This is Van Piere Bookstore
It is almost impossible to imagine the city center of Eindhoven without Van Piere Bookstore. This bookstore has been in the city center for almost 175 years. Started on the Markt square and nowadays with two floors of reading material, delicious coffee, and a lot of nice things located on the Nieuwe Emmasingel. Without the measures, the store offers a lot more. Director Jan Verhagen tells us more.
Q. What makes Van Piere Bookstore a real Eindhoven hotspot?
A. There is so much to tell about our connection to Eindhoven. This store is perhaps the oldest in the city because its doors were opened in 1848. It does not get much more Eindhoven-like than that. We also love to be the living room of Eindhoven. At the moment, that’s a bit difficult. As soon as it is possible, we will organize all kinds of activities again. We hold a special place for cultural Eindhoven and have been associated with it in many ways for many years.
Q. Wow, since 1848?! Tell us a little more about the history, please.
A. In 1848 Martinus Franciscus Van Piere opened a shop selling stationery and other articles in Eindhoven. In a century and a half, the small office supply store grew into one of the largest bookstores in the Netherlands. Until 1997, Van Piere Bookstore was a family business. Since then, the bookstore was owned by a retail chain, but since 2014 we are Van Piere Bookstore again. The latter to the great happiness of our regular customers.
Q. Which past event still brings you warm feelings?
A. Well, it is difficult to choose. Normally, we organize a pub quiz every year and that is so much fun. Last time, 30 teams participated. We cleared the ground floor of our store to welcome all the participants. The pub quiz is made with the help of all kinds of books and it is a very enjoyable event. Another evening that I remember well is the Poet Dinner (Dichterdiner in Dutch) that we organized together with Plint. Long tables with around 80 guests, a dinner, and poets reciting work between the courses.
Q. What is the biggest compliment ever received?
A. We have been part of a retail chain for two decades. When we became an independent store again, a customer came to me and said: "Jan, I just wanted to tell you that you lost me as a customer, but now I am back." It is nice that people feel at home here.
Q. How would you describe Van Piere Bookstore in three words?
A. With one little extra word: “living room of Eindhoven.”
Q. Do you have many regular customers?
A. The great thing is that each department in our store has its own regular customers. I know we are a regular stop for some when walking around town. Others combine a visit to us with a nice coffee at Coffeelovers. And some people come to get a newspaper from us every day.
Q. Do you have book tips?
A. We have a huge collection and a book on every topic. And if we do not have it, we will order it for you. The new book by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, Mijn lieve gunsteling (not available in English), is a recommendation as far as I am concerned. And a book that puts a lot in life in perspective is Raynor Winn's The salt path.
Q. Are there any books on the shelves here that you would never read yourself?
A. Sometimes I am not the target audience of a book, but also without me, the book will be read. In any case, I never look down upon any book.
Q. What store do you recommend?
A. That's Vielgut, down the street. The clothes they sell suit me in terms of style. Also, I am charmed by Vielgut´s philosophy of offering honest brands that are as sustainable as possible and pay attention to the working conditions of the makers, among other things.
Take a picture
Are you curious about Van Piere Bookstore? The big red arrow is in front of the store, so you cannot miss it. Take a photo of yourself with the arrow at Van Piere Bookstore and share the photo on your Stories with a tag for @eindhovencity and @vanpiereboeken. You will receive a cup of coffee at Coffeelovers when showing your post.
Name: Van Piere Bookstore
Location: Nieuwe Emmasingel 48, Eindhoven
Specialized in: Lots of books, magazines, and other fun stuff
An Eindhoven hotspot since: 1848, yes really!
Spoken with: Jan Verhagen