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About Us

Booksellers with a personal touch

This family-owned bookstore, opened in 1972, has been quirky, friendly and knowledgeable from the start. Can you believe that, just counting our present 48-member staff we represent more than 700 years of combined bookselling experience? Our booksellers are also the book and magazine buyers, who choose what to stock based on customer interaction. The result is a personally curated assortment of titles throughout both stores in Amsterdam and The Hague.

We started out as American Discount Book, Magazine, Poster Retail and Distribution Center B.V., American Discount for short. "Discount" was an important part of the name, because we sold only remainder books and magazines that came from America, and we gave students, teachers and purchasers of paper Discount Cards 10% off the price of all their purchases- and we still do!

In the '80s and '90s, both stores moved to larger locations, our staff got so much smarter, and our book selections changed. Some customers asked where the discount books were? Gone, pretty much! So why not just call yourselves The American Book Centers? Good point. For the next two decades, we did just that, until it seemed better to use ABC as our overall nickname in order to link our website www.abc.nl with our actual stores.
A new logo for ABC was designed and, in 2015, a secondary logo was adopted. We changed the name Discount Card to Booklover Card and made very popular linen Booklover bags. (We've expanded the 10% discount program to include people 55+ on Mondays, 65+ every day. Anyone can purchase a Booklover Card, good for a whole year.) And yes, we still sell discounted books and magazines. There's extra discount any time you buy more than 9 books.

The Amsterdam location is often listed as one of the Ten Most beautiful Bookshops in the World, and both stores are highly rated for assortment and personal service. Besides books and magazines, both stores also sell greeting cards, diaries, notebooks and merchandise. In the store in The Hague you can also find second hand books on the first floor, next to the bargain books.

Betty the Bookmaking Machines were added in 2010 so that readers who are writers can make and sell their own books in the shop. These machines were the first on the Continent.

Since 2015, we've specialized in helping Dutch schools choose English books for their pupils.

Boost your event with books!

ABC can offer & sell books at your event. These can be books by your speakers or those related to your theme at your event location.

We offer this service for events that have an expected attendance of at least 100 people.

Contact us via eventboost@abc.nl to request more information.

Our many author events are held in our ABC Treehut in The Hague, in both stores, and on location with cooperating partners. Let us know if you'd like for us to offer a book buffet at your event.

Donations to BetterWorldBooks

Over the past few years, ABC and many of you have donated your old books to BetterWorldBooks. We can't think of a better organisation to give your old books to. To date, more than 14.000 of the books you donated at ABC, have found new homes.

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.

So, if your shelves are overflowing and there are books that you no longer want to keep but will make excellent reads for someone else - put them in the BetterWorldBook boxes in our stores!

In order to keep books moving to new readers, we regularly hold Trade-In Days and book donation drives for BetterWorldBooks.

In spite of huge changes in the book industry and reader preferences, even after 45 years we intend to remain a personal, human-run, independent
Center (for booklovers on both sides of the counter) for
American (and international English language)
Books (magazines, games, e-books, agendas and self-made books).

Thanks for your continuing loyalty. You can call or write us anytime. Even better drop by to touch and smell the books and to meet us, their curators.

The ABC Family staff and owners

P.S. Follow us on social media - there's always something happening at ABC!

ABC Mailings

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ABC's Privacy Policy

We have created this statement to demonstrate our commitment to your privacy, to explain how we collect information and how we use the information we collect about our website users. If you have any questions about this privacy statement please address them to info@abc.nl.

We use your information only as set out in this Policy and will not sell, rent, or pass your information on to others for marketing purposes without your consent.

This statement is subject to change at any time. The way we use any information will be subject to the privacy statement that is current when that information is gathered. Please check this page regularly to see any changes.


What Are Cookies? Our website abc.nl places tiny text files called cookies onto your computer, tablet or mobile device. This is standard practice for almost all websites. Cookies are not harmful to your computer and are an essential part of online shopping. They allow us to give you a more efficient customer experience.

We use our own cookie for technical purposes essential to the effective operation of abc.nl, particularly in relation to online transactions. As we use a payment service provider (pay.nl) all data traffic concerning payments will be securely created outside abc.nl on the website of the bank of your choice.

Beside our own cookie, ABC lets a third party cookie be set by Google in order to make use of Google Analytics. This cookie does not collect personal data, is anonymized and thus is not able to identify you as an individual customer. Using Google Analytics enables abc.nl to collect anonymous information about the browsing and shopping activities of our customers solely for internal analysis.

To enrich our website content, sometimes we may embed video content from other social media websites such as YouTube or Facebook. As a result, when you visit a page with content embedded, you may be presented with cookies from these websites. We has no control or liability over these cookies set, so you should check the relevant third party's cookie policy for more information.

We also offer a "share page" widget on some of our web pages, where content can be shared easily on the following sites Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. These sites may set a cookie when you are logged into their service. The American Book Center has no control or liability over these cookies set, so you should check the relevant third party's cookie policy for more information.

If cookies aren't enabled in your web browser, it will mean that your shopping experience on our abc.nl will be limited to browsing and researching; you won't be able to add products to your basket and buy them. For more information about cookies in general and how to manage them, visit www.allaboutcookies.org


When you place an order on abc.nl or in one of our stores, the information needed to complete it is transferred securely from our website or intranet to our order system. The information may consists of: first name, last name, email address, telephone number, address, zipcode and city and allows us to fulfill your order and notify you of the status of your order. During the ordering process none of this information will be passed on to any of our third-party service providers (wholesalers, shippers, payment service provider etc.). For our mailorders we use post.nl as shipper. For mailing registered parcels via post.nl it is necessary to register the name and address of the receiver in post.nl's web-based software.


The American Book center has always emailed its mailings to emailadresses given to us on an opt-in basis and will continue to do so. If you wish to stop receiving some or all of the information that we currently send, you may amend or remove your preferences by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of our emails and following the instructions provided.

Removal of personal data

If you wish to have your personal information removed from our database, please contact us at info@abc.nl. Upon such request, The American Book Center will anonymize or remove from public view any content posted to our website.


The American Book Center's website is not intended for use by children under the age of 13. We do not knowingly collect or store any personal information from children under the age of 13. We encourage parents and guardians to spend time with their children online and to be fully familiar with the online services used by their children. If a parent or guardian becomes aware that his or her child under 13 has provided us with information without his or her consent, he or she should contact us at info@abc.nl. We will delete such information from our files as soon as possible.

last updated: May 15, 2018