Last year Dan & I heard about the Book Festival in Maastricht, but didn’t know what or where the MECC was. Instead of taking the query to Google, we just assumed that a small book sale at the Brusselpoorte was the festival. We were terribly disappointed with the size and selection of this used book sale and didn’t really understand why such a small sale had been so widely advertised. Later we discovered that we’d been mistaken. Yesterday we discovered just how wrong we were.
The BoekenFestijn is a huge, traveling book sale with a monster selection of fiction and nonfiction titles available for up to 90% off. The deals on softcover books were not always phenomenal, but the savings on hard covers were pretty impressive. Science students can even use the event to stock up on some textbooks. We promised ourselves that we’d only buy as many books as we could carry, but we saw people wheeling out piles.
For us expats, the BoekenFestijn represents a great opportunity to pick up lots of English-language books at a low price. While most of the books are in Dutch, the English availability is impressive. Even if you don’t want Dutch language books you’ll still be able to spend several hours browsing the floor. We picked up a nice mix of fiction, nonfiction, and a couple of Dutch/English dictionaries. Since there are no good bookstores in Maastricht for English material, the festival was a nice change.
We also picked up a few Dutch language comic books. Dan says they are for practicing his Dutch skills. I think he picked them because they are pretty, but they should come in handy. And the price (approx 4 euros for a hardcover album) was definately right.
If you missed the Maastricht BoekenFestijn, you need not worry. They company that puts in on holds one a month all over the Netherlands. The next one is in Antwerp at the end of May. Check out their website for more details.
And now, a picture of all the books we got. Maybe I’ll save my pennies for next year so we can buy more: