothing better than touching and feeling and looking at one book and another before actually deciding which one to take home. Having that in mind, we’ve made a list of international bookshops in The Netherlands where you can find some actual foreign literature in different languages.
1. Broese Boekverkopers in Utrecht
This is a bookshop with a very long history (dating back to 1753). It has changed owners and names several times, but at its location in the central Stadhuisbrug in Utrecht, it is still standing and now has gone back to its original name. While it is not per se an international bookshop you can find small sections dedicated to different languages.
2. Stanza Bookshop in The Hague
Stanza is one of those cozy little bookshops that are always a delight to find when you are strolling through the center of a city. It is an independent bookshop, owned by Karina, who will always make you feel at home and give you personal recommendations according to your needs. She has a background and a passion in international law, so if that is your jam she will be more than happy to advice you. Also she facilitates cultural events like poetry readings, debates, book presentations and children storytelling in different languages. She has mainly English, Spanish and French books but there are also small German and Italian sections.
If children’s literature is what you’re after, “Serendipity libros” is the place to go. It is an independent online and mobile bookshop with a very carefully curated selection of picture books and literature for the youngest members of the household. It is specialized in Spanish, French and Italian books.
You can buy the books online but they also arrange home visits, or you can meet in the city or at one of their events. What is also interesting is that in the spirit of promoting bi or multilingual development, meetings and relationships between children and parents of similarly culturally diverse backgrounds they regularly organize free readings and storytelling in different locations in The Hague and Voorburg in all 3 languages. You can find out about these events on their facebook page Serendipity literatura infantil.
4. Duli Delft
For children books there is also “Duli Delft“. They offer after-school workshops for children of all ages and have a selection of international books, mainly in Portuguese and English but also in other languages. They cater to teens and pre-teens and have a good selection of informative books as well.
Specifically for Spanish books there is “El rincón del libro” in Amsterdam. It is one of the only bookshops in The Netherlands that carries only Spanish books for adults and children.
In The Hague there is also “La librairie nomade“, a mobile bookshop started by Marie and Fanny, specialized in French books who also work together promoting culture and language through readings with authors and other events. You can learn more about this lovely and inspiring project in this article (in French).
If you are a book lover a place that you should absolutely not miss is Bookstor in the Hague. It is such a beautiful place to sit and have good coffee and eat something. They have a good selection of English books, but as they also have second-hand books it is not unusual to find interesting books in different languages as well. You just have to look. They have a room with a huge mural by renowned Dutch chidren book illustrator Marije Tolman.
Did we miss anything? What are your favourite international bookshops in the Netherlands?