Earlier this month, on the day before my birthday, in fact, I went to Maastricht in the Netherlands with friends. A day-trip to walk through the city and enjoy the sights. We came across the Dominican church, an old Gotic church in the city centre built in the 13th century as a monastery church for the Order of the Dominicans. It ceased to be a monastery in the 18th century and has served many functions since. As of 2006, a bookstore has been established inside the church building: Boekhandel Dominicanen.
Obviously, I couldn’t just walk by that store… So we went inside and it’s really beautiful how they made this church into a bookstore. In the middle of the church, they built a two-floor metal construction to create more space. The rest of the middle and the sides of the church have been filled with bookshelves and tables full of books. At the back of the church, where the altar used to be, they have installed a little coffee shop. In the middle of the shop, there is one long table to sit at, in the shape of a cross – to save some of the church elements. And it’s just beautiful! Here are some photos!
Now, what self-respecting booklover goes into a bookshop without buying something? Exactly! They have a very nice selection of English books, so that is where I spent most of my time. And they don’t just stock the bestsellers or new releases, there were also a lot of nice collectables and new editions of the classics. I lingered at the Fantasy and Sci-fi shelves and was severely tempted! They had some very nice editions of the Harry Potter books as well, including one I hadn’t come across before. Harry Potter: Magical Film Projections: Quidditch is a wonderful book for bedtime stories. It features stories about Quidditch and details every important Quidditch match from the books. What’s really cool about it, is that there is one page with the story and another with a projection. Shining a simple flashlight (or the flashlight on your phone) through the second page, will project the scene described on your wall. I only barely resisted temptation there.
The books I did get, will be featuring on this blog later. I bought the first three books by Robert Galbraith (which we all know is a synonym for J. K. Rowling) about private investigator Cormoran Strike. I’m currently reading the first! Since I realized it’s a standalone book and we don’t need to wait for the others in the trilogy, I also gave in and bought Pullman’s newest book, the prequel to His Dark Materials. Then I also bought a Dave Eggers book, since I’ve heard good things about the recent movie adaptation with Tom Hanks and Emma Watson. And finally, I also found an inexpensive copy of Stephenie Meyer’s crime novel.
- The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (Cormoran Strike #1)
- The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (Cormoran Strike #2)
- Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (Cormoran Strike #3)
- La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman (The Book of Dust #1)
- The Circle by Dave Eggers
- The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer
Lastly, I also bought a cute cotton bookbag – with owl – to transport my treasures in.