This is definitly one if not the best bookstore I have ever entered. After coming here for the first time I returned almost every single week and bought at least 2 books. I never left this store without buying something. I was back in the Netherlands over Christmas, so I decided to pay the Aleph a visit and make some photos, so you can see for yourself why I love it.
This photo on the left shows their little stand of "special books". It is a range of different little books. Everytime you go into this store there are boxes filled with books waiting for the one-person staff of the store to open them and see whether they want them.
This store has a number of chairs or stools hwere you can sit down and read the book you might just be prevailed upon to buy. I have spent hours here, sifting through books, always finding something I liked. This is a second-hand bookstore, which means that some of their books aren't in the best condition or have inscription. I personally love to see that other people have given the book I hold in my hands to someone else 60 years ago. When I take away a book from this store I always feel as if I'm holding a little treasure in my hands.
This probably counts for all books, but somehow, when you can see that a book has been around longer than you, it adds something extra to the book.
As you can see the store isn't very large. But the walls are covered in books and categorized by themes. That way, if you're interested in Egypt, you simply hop over to the archeological and historic shelves, which are on the right of this picture. I remember sitting there on the floor, reading a translation of the Egypt Book of the Dead. The man behind the counter never sent me away. Not even if I was staying for almost two hours. Maybe he knew I'd buy something anyway!
Once I was sitting on a little chair next to the shelves with English books, which is left of the little bookcase you can see in the middle of the picture. I notices that some of the boosk were sticking together and wet. So I alarmed the man behind the counter and it turned out there was a leak. Luckily not to many books were harmed, but I decided to adopt one of them anyway. The man gave it to me for free because it was a bit damaged and because I had alarmed him about the water.
This photo on the left shows the little bookcase in the middle of the store, that you can also see in the photo above. It has some of the most expensive and amazing books on it. The great thing is that many of these books are twice my age. They have little water-stains on them, or the cover is slightly loose. In short, all those books have character.
When I was there in December my sister got me a copy of Lord Byron's Works, Volume II! I have no idea where the first volume is, but this one was too beautiful to be left there. It's quite heavy, but simply gorgeous!!!
So where's your favourite bookstore and what makes it so special?