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.
A real paradise for a book lover is Scheltema located at the Rokin, close to the Dam Square. This big five floors high bookshop has a large choice of English books along its Dutch selection. You will find the new English fiction is on the second floor, but there are also many books in English in all of Scheltema’s departments. It is one of the biggest bookshops on the continent, the oldest and probably the best Dutch bookstore, with its huge selection and attractive presentation.
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 Amsterdam
Spui 12, 1012 XA Amsterdam
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
Scheltema bookshop in Amsterdam
Rokin 9, 1012 KK Amsterdam
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 Dam Square.
Waterstones English Bookshop in Amsterdam
Kalverstraat 152, 1012 XE Amsterdam
Waterstones is an English bookshop chain operating in the UK, Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands created in 1982 by Tim Waterstone, the former marketing manager of another UK bookshop retailer W.H. Smith. Amsterdam three floors Waterstones bookshop is centrally located at the main shopping street Kalverstraat. It is a perfect place to buy all new English books printed or digital.
Architectura & Natura bookshop in Amsterdam
Leliegracht 22, 1015 DG Amsterdam
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
Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum Amsterdam
Best place for the international press. You will find here not only all the most important Western newspapers and weekly magazines, but also a very good choice of fashion and photography magazines.
Athenaeum bookshop Amsterdam
Most prestigious bookshop in town. Located in a complicated space of the Old Amsterdam townhouse this bookshop offers books on history, philosophy, politics, sociology, anthropology, art, design, fashion and cooking. All recent events in world's literature are represented, also in English.
Mendo Bookstore in Amsterdam
Berenstraat 11, 1016 GG Amsterdam (9 Straatjes Area)
This founded in 2002 bookstore specializes in art in its many forms - painting, photography, architecture and also fashion and illustrated culinary albums. Designed by the Amsterdam architects firm called Concrete, Mendo has a constant artificial light independent from the weather outside.
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).