When you think of traveling to the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, you often imagine the museums, coffee shops, canals, the red light district, stroopwafels, and the bicyclists that rule the streets, but Amsterdam is a city filled with books and bookstores as well. English is commonly spoken in Amsterdam and many of the titles in the bookstores reflect this.
I couldn't visit all the bookstores and libraries in the city much less take pictures of all of them when I was there last week, but I did make some effort. A couple notables were the American Book Center and Athenaeum Boekhandel in the Spui district of central Amsterdam. (Click on the collage to enlarge.) Two other book shops I liked was the Architecture & Natura and the book section in the gift shop of the Stedelijk Museum.
When traveling you always have to monitor the books you buy because they do have to be carried back to the States. Our tour guide Michael recommended Discovering the Dutch: On Culture and Society of the Netherlands edited by Emmeline Besamusca & Jaap Verheul, which I picked up at the Athenaeum to read during the long flight home. The book is a series of essays and articles about different aspects of Dutch society and history. It's not a travel book per se, but like a good tour guide Discovering the Dutch has already added a little depth to my touristy windmilly view of the Netherlands.