Thursday, May 27, 2010

Favorite Church

Books play a big part in religion. Loosely speaking, three major modern religions -- Judaism, Islam, and Christianity -- have in common two key things: monotheism, and belief systems based upon truths revealed in their holy books -- the Torah, Qur'an, and Bible.

In the secular world, libraries and bookstores are churches to some.

I don't spend much time in church, but I am big on bookstores and libraries.

Just finished the Salander trilogy. The third book is great, and concludes with Salander grappling with how to behave as a free citizen and member of society. If you are reading the series, rest assured, she remains creative in her solutions!

Anyway, that left me in a tight spot. I had one paperback potboiler in my bag but when I started it... I realized that I had read it previously. Re-reading it wasn't high on my list.

So I looked for a bookstore here in Maastricht, and found something wonderful: a beautiful old Dominican church reconstituted as a bookstore. Sounds strange, but boy does it work! Even including a coffee bar inside, and a great sidewalk cafe next door. (Borders and Starbucks, pay attention!)

Had what looked like a great collection in Dutch, in addition to a good collection in English. Did a quick quality survey of the collection: included Catch-22 (two copies), Time Traveler's Wife, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Shadow of the Wind, Through the Looking Glass, etc. Not bad! Was pleased to see that they devoted almost no space to Don DeLillo. Whoever is doing their buying is doing a great job.


  1. Wow great find, I did not know about this one!
    How long are you staying in Maastricht and what are your plans?

    Don’t forget to stop by Olivier!!!!

  2. A Church re purposed as a bookstore, how appropriate. I love books stores and have been known to lose hours and hours in the stacks

  3. Hi Rogier and Katrina!

    Yes, this was a terrific place. Did some research on the church, found that it had been used for variety of purposes over the years before becoming a bookstore... including use as a bicycle storage 'shed'!

    Spending at least one more day here in Maastrict, but in keeping with footloose philosophy... have not planned farther ahead than 24 hour ;-)