We love cars, that’s a fact. The funny side note of being the automotive addicts that we are, is that most of us not only like the cars themselves, but everything automotive that surrounds our favorite car brand or type. I’m talking about t-shirts, jackets, key rings, posters and of course, books.
A while ago, we published a Miata book review which seemed to be quite a success and that made me want to write a short story about the greatest automotive book store I’ve seen to date.
I know what you’re thinking, why drive an hour or more to go to a book store, if you can easily order your books online nowadays, and have them delivered to your doorstep? Well, because of the experience. And believe me, visiting AutoNet Carbooks was worth the drive from Belgium to the Netherlands. What’s more? Think about it. It’s a car book store. Yes, a book store dedicated solely to books about cars!
The store was founded by Ellen Van Beusekom, back in 1996. Through the years, her business grew and she had to move several times until eventually ending up in Zundert (The Netherlands), which is the store’s current location. Since 2011, Ellen has been assisted by her husband Gijs which are both true car fans. At this moment they own a BMW 1M, an E30 M3 and a Z3. Their favorite car brands are BMW (obviously, if you own 3 of them), Alfa Romeo and Donkervoort.
Once arrived at the store, we were offered coffee and cookies. At first glance, the shop seems rather small, but it is packed with books. They have a total of 2500 different books in stock, divided in several categories ranging from A-Z car brands, Formula 1, endurance racing, motorsport in general, biographies, design, engines and mechanics,… I could basically spend a whole day in that place!
One of their strongest points that I noticed is that they have books available almost immediately after they have been released. If you need to order a book they don’t have in stock, it usually doesn’t take long at all for them to get it for you.
Nowadays, the majority of Autonet Carbooks’ customers are ordering through the website because it’s just more convenient. Orders have been sent to 95% of European countries, the USA, Australia and even Japan. The customers that visit the store to pick up orders or to find something new can wander around in the cozy shop and enjoy a good cup of coffee. These customers generally come from The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany and France.
I find it so easy and fast to order my books online, but I must admit I enjoyed my time spent at this store very much. The owners are super friendly and carry the same passion as their customers. They offer great service and are always ready in case of questions.