Posts Tagged ‘Events’

Our Book Drive for BetterWorldBooks

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Have you finally received that hard-earned degree, and are you wondering what to do with your old textbooks? Are you ready to move on from your childhood reads? Or have your bookshelves – once again – reached critical mass, and you either have to find a way to change the space-time continuum to squeeze in that new Billy bookcase or say a tearful goodbye to some of those paperbacks?

We can’t think of a better organisation to give your old books to than BetterWorldBooks (BWB). To date, BetterWorldBooks has raised millions of dollars for literacy, saved millions of books from landfills, created jobs for hundreds of people, and provided wonderful books to millions of readers worldwide. The story is still being written, and you can help write it.

Over the past years, ABC has donated thousands of books to them, and now we invite you match us, book for book. You can bring just one or a whole box. The books can be English, Dutch, German, French or Spanish, but please be sure to also check the BWB Donation Guidelines.

The book drive starts on Thanksgiving Day and will last until January 5th, 2015.

November 27th is Thanksgiving Day!

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

THANK YOU for being our customer again this year!

We’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 27th) by giving an EXTRA 10% discount to EVERYONE who buys something at ABC on this day. If you normally already get 10% off with us, you’ll get 20% discount off all your purchases in our stores in Amsterdam and The Hague!
(Please note that the extra discount is only off items in the brick stores – so no extra discount on books ordered that day, special orders that have not yet arrived, anything you want mailed to your home, or ebooks.)

Our €7,- Thanksgiving gift voucher, another tradition, should arrive in your mailbox within the next few weeks (if you have a valid and registered ABC discount card). It’s valid in both our stores on any purchase made from November 27th thru December 31st, 2014.

What else is going on?

  • Runic divination with Fiona Peel in Amsterdam.
  • Thanksgiving Dinner at the ABC Treehouse in Amsterdam. Please reserve your spot.
  • There will also be a Thanksgiving Dinner in ABC Treehut in The Hague this year for the first time (reserve your spot here). Our favorite American Netherlander Greg Shapiro will do his Greg thing (talk lots and be funny!) and sign copies of his book How To Be Orange. This year Greg celebrates 20 years of being in The Netherlands and 20 years of Pulp Fiction! He’ll be in the ABC Treehut in The Hague for Thanksgiving dinner from 18.00 – 20.00 hrs.
  • Meet and greet Sehrazad Ayse Uslu, the author of The Roots That Clutch from 12.00 – 14.00 hrs in The Hague.  The Roots That Clutch tells the haunting true story of how a young woman discovered, through her PhD research on T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound, that her grandmother had had an affair with the other great American Modernist, William Carlos Williams. She also discovered that her father may be the biological child of Williams.

YOU can say THANKS yourself this year by donating your old books to Better World Books (more on that in a separate post here). You can just bring one book or a whole box with you when you visit us in Amsterdam or The Hague from November 27th until January 5th, 2015.

The Blind Book Date Manifesto

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Or, why not knowing what you’re going to read can be good thing now and then

When was the last time you discovered a book that you didn’t know you were looking for?
When was the last time you read something that you didn’t think you would read in a million years but were so glad you did after turning the last page?
When was the last time you read a novel that unexpectedly broadened your horizon?

If the answer is ‘quite a long time ago’ or ‘uhhh, never’, a blind date with a book might be the solution for you.

As readers we live in the best of times and in the worst of times. Never before in history have books been so readily accessible. With just a click or two you can have your pick from a selection of books that would have easily filled the library of Alexandria several times over. Finding and locating a specific book is easy now with all the different search engines and websites like Goodreads. Recommendations are fully automated with algorithms making predictions based on the books you liked. Not sure if this is the right book for you? Google it and hundreds if not thousands of reviews and ratings will help you make your choice.

