Sunday, June 20, 2010

For the Worship of Books

GeneGirl, this blog's correspondent based in Germany, makes another bookish pilgrimage - this time to one of the world's most famous bookshops.

I love lists. I have a list of things to achieve before my next birthday (time is running out), list of books to read, and a recent list of things that scare me that I have to try out (people who know me, know I am freaky that way).

When I read a list of the best bookshops around and saw that the best bookshop was just a hop away, I hopped away from Cologne to Maastricht.

Maastricht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands and now hosts a bookshop with apparently the largest English books in the country. More importantly, the host is a 800-year old church. Now people can pay homage to books in this old Dominican church, which interestingly enough until Christmas of 2007 was a bicycle store!

Dutch architects Merkx and Girod took on the task of refurbishing the church and bringing in bookshelves and a quaint little café (below) at the end of the church. Now, the Boekhandel Selxyz Dominicanen  will remain amongst the favorite places to escape to.

The English section carries a diverse range of authors, from classics to chicklit, from crime fiction to non fiction. I sat for ages amongst the books, feeling like I was with friends and looking up at the frescoes, one could easily believe it is a divine experience. Every visit since I first stepped into the church of books has brought me profound joy, contemplation and a renewed energy to read MORE!
If you are reading this blog from overseas or are travelling and would like to let us know about a great bookshop or place with a bookish connection, I'd love to give you the space for a guest post. Just contact me at sharonbakar at yahoo dot com.


Ellen Whyte said...

How beautiful - and how Dutch to turn a church into a haven of peace and literature!

Unknown said...

I know! And you never really realize how distinct the symbolisms are..for instance the cafe with the way the tables are set need to have a bird's eye view.

Tahlia said...

Yes beautiful photos.

I just found your blog, really liked it and thought that you might like to take a preview peek at my new YA fantasy novel, 'Lethal Inheritance’. You’ll find it at

My blog also follows my journey to publication, something you and your readers might find interesting. There could be an idea for a post topic for you there.

Jane Sunshine said...

wow...i could spend hours here....