Atheneaum Boekhandel & Nieuwscentrum  
 

HOW HAPPY I WAS WHEN I FOUND THE E-MAIL FROM GUUS THIJSSEN OF THE Atheneaum Boekhandel & Nieuwscentrum IN AMSTERDAM ON MY MAC: “We received two small travel books (Amsterdam/Southern Morocco). Please contact us: tel. 020-6242972 on the possibilities of selling those publications. with kind regards Guus thijssen”. THE Atheneaum Boekhandel & Nieuwscentrum IN AMSTERDAM IS WITHOUT DOUBT THE BEST INTERNATIONAL BOOK AND MAGAZINE STORE IN EUROPE. TO DATE. I CAN STATE THIS WITH SOME CERTAINTY, HAVING HAD MY EYE ON NUMEROUS BOOK AND MAGAZINE STORES OF THAT SORT FOR YEARS NOW. OF COURSE, IT HAD BEEN LEFT TO ME TO SEND THE “TWO SMALL TRAVEL BOOKS” AND MY E-MAIL ADDRESS TO THE Atheneaum Boekhandel & Nieuwscentrum. ON AN IMPULSE. I SAY THAT BECAUSE YOU MIGHT BE THINKING THAT MY AGENT OR MY PUBLISHER HAD DONE IT. I LIVE IN GREECE. OK? MY PUBLISHER— AMSTERDAM AND SOUTHERN MOROCCO WERE PUBLISHED BY ONE OF GREECE’S BIG FIVE PUBLISHING HOUSES—COULDN’T BELIEVE HIS EARS WHEN HE HEARD THE NEWS. MILD INITIAL DISCOMFORT - AH! - QUICKLY EVAPORATING - HA HA, AND AN EXPRESSION REMINISCENT OF SOMEONE WHO’S JUST BEEN TOLD A JOKE IN SWAHILI (DAMN, THEY HADN’T DONE SWAHILI AT SCHOOL YET) - FOLLOWED BY DEFENSIVE INDIFFERENCE TOWARDS THE END - OK! - AND THEN……PANIC!  HOW DO YOU SEND BOOKS TO HOLLAND?  BY TRAIN?  BY BUS?  BY PLANE?  BY BOAT?  WHAT PAPERWORK NEEDS TO GO WITH THE BOOKS?  HOW COULD THEY GET THEIR MONEY FOR THE BOOKS FROM THE DUTCHMEN?  WHO WAS GOING TO TALK TO THEM?  IN WHAT LANGUAGE?   WHAT’S THE DUTCH FOR “BILL OF LADING”?  MAYBE WE SHOULDN’T GO AHEAD WITH ALL THIS?  HOW MANY BOOKS?  ONLY 50?  WHAT, ALL THIS FUSS OVER 50 BOOKS?  MAYBE WE SHOULDN’T BOTHER?  LUCKILY I WAS BORN UNDER VIRGO. NOT A PURE VIRGO, MIND, BUT EVEN A HALF-CASTE VIRGO CAN GET THINGS DONE IN SITUATIONS LIKE THIS. THE BOOKS ARRIVED AT THE Atheneaum Boekhandel & Nieuwscentrum A FEW DAYS LATER, JUST BEFORE CATHOLIC EASTER 2002. I WAS SOOO SAD I COULDN’T BE IN AMSTERDAM THEN. SITTING AT THE TABLE NEAREST THE WINDOW OF THE CAFÉ LUXEMBOURG OPPOSITE THE Atheneaum LOOKING AT THE “TWO SMALL TRAVEL BOOKS” FROM GREECE. MMM… BUT FORTUNATELY. INCREDIBLY FORTUNATELY A GREEK JOURNALIST ACQUAINTANCE OF MINE WHO HAPPENED TO BE IN AMSTERDAM ON SOME BUSINESS OR OTHER SENT ME AN E-MAIL: “Happy Easter, Vicky, I saw Amsterdam and Southern Morocco at the Atheneaum… they must just have arrived because they were right on top (about ten copies). It was an interesting feeling even for me, who isn’t the author, though I am Greek. Unfortunately, my magazine edited out the phrase “both books are available in Amsterdam from the Atheneaum Boekhandel & Nieuwscentrum”. Too many words, he says. THEY KNOW WHAT THEY’RE ON ABOUT! I suppose! Be well. D.” I WAS MOVED. REALLY. I SENT HER KISSES AND A THOUSAND THANK YOUS. I WROTE THE FOLLOWING FOR MY PUBLISHER - I LIVE IN GREECE. RIGHT? - IN THE HOPE THAT I COULD PERSUADE HIM TO ANNOUNCE THE GLAD TIDINGS TO THE BOOK WORLD SOMETHING LIKE THIS. THE TEXT NEVER REACHED MY PUBLISHER, SINCE IT DIDN’T LEAVE MY HANDS TILL TODAY: FEBRUARY 2005.

 

Five months after being published in Greece

by Ellinika Grammata,

Vicky Theodoropoulou’s travel books,

whose lay-out is the work of Dimitris Arvanitis,

have made it to Holland!

 

The Greek travel books

Amsterdam and Southern Morocco

are now stocked

by Amsterdam’s major international book store,

the Atheneaum Boekhandel & Nieuwscentrum.

 

One of the best international book and magazine sellers in Europe,

the Atheneaum Boekhandel & Nieuwscentrum

now has piles of Vicky Theodoropoulou’s

Amsterdam and Southern Morocco

next to its tills.

Translated by Michael Eleftheriou