I recently discovered this artist-run bookstore for books by artists in Amsterdam, a little shop on the Berenstraat in the Nine Streets, called Boekie Woekie. Then, when browsing my copy of Amsterdam: Made by Hand (purchase book on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk), a small book of 10 wanders through the city through the eyes of Australian stylist Pia Jane Bijkerk, I came across Boekie Woekie again.
“In Dutch, the name Boekie Woekie (pronounce ‘boogie woogie’) translates as ‘shaky business,’ and the founders, book artists themselves, thought that was exactly what their ‘business’ would be – uncertain and unsteady. Amsterdam, however, thriving as it is with artists and travelers, embraced Boekie Woekie; today, twenty-three years later, the shop stocks more than 8,000 titles,” writes Pia Jane Bijkerk.
Those 8,000 titles are made up of books (including artists’ books, catalogues, folders, editions and periodicals), audio-video (including CDs, audio tapes and video tapes) and prints (including portfolios, single prints, postcards and posters).
There’s just about something for everyone in this small shop, including a selection of artists’ postcards and old found postcards “that have been scrunched up, washed by hand and then ironed out to form completely reinvented cards” says Bijkerk.
Boekie Woekie (Berenstraat 16) is open daily from 12 to 6pm. I’ll be sure to feature other stores and creative ateliers and boutiques featured in ‘Amsterdam: Made by Hand,’ but I recommend purchasing the book and undertaking one of the 10 wanders. For those living/studying/traveling to Paris, Pia Jane Bijkerk has also published, ‘Paris: Made by Hand‘ and has recently written the memoir, ‘My Heart Wanders‘ of uprooting her life in Sydney to live in Paris and Amsterdam.
Click here for more Amsterdam Insights, published every Wednesday.