Monday I went to Utrecht to visit a friend of mine.
Since we were both a bit low on cash (but we, of course, desperately felt the need to make our ever growing stack of books even bigger) that friend started to look for stores where we could buy some books for next to nothing. That resulted into two options:
1. Go to a thrift store.
2. Visit a place where we knew nothing about (we even doubted its existence for a moment).
And so we went on an adventure…
Walking through the streets of Utrecht with nothing but a pack on our backs, we searched. Everywhere we went, people stared at us knowingly. All knew our purpose and all held hope that we would succeed…
When finally, after hours of wandering through the large, ancient city, we arrived.
The door of the store was locked and barred. We had no choice but to abandon option number one and activate plan B.
(This point of our journey was already foretold by my friend since she is, of course, a mage of the highest class). She grabbed the piece of paper that contained the knowledge that would lead us to our second destination. Meanwhile, the sun had started to shine. Bright light enveloped us and warmed us so that sweat started to steadily stream down our backs.
After another perilous march, we finally arrived to find the place unknown opened.
This place, previously unknown, is one of the establishments of Books 4 Life.
Books 4 Life is a non-profit organization and was brought to life in 2005 at Tilburg University.
The concept is actually very simple:
People can donate their old books to this organization. Those things brought in are sold in the stores of Books 4 Life. 90% of the profits go to charity. Prizes can range from 1 to 5 Euro (I know for a fact you can buy books in Utrecht for 1, 3 or 5 Euro).
There is not just one building, as you might expect. There are buildings all across The Netherlands in: Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Groningen, Maastricht, Nijmegen, Tilburg and Utrecht.