There is, however, a downside to this age of abundance and ease. On the one hand, walk into a random bookstore, or visit a website like Amazon, and you will probably only encounter the usual suspects – the bestsellers and series everyone has heard about. On the other hand, with more and more books available to choose from it becomes harder and harder for the lesser-known good reads to grab your attention. Books by authors who are not G.R.R. Martin or J.K Rowling are unfortunately often hidden or not displayed prominently. Of course, if you know what you are looking for you can still find it in a matter of seconds. But if you don’t know what you are looking for, the chance of going beyond your usual reads are slim. If you love Game of Thrones, you can easily discover ten other books that are just like it. Easy, because we know you like it, but finding something you didn’t know you would like, that’s the challenge. Both yours and ours.

It is the paradox of choice: the more choices we have the more we will read the same thing over and over again. As readers we run the risk of losing that element of discovery and surprise, of letting books broaden our horizons.

The solution to recapture that sense of discovery and adventure might actually be less information instead of more. A year ago I discovered that if you wrap a book and just put a few keywords with cryptic descriptions on it, suddenly something mysterious started to happen. People were drawn to this unknown book. They started to try to guess the obscured title. Interestingly enough, not knowing the title and the author made people more likely to try a new read. All the great (but not widely known) books suddenly started to fly off the shelves. And people came back for more Blind Book Dates. They tried new books, novels that they usually wouldn’t have picked up, and they really liked them.

So, sometimes not knowing what you’re going to read can be the trick to stumble upon a great discovery. Going on a Blind Book Date is the new and exciting way for you to discover that one book you didn’t know you were looking for.

-  Tiemen

Come to our Blind Book Date Party in Amsterdam on November 22nd to find out for yourself how much fun not knowing what you’re getting into can be!

Events in November

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

You can receive this information in your mailbox every month, simply by subscribing to our Events Mailing. Be sure to check the Upcoming Events regularly, too, for late additions.

If you are interested in renting space for a workshop, launch or other event, please mail for the ABC Treehouse in Amsterdam, or for the ABC Treehut in The Hague.

At or in cooperation with ABC

Book Signings & Events:

One-Off Events/Workshops/Clubs/etc.:

Ongoing Events/Workshops/Clubs/Etc.:

ABC in the Wild:



Store Bits: Meet My Book restart special

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

This coming Sunday, October 19th, marks the reboot of our Meet My Book program, where local authors can present their book – whether it’s a brand-new title, a self-published book, or an almost-finished manuscript.

This Sunday’s event has already garnered quite a bit of local buzz.  It was mentioned on Monday’s What’s Up Amsterdam podcast, and presenter (and Meet My Book-veteran!) Claudio Tapia is part of the Amsterdam Writer’s Platform, which will feature author interviews on SoDamLocal, part of Broadcast Amsterdam’s programs on Salto TV.

If you think you would like to be a part of Meet My Book, click here to download the application form and to find other ways to promote your book at ABC.

If you want to stay informed of future Meet My Book events, sign up for our monthly Events Mailing or keep an eye out on our Upcoming Events page.

And now, without further ado, meet our Meet My Book authors – before you hear from and speak to them yourself this Sunday, of course!

Marie Phillips is a British author who is currently based in Amsterdam.  She’s written one bestseller already, Gods Behaving Badly, and this Sunday will present her new book The Table of Less-Valued Knights (read the Guardian’s glowing review here).  She will also be introducing the Book Swap to ABC and the Netherlands on October 25th (and do a book signing afterwards).

Floris Kleijne is the first ever Dutchman to qualify for membership of the SFWA.  He’s been writing for as long as he can remember, and won the Writers of the Future contest in 2004.  It’s safe to say he’s one of the trailblazers of Dutch SF writers in English!  He will read a new short story from his new, EBM-published collection, Mashup, this Sunday.

David Swatling is quite special to the ABC Blog.  He is a long-time You Reviewer, and I’ve been following the progress of his debut, Calvin’s Head, from manuscript to publishing contract to actual finished book with so much excitement!  Congratulations, David!  Please enjoy the book trailer below, and if you want to find out more about David and his debut, read the interview that thriller festival The Big Thrill had with him this past summer.