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A Love Story Turned Legacy: De Queer Boekenkast, the Netherlands' Only 100% Queer Bookstore

Nestled amidst the charming streets of Alkmaar, Netherlands, lies a bookstore unlike any other – De Queer Boekenkast, the only 100% queer bookstore in the country. This unique establishment, more than just a place to purchase books, is a testament to the enduring power of love, resilience, and the written word.

Shop front of De Queer Boekenkast, a warm and inviting bookstore with two rainbow progress flags outside

A Dream Born Out of Love

The story of De Queer Boekenkast begins with a love story. Two fiancés, Thomas Philip Acid and Valentijn Ringelberg, were united by their passion for literature and their love for one another. They envisioned a bookstore that would serve as a sanctuary for the LGBTQ+ community, a place where individuals could find solace, connection, and inspiration in the pages of books. A place free of judgement.

A Haven for Queer Literature and Community

With their shared dream as their compass, Thomas and Valentijn opened the doors of De Queer Boekenkast to the public on March 2nd, 2023. The bookstore is a beacon of hope, a place where queer individuals can find stories that reflect their experiences and celebrate their identities. A safe space for the community. The shelves are lined with a carefully curated selection of books, from classic works to contemporary titles, all exploring the diverse experiences of the LGBTQ+ community.

A Tragedy Strikes

Just weeks after the bookstore's grand opening, tragedy struck. Valentijn passed away on March 21st, 2023, leaving a void in the hearts of many. The community was devastated, and Thomas was left to grapple with the loss of his beloved fiancé and partner.

Valentijn and Thomas sitting on the floor cuddling each other in front of a giant painted rainbow wall inside the bookstore.

A Legacy of Love and Literature

Thomas found the strength to continue the dream he and Valentijn had shared. He took over the reins of De Queer Boekenkast, determined to honor Valentijn's memory and preserve the legacy they had created together. With unwavering dedication, Thomas transformed the bookstore into a living memorial to Valentijn, a place where his joyous spirit could live on.

A Beacon of Inspiration

Today, De Queer Boekenkast stands as a testament to the power of love, the resilience of the human spirit, and the transformative power of literature. Thomas, along with a team of passionate volunteers, continues to curate a collection of books that reflect the diverse experiences of the LGBTQ+ community. The bookstore hosts regular events, from author signings to book clubs, fostering a sense of community and belonging.

One of our rainbow progress flags hanging from the shop's storefront next to our shop's logo.

More Than Just a Bookstore

De Queer Boekenkast is more than just a bookstore; it's a safe space to escape the turmoils of the outside world. It's a legacy of love, a tribute to the enduring power of dreams, and a testament to the transformative power of literature.

Visit De Queer Boekenkast

If you're ever in Alkmaar, be sure to visit De Queer Boekenkast. You'll find more than just a bookstore; you'll find a community, a sanctuary, and a place where stories come to life.


Thomas' efforts didn't go unnoticed: In May 2024 De Queer Boekenkast won the Community Award at the Winq Diversity Awards; the highest possible honorary award extended on a national level. De Queer Boekenkast is an award-winning bookstore ever since.