• A slightly different photo for my @fairyloot unboxing but I just loved this shot🙊
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As I mentioned there’s a full unboxing of the May Unlikely Romances box up on my blog (link in bio✌🏻)
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All the creators and artists have also been tagged in this photo📸
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I finished My Dark Vanessa too last night oh my god what a book. I loved it. •
Today I’m starting Great Expectations and going to try to get through some of that before I spend the evening with my favourite watching Netflix 💕
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#bookstagrammer #bloggersofinstagram #bookstagram #bookish #bookblogger #blogger #bookishbox #fairyloot #subscriptionbox #bloggerlife
  • I left a piece of my heart in Brighton😍
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And Little Hampton, Arundel and we already knew we loved Bristol.
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There’s a rather long post up about the little road trip around the South @sam_g_oldham and I did at the end of May💕
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So many wonderful places, great memories and lovely photos.
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#bloggersofinstagram #travelblogger #blogger #holiday #bloggerlife #travel #brighton #bristol #littlehampton #arundel #oxford #datenight #getaway #foodblogger #brightonpier
  • Today I spent far too much money on things for upcoming holidays😂
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I’ve lost count of the amount of linen midi dresses I now own🙈
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The rest of the night is being spent in joggers having laptop time. I desperately need to catch up on my reviews!
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Speaking of there’s a review of Song of Sorrow by @melindasalisbury on my blog (link in bio✌🏻)
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Also anyone else struggling with hay fever super bad atm?🤧
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#bookstagrammer #bloggersofinstagram #bookstagram #bookish #book #bookblogger #blogger #bookreviewer #bookshelf #bookshelves #bookworm #songofsorrow #melindasalisbury
  • Throwback to this brilliant event at Manchester Deansgate Waterstones.
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My interview with @stdennard has just gone up on my blog (link in bio✌🏻)
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It was an honour and a joy to interview Sooz. I’ve loved her books for years 😍
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📸: @coffeeeyesandblankstares
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#bookstagrammer #bookstagram #bloggersofinstagram #bookish #book #bookblogger #blogger #interview #susandennard #waterstones #bookworm
  • A night of relaxation is just what I need👏🏻
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Then tomorrow we’re watching The Act. I’ve been wanting to see it since I saw the first trailer. Based on the true case of Gypsy Rose Blanchard.
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I definitely think I’ll be using one of these masks tonight. There’s a little post about them up on my blog (link in bio✌🏻)
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#bloggersofinstagram #beauty #beautyblogger #blogger #skincare #sheetmask #koreanskincare #nightin #datenight #bloggerlife
  • Small self appreciation post because yes, I made this cheesecake.
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And yes it was glorious😍
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And yes I managed to use every bowl in the house making it....a talent someone else I know has 🙊💕
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#bloggersofinstagram #foodblogger #blogger #cheesecake #baking #foodphotography #saltedcaramel #saltedcaramelcheesecake
  • I would much rather be getting ready for another lovely meal out with my favourite💕
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Instead I have a night of life admin and tidying oh joy😂
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I have however started Once & Future by Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta and oh my god it’s amazing.
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There’s a little post up The Royal Oak restaurant and the last time Sam and my family went💕
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#bloggersofinstagram #foodblogger #blogger #foodie #family #familytrip #bloggerlife #royaloak #mealout #foodphotography
  • I have spent all day behind my laptop catching up and getting ahead on all the things I’ve needed to post!
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Then tonight I get to have a Netflix night with my favourite person💕
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Speaking of posting I’ve got a little one up about my new favourite Tapas place - @elgatonegrotapas
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I’m still dreaming about their Jamon Croqettas🤤
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#bloggersofinstagram #foodblogger #food #mealout #elgatonegrotapas #spanish #tapas #blogger #foodporn #dayout
  • We found the most amazing graffiti in Bristol, this was definitely my favourite😍
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Its a lovely little place with a load of great bars and restaurants. This time we also found a food festival and spent a while sat on the edge of the river bank with a cocktail💕
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Highly recommend!
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Wish I was there now though the lie in I had this morning was pretty amazing😂
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#bloggersofinstagram #travelblogger #bloggers #blogger #bloggerlife #holiday #trip #datenight #vacation #bestone #bristol #graffitiart
  • I’m just over 150 pages into The Star-Touched Queen and what an amazing book😍
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I read some wonderful things in May and a full wrap up of my reading is now up on my blog (link in bio✌🏻)
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Now back to my book and snuggling under my blanket👏🏻
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#bookstagrammer #bloggersofinstagram #bookstagram #bookish #blogger #bookblogger #bookworm #wrapup #currentlyreading #reader #bookreviewer
  • Wish I was still in London getting ready to go watch Hamilton 😭
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At least I get to go back there with my favourite person soon💕
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Recommendations for places to eat and things to do more than welcome🙊
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#bloggersofinstagram #travelblogger #blogger #london #bloggers #hamilton #trip #holiday #citybreak #bloggerlifestyle #lifestyle #food #foodblogger
Books Guest Posts Lifestyle

