In a series of interviews conducted by ABC’s Maria Minaya, we’re going to introduce you to (almost) everyone who works at The American Book Centers in Amsterdam and The Hague.
Books form an integral part of our lives not only because they’re our bread and butter, but because our passion for them came first. Our mission is to pass them on. By reading these interviews you’ll discover the faces behind your favorite sections and get a glimpse of who we are.
What was your favorite food as a kid and what did you hate?
I loved turnip-mash with meatballs. I hated all meat stews and I still hate them.
Were you read to as a child?
I don’t really remember. I think so.
Did you have books in your house while growing up?
Yeah, lots of books. My parents read a lot. The whole family was always reading.
Quick free associations:
Paperbacks: Nice covers.
Price gun: Rick Lightstone.
Cash Register: Fun.
Discount Card: Question.
“I’m looking for a book…”: On miso [a traditional Japanese food produced by fermenting rice, barley and/or soybeans, with salt and the fungus kōjikin]. (That is, I really am looking for a book on miso!)
What is your connection to books and the written word now?
Just that I love to read, more than ever lately. The written word is now mostly in the form of writing post cards and emails. I don’t even keep a diary.
What sections do you oversee and what are you other responsibilities at ABC?
My section in Amsterdam is Childcare. Other work: marketing production. I handle ABC merchandise and publicity. I also promote Treehouse activities sponsored by the ABC.
What is the best part of your job?
That I can think of and come up with new ideas and bring them to fruition.
How would you describe your customer service, i.e., how do you do your job in terms of: cars (Ferrari or Fiat?), pastries (Hema or Holtkamp), or shoes (Puma or Prada)?
That I know a little about a lot of things. My service is friendly, attentive, with a touch of brash.
How long have you worked at ABC?
Who is your favorite author? Or who are you reading now?
The journalist Michaela Wrong’s In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz. It’s the captivating story of the Congo under Mobutu and after his fall in 1997.
What do you think people should know about ABC?
That we are not a chain store. We have interesting stock because buyers hand-pick books for their sections.