Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - 02:56
Readers Get Free Rides
On Sunday, approximately 235,000 people traveled by train for free courtesy of the promotion for the annual national book week, Boekenweek. The Dutch rail company, NS, said the number was a 17.5% increase over last year's total of 200,000. Anyone who had spent more than €12.50 on a Dutch book last week in the Netherlands was eligible to receive a free copy of the Kees van Kooten book, De verrekijker. Showing the freebie to the NS on the last day of Boekenweek meant a passenger could get a free train ride. The trains were more occupied than on a normal Sunday, according to a NS representative. De verrekijker was mainly used as a ticket for long intercity trips. Van Kooten himself sat in a train on Sunday. First, he traveled from Tilburg to The Hague. Along the way, he read aloud parts of his book and autographed fans' copies. At Hollands Spoor Station in The Hague, van Kooten read his book to an audience in the royal waiting room. Next, he took a historic train to Amsterdam. The theme this year was "Golden Times, Black Pages". It was the 78th annual Boekenweek and the 12th year of the NS promotion, which gave away 750,000 free copies of the van Kooten book.