Posted by: travelrat | September 21, 2012


Maastricht: 24th June 2012.

It was still raining when we arrived back in Maastricht. There was still a bit of time before we could seek out somewhere for dinner. There was still a lot of stuff I wanted to see in the town, but the weather precluded a lot of it. But, there was one place on the list that was indoors, interesting and free! The Selexyz Dominicanen bookshop.

Usually, if I have an hour or so to kill in any town, I like to browse around W.H. Smith’s or Waterstones. In fact, I think bookshops are one of the few places you can browse without an assistant asking if he or she can help you at regular intervals. But, this one’s different from your average bookshop.

It’s been listed in various places as being in the Top Ten of the most famous, quirkiest, or just best bookshops in the world. As the name suggests, it was once a Dominican priory, and this is reflected in the architecture. They’ve done well to preserve the fabric of the old church, but still manage to accommodate a fairly modern shop.

There are books here on every conceivable subject, in most European languages. I was particularly intrigued by a coffee-table book titled ‘Dutch Mountains’, which I thought must rank with the proverbial ‘Famous Belgians’ (seriously, in both cases, they are there, if you do a little research!)

I did feel a little bit guilty, because, in my bag, there was a Kindle! But, I think that, as long as there are places like this around, Kindle will never rule the world completely.

Then, to the Eetcafé Minckelers for dinner … I just can’t leave the Netherlands without eating at least one satay!

On our way to the concert … it stopped raining! And, it didn’t rain throughout the concert. Someone once told me that it’s never rained at an André Rieu open-air concert. Does the guy have a direct line to the Weather Man, or what?

There’s video of the Selexyz bookshop on my Facebook page at!/photo.php?v=272287506222331


  1. What a gorgeous bookshop. I could stay in there for hours. I know what you mean about ‘Kindle guilt’ but I do think there is room for both digital and hard copy books in this world. Love the windows!

    • Well, I wouldn’t leave a Kindle unattended on the beach while I went for a swim, and they haven’t got around to inventing the ‘coffee table Kindle’ yet, so there’s hope!

    • I came upon this beautiful quote from Stephen Fry:

      ‘Kindle will never wholly replace books like escalators will never wholly replace stairs’

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