About Us: Steven

In a series of interviews conducted by ABC’s Maria Minaya, we’re going to introduce you to (almost) everyone who works at The American Book Centers in Amsterdam and The Hague.

Books form an integral part of our lives not only because they’re our bread and butter, but because our passion for them came first. Our mission is to pass them on. By reading these interviews you’ll discover the faces behind your favorite sections and get a glimpse of who we are.

Meet Steven

Where were you born?
In a hospital in Amsterdam, though I grew up in Abcoude and Bloemendaal. Still, I claim to be an Amsterdammer, which is true.

What was your favorite food as a kid and what did you hate?
I loved vanilla porridge and hated Brussels sprouts, as most kids do.

Were you read to as a child?
Yes, I was read to a lot by my parents and grandparents.

Did you have books in your house while growing up?
Yes, my father had a respectable library and in addition, I frequently went to get comics and kids’ books from the local library.

Quick free associations:
Paperbacks: Novels.
Sale: Books.
Magazines: SFX, a sci-fi magazine.
Piano: Aborted lessons.
Price gun: Boring.
Cash Register: Gezellig.
Discount Card: Special offer.
“I’m looking for a book…”: Good.

What is your connection to books and the written word now?
I like to read and write and always have. I majored in cultural studies and am a freelance writer in addition to my work at the ABC. At the moment, I publish sexy lifestyle articles.

What are your responsibilities in the Amsterdam store?
I work in the special order department and can occasionally be seen running through the store.

What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job are my co-workers and the atmosphere. I also like working with books and am still sometimes amazed at what gets published.

How would you describe your customer service, i.e., how do you do your job in terms of:  cars (Ferrari or Fiat?),  pastries (Hema or Holtkamp?), or shoes (Puma or Prada)?
In all three cases I am more no-nonsense and efficient than fancy and glossy, so it would be Fiat, Hema and Puma for me.

How long have you worked at ABC?
Six years.

Who is your favorite author? Or what are you reading now?
Favorite author is a toughie. Fiction-wise, I tend to read zippy and funny books by writers like Armistead Maupin, Douglas Adams or Janet Evanovich for instance. Currently I am reading Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides and Lethal Affairs by Xenia Alexiou and Kim Baldwin.

What is the opposite of bookselling?
Burning books.

What do you think people should know about ABC?
Some people think we’re expensive, but there are a lot of real bargains to be found.  ABC is always worth exploring.