The Hague – Tour

Welcome to the ABC Den Haag!  We’re squeezed into one of those narrow little stores on the Lange Poten, opposite the Nieuwspoort and the Dutch Parliament.

If you look up and to the left, you can see the outside of the ABC Treehut.  And on some days, you can find our entrance decorated by bikes still chained to the grate.  All part of living in the Netherlands…

When you walk in you’ll see our main cash desk, surrounded by magazines – and calendars between July and January.  It can be a squeeze to get into or out of the store on busy days through this bottleneck, but, bar a hostile takeover by us of the KPN store to our left or of the late Goede Doelenwinkel on our right, there’s not much we can do about it.  So, keep walking, there’s much yet to be seen!

Once you’ve ogled the magazines on the right to your liking, look left for the Humor and Childcare sections.  Oh, and also the 8 bookcase that make up the Children’s Books section.  Remember, the Children’s Books range from age 0 to age 18, so don’t be offended if we tell you that The Hunger Games can be found with the kiddies’ books…

On your other side you’ll find the NYT Bestsellers, a selection of blank books, our ABC Evergreens, as well as a little spinner full of cards.  From July to January, these sections have to make room for all our Calendars though.

Take the left aisle.  The left wall is full of Fiction (including a separate short case full of Military Fiction) and, towards the end, Romance.

The bookcases on your right feature Travel Guides, Travel Titerature, books on Living Abroad, books in Spanish, Foreign Language Courses, English Dictionaries, Reference/Writing books, as well as SAT/GMAT/etc guides.

At the end you’ll find an enormous table piled high with more of our ABC Evergreens.

At the end of the left aisle is our Information Desk.  That’s one of the DH colleagues, ordering stupendous amounts of books for one of his sections.  You can interrupt him to ask any question, though!

Turn your head left and you’ll see a hidden corner!  Filled with Games, Game Books, and Puzzle books.  Our Audio Books flank this little hideaway.

Now, tear your eyes away from those games (or ears away from those audio books), and turn your head back all the way to the right, and – hey, presto! – there’s a whole other part to the store there.  Unseen from the street!  And it’s full of utterly marvelous books!

Along the walls you’ll find all kinds of fiction: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Horror, TV Tie-Ins, & Mysteries & Thrillers.

The middle is crammed full, too: Psychology & Self-Help, Body, Mind & Spirit, Health, Nutrition, Sports, Science , Biography & Autobiography, Philosophy, Religion, and New Age (including Astrology, Feng Shui, Tarot, Alien Influences, etc.)(in Den Haag we’re old skool and still call it New Age, rather than the more flashy Consciousness section they have in Amsterdam).

You’ll also find the Penguin Popular Classics and Poetry in the middle part, holding their own in that sea of non-fiction.

Tucked into an alcove at the end of the Mysteries and Thrillers you’ll find our Merchandise, Manga, and Graphic Novel sections.  Flanked by our Blank Books and Moleskines.

Of course, one of the biggest (and sometimes loudest) features of the back our store is our Espresso Book Machine!  A book machine that prints titles on demand (self-published and otherwise).  See that third picture?  That’s a book being cut down to size (admittedly a little fuzzy to see) – and the last picture is the chute where it pops out, quite literally hot off the press!  Click here to find out all about it, or else come by our store on Tuesdays from 17 – 18 hrs for a walk-in demonstration!

Now that you’ve recovered from that rather dizzying literary bonanza that is the back section of the store, you can make your way back to the entrance/exit, through the other aisle.  On the left wall, Cookbooks will have you drooling, followed by Music, Movies/Drama, Art/Design/Photography, Crafts/Nature, Style/Beauty/Fashion, and Local Interest books.  We have less space than they do in Amsterdam, which is why we have all those lovely amalgamated sections along that wall!

The bookcases on the right of the aisle feature books on Social Science, Ancient History (up to and including the Middle Ages, in one of those typically ABC-type things), Military History, Politics, Current Affairs, (regular) History, and, at the end, Business.

You think you’re headed back outside, but then you see… a set of stairs.  With a bright blue and red sign saying “Treehut / Sale Books Upstairs.”

Go on.  Walk on up.  There’s a bit of time left.

An entire floor of bargain, sale, second-hand, and remaindered books.  And sale magazines.  On top of the various sale sections downstairs.  It can get blazing hot there in the summer, although we try to have a fan moving the air around there whenever we remember to turn it on in the morning.

When you’re upstairs you’ll notice the doorway on your right.  That’s the ABC Treehut.  It’s the ABC Treehouse‘s little sister, only we’re lucky enough to have it annexed to the store itself.  When there are no classes taking place, feel free to walk in and have a look at the exhibitions always on display.  Click here to see what classes, workshops and events are planned there in the near future.

And that’s it.  Follow the stairs down and turn left to head back out to the street.  Thanks for taking the tour, and we hope to see you at our store in person soon!

  • See inside Amsterdam’s Ground Floor
  • See inside Amsterdam’s First Floor
  • See inside Amsterdam’s Second Floor
  • The history of the ABC Buildings
  • The History of The American Book Centers