An Important Message to Our Customers During These Trying Times:
You know that feeling when you open a bookstore and wine bar, only to have to immediately close it due to a global pandemic? Yes, well, neither did we until now, and—trust us—as a fledgling business, the coming weeks and months will be far from easy.
Our doors will open again as soon as it is safe to, but if you still need books in the meantime, you can send an email to email@example.com, with your address and the author and title of the book you’d like. We'll let you know the price and arrange to have the book delivered to you. If you're in need of inspiration, we'd of course love to help you out. Just let us know which books/shows/movies you usually like and we'll send you a list of book recommendations.
If you want to show us a little love, you can request a gift card from the same email address, and spend it on books and wine during the happier days to come.
Until then, be considerate, don’t sneeze on other people—and wash your effing hands.
--Richard & Jorien
Luddites is a project dreamed up by Richard Bolte and Jorien Caers on one dark, stormy night. We think was also the Ides of March or something—but, like, in October of 2018.
It is a safe haven for people who want to evade the digital world, in pursuit of quietude or Bacchic bliss. Housed in a historic building in the center of Antwerp, we offer the largest selection of English books in the city, as well as a great selection of Dutch books. Hidden just up the stairs is a wine bar where customers can enjoy an exceptional but affordable glass of wine. Also on offer are book plus wine packages, book and wine pairings, events like board game nights and calligraphy classes, and whatever else we end up plotting.
Luddites is not a French word and is not pronounced like “crudités.” Luddites believed in Luddism and claimed to be followers of Ned Ludd, a largely fictional character probably based on King Lud of Britain, who was also largely fictional. Thus, it is pronounced luh-daits, just like supporters of King James II’s claim to the throne were called Jacobites (ja-kub-baits).
The Luddites were an English secret society, probably founded in Nottinghamshire, of textile workers whose heyday was in the early 19th Century. They (rightfully) thought that the growing use of machinery in the textile industry was rendering their skills redundant. Their solution? Sneak in, undetected, to textile mills at night and break the machines. In addition, they also wrote poems, songs, and threatening letters to factory owners. As mentioned in the pronunciation section, their name comes from the fact that they claimed to be followers of Ned (or General or Captain) Ludd, a somewhat mythological figure from the late 18th Century who was said to be the first worker to break the machinery in a factory at which he worked. The Luddites themselves became such a nuisance that, in 1812, the British Parliament passed the Frame-Breaking Act, which made it a capital felony (and thus punishable by death) to break the stocking frames in textile mills.
Those were the origins of the term, but today it is more loosely applied to anyone who is opposed to the introduction of new technology, which brings you to us: in the same vein, we want our store and bar to be a bulwark against the tidal wave that is the Information Age. Come in; grab a book; enjoy a glass of wine, and join the counter-revolution!
Hopland 34, 2000 Antwerpen
Opening hours: 11-21h Wednesday - Sunday (Closed on Monday & Tuesday)
URGENT UPDATE (17 March 2020)
As mentioned in the About Us section, our bookstore and wine bar will be closed until April 5th.
For book delivery, or gift cards, or all other inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org