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Athenaeum Boekhandel has opened a store in the former Study Store on the Roeterseiland Campus. 'This puts us right at the heart of all of the faculties at the Roeterseiland Campus. We want our store to be a hub where students, staff and local residents come together to meet' says Merlijn Olnon, Academic Books Manager.

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'Obviously, we are here to sell books. Not just textbooks, but literary books, magazines and newspapers too. However, we also want to be a place where staff, students and local residents like to come for a number of reasons: the great atmosphere, good service and events, like author readings.'

Living room

A living room has been set up in the store. It features a sofa, chairs and a temporary coffee machine. The coffee machine is temporary, because it is due to be replaced with a coffee corner in the near future. 'People like to sit here and enjoy a good book and a cup of coffee, which is exactly what we want. There are also a number of places with wall sockets and USB chargers which students can use. Because we really want to be there for the community, we are open on Saturdays too.'

SPUI25

Olnon, also the editor of De Gids (a literary magazine, Ed), has cultural aspirations. 'My big example is SPUI25. Athenaeum Boekhandel has been a partner in this academic-cultural centre since it first opened its doors. Situated next to the university's Maagdenhuis, it is open to everyone free of charge and very popular. What makes SPUI25 so great is its popularity among the academic community and local residents alike. I want to work with publishers and the education sector to organise events and readings by authors and academics, etc. in the store, bringing it in line with SPUI25. I see this as a valuable addition to De Brug and CREA. Our added value is our up-to-the-minute knowledge of books and the low-threshold nature of the store.'

Extending plans

According to Olnon, the first few weeks after the store opened were taken up supplying textbooks to various study associations, such as those for the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, and individual students. 'We are less busy now and have time to extend our plans. For example, Canon has recently joined us in the store as a repro partner. In time, we also want to introduce a design studio for students and staff. We are ideally placed here to contribute to the liveliness of the street and the campus.' 

The Athenaeum store on the corner of the Roetersstraat/Sarphatistraat is open from 10.00 to 18.00 every day, except on Saturdays, when it is open from 11.00 to 17.00. www.athenaeum.nl

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