Athenaeum – 50 years of Amsterdam’s finest independent bookstore

In 2016, Flanders & the Netherlands are Guest of Honour at Frankfurt Book Fair. besonders buch dedicates a series of articles to the Dutch and Flemish book market and book design.


Shop window of Athenaeum bookstore in Amsterdam

Book cover design matters. Publishers know that the readers‘ book-buying decision most often depends on whether the cover invited them to have a closer look. In the same way the cover works for a book, the shop window works for a bookstore. Amsterdam based independent bookstore Athenaeum knows all about this. Celebrating the shop’s 50th anniversary this summer, the team just had another great idea to market books.

“We don’t work for customers, we work for authors.” This is how director Maarten Asscher describes part of Athenaeum’s success. In his opinion, the best mega bookstore will always be the internet. However, there is a way for medium-sized physical bookstores like his to stand out: offer their personal book and author selection. This is how Athenaeum supported up-and-coming Dutch author Niña Weijers on her way to success in 2014, consequently to the team’s unanimous opinion about her debut novel De consequenties.

This year, Athenaeum celebrates fifty years of independent booktrade. The employees chose fifty novels that were published during these years, one book per year – tough choice! It is their way to grant these titles a second success but it’s also Athenaeum’s way to celebrate book cover design: recomposing the covers inspired the team to this set of promotional postcards which book lovers will fall for.

Postkarten-gruen1 Postkarte-rot-schraegPostkartenset

On your next trip to Amsterdam, don’t miss Athenaeum’s fine book selection – and make sure to take one of these postcards with you.

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