About Us: PeterL

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 Peter L

Where were you born?
I was born in a hospital in Apeldoorn.

What was your favorite food as a kid and what did you hate?
My favorite was applesauce. I hated Brussels sprouts.

Were you read to as a child?
Yes, I was read to mostly by my mother. We read Pipi Langkous (Pippi Longstocking).

Did you have books in your house while growing up?
Yes, my father was a van Ditmar representative so we always had books in the house. They were mostly cheap paperbacks.

Quick free associations:
Paperbacks: Cheap.
Sale: Bright colors.
Magazines: Porn.
Piano: Annoying.
Price gun: Nowhere to be found when you need one.
Cash Register: Money.
Discount Card: Administration forms.
“I’m looking for a book?”: Yes!

What is your connection to books and the written word now?
I read books and I read about books. I surf the ‘net, read reviews and compare prices. I’m always reading a book. On the average I read two books a month.

What sections do you oversee?
My sections are Gay & Lesbian, Horror, Young Adult and Historical Fiction.

What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is the location. It’s beautiful and in the center of the city. To live in this part of Amsterdam you’d have to have a lot of money. Another great part of my job is the people I work with. The concept of ABC is unique, we are a unique company. You won’t find this anywhere else. The atmosphere we work in and the staff we work with is very relaxed.

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)?
I’m a Bentley. I’m old-fashioned and not built for speed, but I’ll get you where you’re going in comfort!

How long have you worked at ABC?
I’ve worked at ABC seven years.

Who is your favorite author?
My favorite writer is Susanna Clarke who wrote Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell I enjoy the language. There are so many levels at which you can appreciate this book.

What is the opposite of bookselling?
Book burning.

What do you think people should know about ABC?
That students get 10% discount. Not everybody knows this yet.