Amsterdam has a number of wonderful bookshops, but books in English are usually quite expensive. There are three best places where you might be looking for the book you need: Het Spui, the Leliegracht and the Oude and Nieuwe Hoogstraat.
Het Spui - bookshop street of Amsterdam
Het Spui is the small street and the square at the back of Kalverstraat, directly at the Begijnhof, full of bookshops and literary cafés, is central to the Amsterdam book lovers' scene. The American Bookshop, directly at the Spui, is three storeys high, with an interesting range and occasional good discounts. The ground floor is filled with fascinating selection of new publications about art and mass culture, as well as a large selection of English language magazines. The nearby English chain Waterstone's, on the corner of the Kalverstraat and the Spui, has an impressive selection of English language books over four attractive storeys. There is a comprehensive range of modern fiction at ground level.
Further down the Kalverstraat, just at the Munt Tower on the left the New English Bookshop offers good discounts on a limited range. Their inventory is mostly remainders but it is possible to find treasures at a bargain price. Coffee-table books, travel guides and stationery are your best buys.
Heading along the Kalverstraat in the other direction, you will find De Slegte, which has a large range of English books amongst its Dutch selection. The top two levels are devoted to second-hand books and there are numerous quality, fiction titles on the top floor. You can also find second-hand textbooks for a good price, in the basement. Selexyz-Scheltema's is probably the best of the Dutch bookstores with its huge range and attractive lay-out.
Another place for the book lovers in Amsterdam is Leliegracht, a canal street with an internationally known architecture bookshop Archtectura and Natura and several other bookshops one by another.
Two small streets - Oude Hoogstrat and Nieuwe Hoogstrat, just on the edge of the Red Light District complete the picture of the Amsterdam book scene. The big second hand books and old prints shop A. Kok & Zn and some smaller bookshops as offering always lowest prices discount bookshop T.Dorsman and The Book Exchange at Kloveniersburgwal 58 are not to be missed. You may visit them all on the way to The Rembrandt House.
American Book Center - ABC
An exciting place led by intelligent and friendly people. On its bright new location, American Book Center has a less space, so the scale became more human and the choice is even more exciting. Good for discoveries of unknown, small publications with a mainstream publications always well represented. Wide selection of travel guides and American magazines just at the entry. Address: Spui 12
The English Bookshop
Found in the Jordaan, The English Bookshop is a corner street bookstore, selling a wide selection of English written books. Address: Lauriergracht 71
Himalaya Bookstore and Tea-House
In the last 25 years since its opening, Himalaya has developed into the biggest spiritual bookstore in Holland. Treating spirituality in a 'down to earth' way, they invite you to ponder through the literature with the possibility of unwinding with your new buy, in their magnificent Tea house. Address: Warmoesstraat 56
One of the biggest bookshops in Europe with books on all possible subjects. The English section is extensive and there is a pleasant café on the first floor. Conveniently located near the Flower Market. Address: Koningsplein 20
Waterstone's – English bookshop
English bookshop on the four floors of the elegant corner building with Kalverstraat. A good place for the press and magazines from the UK - on the first floor. Wide selection of guides and travel books. Address: Kalverstraat 152 (corner with Spui).
Architectura & Natura bookshop
A bookshop specialized in architecture, landscape and gardens, one of the best in this field in Europe. Architectura & Natura imports books about their subject from all over the world, most of them in English. Address: Leliegracht 22
Best place for the international press. Not only all the most important newspapers and weekly magazines but also a very good choice of fashion and photography magazines. Address: Spui 16.
Most prestigious bookshop in town. All recent events in literature are represented here, also in English. Address: Spui 14.
A selection of rare modern books, mostly about art and photography. Several small bookshops out of Amsterdam keep their stands (in front of American Book Center, only on Fridays).