MAASTRICHT. Every year the Boekenfestijn, a travelling event selling books at reduced prices that failed to be sold in stores, makes a stop in Maastricht. From November 26-29 the fair took place in the MECC, its yearly reoccurring venue.
The event’s name means ‘book feast’ in Dutch and the hall resembles just that as its main feature are countless tables nearly spanning the length of the room laden with stacks of books. Ranging from crime novels to Sudoku and puzzle books, nearly every genre is represented. At the back of the room books are replaced by an eclectic mix of stationery encompassing notecards, pencils, tinsel and more. On a weekday the hall is barely filled with people, the average demographic above student age. Most of the visitors are parents and grandparents in search of Christmas presents among the wide selection of children’s books or coffee table volumes featuring pictures of the Rolling Stones or Andy Warhol’s art.
“I was expecting the event to be more literary, with talks and by authors and representatives from different publishers instead of just Top-50 paperbacks”, says Hannah Kierspel, a first-year student at the University College Maastricht and one of the few students at the event. “I guess I’ll take this as an opportunity to look for simple books to practice my Dutch.”