Amsterdam Bookshop Hop – Part Four – The Haul

April 13, 2019

I'm so excited to be bringing you something a little different today. One of my very best bookish friends Kimi recently went on a trip to Amsterdam (jealous doesn't begin to cover it) and of course couldn't resist a trip into the bookstores. You're in for a treat today! A huge thank you to Kimi for being the first person to guest post on my blog!

Enjoy!

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My Amsterdam Book Haul! (And general bookish musings…)

Hoi! I’m Kimi, a bookseller – like Katie - from Manchester, and welcome to my guest post on Katie’s blog! I know Katie through work, but she is also one of my best bookish pals, so I was over the moon when she offered to host one of my ramblings! If you want to get to know me better, I’ve left links at the bottom of this post.

Anyone that has known me for any amount of time knows how much I love the city of Amsterdam. I had visited over ten times, and my ultimate dream in life is to own a floating bookshop on one of Amsterdam’s canals. During my most recent visit, I dedicated a good chunk of time to exploring some of the amazing bookshops of Amsterdam, which I then wrote about over a series of blog posts – Part One on Fiona’s blog, Part Two on Lois’ blog, and Part Three on Sarah’s blog. I’d recommend checking out those posts, to get a feel for my trip and the bookshops I got the books in this post from!

This blog is all about the books I bought whilst exploring the bookshops (or boekhandels, in Dutch), as well as some general bookish musings I had whilst I was over there. If you have read the other posts, you’ll know that I had an absolute blast exploring Amsterdam’s bookish places. Because of this, my original ‘rule’ of only buying one book during my visit went flying out of the window, and so this post was born! Plus, who doesn’t love a good book haul?

I got a mix of English books and Dutch books. I recently began collecting Dutch editions of my favourite books – kickstarted by the absolutely wonderful Lisa Williamson, who ever-so-kindly sent me a Dutch copy of The Art of Being Normal last year. I don’t yet speak Dutch – I have never been any good at languages, but I am slowly trying and my goal is to one day be able to read my favourite books in Dutch. Plus, this trip I finally had the confidence to begin speaking simple Dutch phrases out loud to actual Dutch people and the overwhelmingly positive reaction has really spurred me on!

Before the book haul, however, there were a couple of bookish musings I had whilst I was out there that I wanted to write about, that I didn’t think really fitted in to the other posts, and realised that this blog would be the perfect place to do it! Obviously, these are just my thoughts and opinions based on my experience over this visit. I’m not saying that they’re accurate or completely ‘true’, but I wanted to get them out there anyway.

Books seem to be valued more in The Netherlands

What I generally noticed is that books are priced higher out there, but people are willing to pay it. Of course, nowhere in the world was safe from the book industry crash of a decade ago, and I had a sobering chat with a bookseller at The Book Exchange about the decline in bookshops in Amsterdam over the past few years. He told me that once, there was a magazine published every year listing all of Amsterdam’s bookshops because there were so many. There are still many, many bookshops in Amsterdam (more than in UK cities, anyway), but a good chunk of them have disappeared due to shifting markets and rising rents. But the Dutch, even those who are not ‘readers’, seem to appreciate the value of bookshops, and are willing to pay a little more for their books in order to keep them around. There are also rent-control laws that cover certain premises, that help bookshops stay open.

