Book Couriers and Bookstores in Utrecht

Bookstore and Library
I came across a new service here in Utrecht that is handy for book lovers. There is now a book courier service available that can get a book to you within two hours. Order between 9-20:00 and they’ll deliver between 10-21:00. For free!

The service is through Selexyz, one of the large book chains in the Netherlands. They have a good selection of English-language books, and probably a few other languages, as well. If you prefer to browse the store yourself, their Utrecht location is on the Oudegracht, right across from the Stadhuis. [Edited to add: The book store has undergone a few changes and names, but there is still a book store in that location, though I don’t know if they offer the delivery service now.]

I get a lot of people visiting my blog after searching for places to buy English-language books in Utrecht, so I figured I’d update the list. Sadly, the used-book store I used to go to on Voorstraat has closed. I’m not sure if they’ve just moved or closed for good. Fortunately, there are a number of other book stores offering a variety of books.

On Saturdays at the outdoor market over at Vredenburg, there’s a stall that sells used books. They also tend to have a section devoted to English-language books, as well as some in French and German. [Not sure they’re still there. 2016]

Savannah Bay (Telingstraat 13) was the first Dutch feminist bookshop, founded in 1975. It focuses primarily on gender/sexuality/literature/poetry, with a large selection of English-language gender studies books, but other topics as well.

Aleph Books (Vismarkt 9) has a mix of new and used books, with a large emphasis on art and history. Books are available in Dutch and English.

Boekhandel Libris (Servetstraat 3) is right next to the Domtoren and looks out onto the Flora’s Hof. They have a mix of fiction and non-fiction in Dutch, English, French and German. It’s fun to browse and you’re bound to find something you want to read.

De Rooie Rat (Oudegracht 65) has a mix of new and used books in multiple languages. Most books lean toward philosophy and politics, but you never know what you’ll find.

Bruna has both online and brick-and-mortar shops. There’s a Bruna in the train station that comes in handy with magazines and books (in Dutch and English) for those times when you realize you might need something to read to pass the time. There’s also one on Steenweg, as well as the corner of Maliebaan and Nachtegaalstraat (or whatever it’s called at that point)

Finally, Bol.com is an online shopping option, similar to Amazon before it started selling everything and the kitchen sink. They’ve got books in multiple languages, both new and used, as well as music, games and various electronics. Play.com is a similar website.

[Edited to add: There’s now an Amazon.nl that is still pretty much only books right now. /2016]

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6 thoughts on “Book Couriers and Bookstores in Utrecht

  1. Pingback: Where To Buy Books | A Flamingo in Utrecht

  2. Boek 2 on the Voorstraat has closed, sadly enough, although you can still order books via their website. But browsing in a shop is better than browsing the web!

    Another bookshop in Utrecht worth visiting is Boekhandel Bijleveld on the Janskerkhof. I tend to overlook it in my mad stampede to get to Selexyz and de Slegte, but they’ve got a very nice English section.

    • I was sad when Boek 2 closed, because I also prefer browsing in the store. Plus, web shopping just seems wrong for used paperbacks. 🙂 I always forget about Boekhandel Bijleveld. I look in the windows occasionally, but have yet to go inside. It’s usually closed or I’m on my way somewhere else, not to mention I rarely seem to pass it that often. Maybe this weekend I’ll finally go in. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Im moving out and i have a bounch of books (english and dutch) i would like to sell because that money can help me to buy another bag i need for my trip.do you know if those places you said they actually buy also? Or another place in utrecht you’ll recommend me? Thanks!!!

    • The best place to go to sell books nowadays in Utrecht is Polare (formerly Selexyz (formerly Broese)) on the Oudegracht opposite the town hall. You need to go to the basement, and bring identification. They may also have limited hours in which they’ll buy books from you, but I’m not sure – if the situation is like it was when de Slegte still operated, it’s only on (weekday?) mornings.

      If you’ve got more ‘interesting’ stuff (like hardcovers, first editions, signed books) you might also try antiquarian shops like Aleph, or Hinderickx & Winderickx, both on the Oudegracht.

      Second-hand or recycling shops like the ARM (next to Tivoli) or Emmaus will not give you any money for books, but they tend to be less picky about what they’ll accept.

      Hope this helps a bit!

      • Thanks! A few people had suggested Polare (I didn’t realize they’d changed!), but no one mentioned the limited hours/ID. Every bit of information helps. Sad about De Slegte.

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