Books with a purpose
Books with a purpose – ‘Boek met een Doel’
Without a proper bookshop, a city isn’t a city but rather a meagre collection of people. Luckily for the people of Rotterdam there are quite a few bookshops. It’s hard to choose between all those treasure shops, but a fun and little known bookshop is Boek met een Doel (Book with a purpose) at the Nieuwe Binnenweg 194.
From drugs to books
The Nieuwe Binnenweg is one of the longest shopping streets in the country. Up until some years ago however this street had a reputation for drug dealing, prostitution and robberies. But just like the rest of the city the Nieuwe Binnenweg revived itself and is now one of the up and coming areas. Restaurants, shops and bars are opening up in the street and bring back life to the area. One of those shops is the subject of this article. In 2014, Alex Klingeman, owner of the Easy Repro store, thought it was time for a second-hand bookshop that supports different charities. And so, he carried out his idea.
Money for a charity
‘Boek met een Doel’ is a shop within a shop. You enter the store via another store called Easy Repro, where they sell everything that has to do with printing. This bookshop isn’t just your ordinary bookshop. The special thing about this place, like the name suggests, is that by buying books you’re supporting a charity. Here is how it works: once you’ve picked a book, you pay for it at the Easy Repro checkout. There you have to choose which out of the ten possible charities you want to support. There are both regional and nationwide charities, and once a year a check is handed over to each of the participating charities.
The shop is rather small, but still carries a wide variety of books. From science, history, novels, thrillers to books about Rotterdam. Basically, something for everyone. Although most of the selection is in Dutch there is an English section made up of novels and thrillers. All of the books in the shop have been donated by people who want to support ‘Boek met een Doel’. If you have some books with an unknown future in your household, instead of throwing them away (a big no-no for any book) donate them to ‘Boek met een Doel’ and make some people happy.
Run by volunteers
It’s volunteers that keep the shop running and that make sure all the new books are checked on quality, processed and ordered in the right section of the shop. They are the beating heart of the store and without them it is impossible to run this initiative.
It is possible to donate books from Monday till Friday between 09.00 and 17.00. On Saturdays they only work with appointments.
So, get out of your chair, go to ‘Boek met een Doel’ and buy some books. For the sake of charity as well as your inner bookworm.