We know we’re called The American Book Center, and yes, we sell books. Rather a lot of books, judging from the gasps that come from customers visiting our stores for the first time, especially the ones that encounter Amsterdam’s Book Wall.
But you know, we don’t just sell books. Some of our bestsellers around this time of year are not books at all, and they are wonderfully, appallingly unedifying. And often silly. Here’s a little peek at the fun non-book stuff in our stores this year.
Want to drive your relatives and co-workers nuts? You need a Sound Machine! These unassuming little boxes will bring all the excitement of Saturday morning cartoons (or Friday night sci-fi) into your real life in the form of top-quality sound effects at the touch of a button. We stock a few different varieties, including an all-purpose orange one for use everywhere, on everyone. € 9.99 each for hours of comedy gold.
We know this is a terrible, backward idea, and we should be ashamed to stock it, but we couldn’t resist: A remote control for your man, including a mute button and one for ‘putting the toilet seat up/down’. And you can’t call us sexist because we also stock the ‘Control-a-Woman’ version too. For just €4.99 we don’t mind that they don’t actually work. Though they just might if you use them in combination with this.
I have a penchant for books with pink sparkly covers. I never tell anyone about it. Except for the people on my facebook. And my understanding colleagues. Oh and now you, but I know you’ll keep it secret. But I don’t really want that cute geeky guy on the train knowing that I can’t resist Sophie Kinsella. I think I need one of these: a classy book cover, made of real leather. €13.99 gets you secrecy, and the smell you only get from private libraries and being a smartypants.
And wouldn’t your leather-clad copy of The Game look attractive on a wooden Reading Rest? Available in our store in The Hague for €17.99
I can think of a few people I’d like to give a passport to Hell to. You too? You could also give a passport to Paradise, Neverland, Nirvana, Utopia, Wonderland and other wonderful places in the form of these charming notebooks. At €3.99 each – a price not even EasyJet can beat!
Where’s the one place you can’t get the common cold this year? At ABC! Well, actually you can, but it’s so cute that it sells out fast. Giant Microbes: all kinds of cute and cuddly diseases and cell-types in brightly colored plush, from Gonorrhea to Athlete’s foot, there’s something to suit everyone.
Not as cuddly, but definitely as cute, is Buddy Christ! He’ll bless your many car rides to and from family this Sinterklaas and Christmas season because he’s just the perfect size for your dashboard. And if you’re a die-hard public transport person, let him bless your evening dinner preparations in the kitchen.
If you’re looking for someting more, well, Tim Burton-ish, have no fear. We have some of Tim Burton’s Tragic Toys available! How about the Stain Boy pack featured right? It features Stain Boy, Robot Boy, and The Girl With Many Eyes – familiar names to anybody that has read the wonderfully weird, very funny, and slighly macabre The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy.
You can still give the gift of words without giving a book: in a sort of ’Do-It-Yourself’ poetry collection. Magnetic Poetry kits contain titchy little magnetic words that can be arranged and rearranged endlessly on your fridge. You can have a go yourself on the Magnetic Poetry website, where you can also browse through all their products. (If you see one you like, give us a call to find out if we stock it or can get it for you.) Both our stores stock a wide range of Magnetic Poetry products, including party and book lover editions and the adorable Little Boxes of Words which express greetings card sentiments but in a far more original and long-lasting way.
It doesn’t end here – this is just the start. We also have board games, card and roleplaying games, action figures (like Star Wars, Dungeons & Dragons, and Family Guy), Ugly Dolls, Rubik’s and other puzzles, bookmarks, book lights, and even, Mr Hanky the Christmas Poo and his family. Surely you can find something you would love to give or else receive in December among so many possibilities!