Opposite the ABC and close to Waterstones, Amsterdam's most famous book market is held on ‘t Spui on Fridays. Though not English-focused, it's nice to nose around. You’ll find antiquarian booksellers, as well as stalls with rare modern books, mostly about art and photography.
Additionally, check out the intellectual / literary activities in this international book capital! These activities are also great to meet new (international) people in Amsterdam.
Also see: most beautiful book shops in Amsterdam.
ABC and it’s Treehouse - US oriented
The largest ‘English’ literary institution in Amsterdam is the American Book Center. Besides a wide range of books, they host numerous self-development activities ranging from writing clinics and yoga classes to Hello Kitty book signing and open mike nights. American Book Center, Spui 12. Opening hours: Mon 11am-7pm, Tue-Sat 10am-8pm, Thu till 9pm, Sun 11am-6.30pm. ABC Treehouse, Voetboogstraat 11.
Also see: self publishing @ ABC with the Espresso Book Machine!
Waterstone’s - UK oriented
If the American style is not your cup of tea, try Waterstone’s, a four story bookshop with a welcoming, traditional ambiance. Waterstone’s, Kalverstraat 152. Mon 10am- 6pm, Tue-Fri 9.30am–6pm, Thu till 9pm, Sat 10am-6.30pm, Sun 11am-6pm.
Brownies and Tea at The English Book shop.
The English Bookshop is my favourite book shop in Amsterdam; it is friendly, personal and there is a bell hanging above the door, ringing happily when you step into the store. The cozy basement boasts checkered English sofa’s, which are perfect for enjoying the chocolate brownies, freshly ground coffee or Rooibos Tea. The only thing I am missing is a fireplace and a sleeping Labrador at my feet! The Southafrican owner Liesl can order any book you wish, yet I am always amazed how many books she has managed to store in her picturesque shop. The English Bookshop, Lauriergracht 71 (Jordaan). Opening hours: Tue-Sat 11am-6pm.
Also see: What to do on a Rainy Day (part 1) which suggest a trip to this shop, to an antique market and a modern design shop, all within walking-under-an-umbrella-distance!
Book Exchange - second-hand books
The Book Exchange is specialized in used English books and has acquired quite a stock (80.000 titles) over the past 30 years. The Book Exchange, Kloveniersburgwal 58, Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun: 11.30am-16.00pm
Athenaeum - global magazines & papers stand
If you need a magazine, say the newest zine from Barcelona or the music mag from Kenya, there's only one place to go: Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum, which translates to (surprise surprise) Athenaeum News Centre. Open since 1966, this place is a national landmark of magazines.
Besides magazines, they sell international newspapers, (travel) guides and books on design, jazz and pop music.
Something newsworthy about this news stand: they are open 364 days a year, only with Koninginnedag the doors remain closed.
Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum, Spui 14-16, Amsterdam centre. Open daily from 8h-20h, Thursdays till 21h. Sundays from 10h-18h.