YA Fiction is seen more as it’s own section than a sub-section of Children’s

As a YA and Children’s specialist Bookseller, of course I was immediately drawn to those sections in every bookshop that we visited. Of course, in the smaller shops, the YA books were next to, or in,

the Children’s section – from a space point of view, this makes perfect sense. However, in the larger shops, and the majority of the mid-sized ones, YA Fiction (and non-fiction), often had it’s own section. In fact, in Scheltema (which I likened to the Dutch version of Waterstones) the YA department was on a completely different floor to the Children’s department.

Personally, I agree with this concept. When we’re trying to encourage teenagers to read, the last thing we want to be doing is herding them toward the Children’s department. I know of no teenager that wants to be referred to as a child...

Booksellers are much happier to meet other Booksellers

I had so, so many amazing conversations and interactions with the booksellers out in Amsterdam. I made the effort to say hello to the booksellers when entering the shop, to ask if I could take photographs as well as introduce myself. The vast majority of the booksellers I spoke to were so incredibly welcoming towards me, instantly launching into bookish conversation as if we were colleagues at the same shop. In fact, in one shop, upon introducing myself as a bookseller in one shop, the bookseller replied with ‘Hallo, colleague!’.

Often, here in the UK, I always seek out the bookshops when visiting new places. However, a lot of booksellers (especially of indies) become quite defensive and/or dismissive when they learn I am a Waterstones Bookseller. I can sort of understand their reasoning, but I just really love books, and bookshops – all bookshops – and want to interact with bookish people. The welcome I received in Amsterdam’s bookshops warmed my heart.

Their books are often a lot bigger

Like, some of their books are beasts of Priory of the Orange Tree proportions! I don’t mean bigger as in thicker, but larger in shape. The biggest surprise I found was Obsidio (photo included, with normal-sized paperback for scale!). The text inside seems pretty much the same, so I assume it’s just a format preference. But it certainly made a noticeable difference when I was trying to lug the books I had bought home…

Speaking of the books I lugged home…

 

Book Haul Time!

I originally told myself that I was only going to buy one book whilst over in Amsterdam. I don’t know who I was trying to kid, because no way was I going to visit that many bookshops and only come away with one book, but I tried. I guess.

I got a mixture of Dutch and English books, so I have split the haul up.

Dutch Books

 

Schim en Schaduw – Leigh Bardugo

I love, love, love the Grishaverse, so knew that a Dutch Grishaverse book was a must. I was originally after Six of Crows, however it was much more expensive and I had already broken my one-book rule by this point, so went for the Dutch edition of Shadow and Bone in Scheltema.

 

Rebel in de Woestijn – Alwyn Hamilton

The photos do not do this beauty justice – it’s shiny! Plus, at only €5, I just had to get it. I loved Rebel of the Sands, and got to interview Alwyn last year, so it seemed like a good choice! I got this one from Boekhandel van Rossum.

 

Harry Potter & de Gevangene van Azkaban – J. K. Rowling

I found this pre-loved Dutch edition of my favourite Harry Potter book at Boekenmarkt Oudemanhuispoort. I love Potter, but I’m not too bothered about collecting all of the books, just Azkaban, so this was a definite yes!

English Books

Okay, so upon reflection, I’ve realised that… all of the English books I bought are editions of Sherlock Holmes. I collect (or ‘rescue’, as I refer to it) different editions of the Sherlock Holmes books from charity shops and used bookshops, as they are some of my all-time favourite books. The Book Exchange and the Boekenmarkt did not let me down...

The Hound of the Baskervilles – Arthur Conan Doyle

The Penguin Complete Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle

The Bedside Conan Doyle – Arthur Conan Doyle

 

So concludes the end of this guestpost, and the end of my Amsterdam bookish ramblings! I hope you enjoyed this post – I am going back to Amsterdam very soon, and have a list as long as my arm of bookshops I have yet to visit, so let me know if you’d like to see more of this in the blogsphere!

Huge thank you to Katie for hosting me! And, if you haven’t already, do check out my posts on Fi’s, Lois’, and Sarah’s blogs.

When not prattling on about books on other people’s blogs, I can be found podcasting about books with my bookish partner in crime over at A Tale of Two Booksellers. I can be found on Instagram at @coffeeeyesandblankstares (where I pretty much post exclusively about books and cats), and twitter at @kimiallover. You can also follow our podcast on social media: @ataleoftwobooksellers on Instagram, and @TwoBooksellers on Twitter.

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Have you been to Amsterdam or read any of these books?

Thanks for reading,

Katie & Kimi x

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