New Jarir Bookstore in Boulevard Now Open

Post by Mark


Jarir Bookstore just opened their new location at the Boulevard project in Salmiya. Their new location is pretty big consisting of two floors and surrounded by floor to ceiling windows which bring in a ton of daylight. The top floor is dedicated just for books along with some seating area for reading, while the bottom floor contains the rest of their items ranging from electronics to arts and craft supplies.

I wasn’t really a fan of their Hawalli location, parking was always problematic and I personally don’t like heading into Hawalli unless I really have to. Boulevard is a much more chill location and the Jarir store is in a standalone building outside the main mall. So you don’t even have to enter the mall if you don’t want to and parking is plentiful.

Their opening hours are from 9AM to 11PM daily except for Fridays when they open from 4PM to 11PM. If you don’t know where Boulevard is, here is Jarir’s location on [Google Maps]. Their phone number is 22610111.


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Huge Sale on English Books

Post by Mark

Remember the Kuwait Bookshop that was located in the basement of Muthana Complex and shutdown? Well all the books from that bookshop are now located in the basement of a building in Hawalli, and all the books are now being sold for really cheap.

I passed by yesterday evening and I’m not sure I can recommend going to anyone. The basement is packed to the brim with books, too many books for the size of the space. Not only that but a third of the basement has books semi organized on shelves, the other third is just books and books piled up on top of each other, while the final third is just piles of boxes on top of another filled with random books inside. Trying to find a book is gonna involve a lot of digging and scrummaging and I’m not sure it’s worth it. To add more to the misery, only half the basement has air conditioning and the whole place is definitely a fire hazard. If you’re claustrophobic you’re definitely not gonna want to be down there.

In case you’re still interested in passing by, they’re open from 9AM to 7PM. Finding the location is slightly tricky, on Google Maps search for “Dana Arab“, it’s a name of a bakala. Once you find the bakala the books are located in the basement of the building to the left of the bakala. You’ll find the entrance to the basement and just walk down. Their phone number is 66036943. Good luck!

Thanks dragonarab


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S&S Bookstore

Post by Mark

S&S is a small bookstore in the basement of Laila Gallery. It’s not new, it’s been there for a few years but I was surprised to still see it open when I passed by Laila Gallery recently. I thought I had posted about the store before but turns out I hadn’t so I decided I’d post about them now. They mostly carry children’s books and school books as well as some educational toys.

They’re located in the corner of the basement of Laila Gallery in Salmiya and their opening hours are Sunday to Thursday 9AM to 1PM and then again 5PM to 10PM. On Fridays they’re open only from 12:30PM to 4:30PM and on Saturday 5PM to 10PM. Their instagram account is @SandSBookstore.

I heard the Kuwait Bookshop that was in the basement of Muthana Complex in the city moved to Hawalli. So need to also check that place out if I can find it.


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Page Turner Books

Post by Mark

Page Turner is a local online based store that specializes in selling must reads books and bestsellers. Their collection isn’t huge by any means with their “Fiction” section being the largest, but you could look at it as quality over quantity. They also buy used books although I have no idea where they’re listed on their website. In any case if you’re looking to buy real books and don’t have a Kindle, this could be a good source. Check them out [Here]


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Kuwait’s 41st International Book Fair

Post by Mark

bookfair

I found out about the Kuwait International Book Fair earlier today so I decided to pass by and check it out to see if there were any English books available. The book fair is taking place in halls 5, 6 and 7 of the international fairground and so its pretty huge. 95% of the books are in Arabic which makes it sound like there aren’t many English books but due to the size of the fair, 5% is still a lot. In hall 6 there were two large aisles stretching from one side of the hall all to the way to the other end full of English books ranging from educational and kids books, to novels and more. The amount of people at the fair tonight was insane and parking was crazy so I’d recommend parking far like at hall 8 and then walking over to the book fair. The fair is going to be there until the 26th of this month.


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The New Q8Books Store

Post by Mark

q8books

Last year Q8Books moved from their Bayt Lothan location in Salmiya to DAI (Dar Al Athar Alislamiyah) since Bayt Lothan closed down. This weekend I finally got to pass by and check out their new space and there were some good stuff and bad stuff.

First the good stuff. Visually I like the new space, it looks better, its spaced out nicer and it feels larger. They have over 15,000 books spread out across three different rooms and they even have a kids room and a reading room. It feels like a cozy high school library.

But there were a few things I didn’t like. The location, Yarmouk where DAI is located is just not as accessible as Salmiya is. It’s not near anything and it’s out of everyones way. DAI is also not a very inviting space, it doesn’t feel or look as casual as Bayt Lothan and you won’t find teens hanging around playing music, skateboarding or anything of the sort at DAI. There were also no Q8Books signs, not outside and not inside. I had to call Fajer who owns the place to ask her where the bookshop was since there was nobody at DAI to ask and no signs pointing towards the shop. Turns out I had to walk to the back of the building and then take the stairs one floor up.

If you’re looking to buy, donate or read books then you should pass by and check the place out. They’re open daily from 5PM to 9PM except on Saturdays when they open from 11AM to 9PM. Once you walk into DAI, walk to the back where there is a seating area and then take the stairs up and you’ll find Q8Books there at the end of the corridor on your left. Here is their location on [Google Maps] and they’re on instagram @q8bookstore


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Adult Coloring Books

Post by Mark

coloring2

Adult coloring books have been rising in popularity recently and now you can find some of the Amazon best sellers in Kuwait. The stationary and office equipment store Mogahwi now carries a whole selection of coloring books including the #1 seller on Amazon, “Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book“.

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Disappointingly the prices were more than double that of Amazon ranging from KD5 to KD8.5 (Secret Garden is KD8.5). So basically it’s actually a bit cheaper if you order it yourself and ship it to Kuwait. If you’re interested in picking up some coloring books and colors, here is the location Mogahwi on [Google Maps]


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Q8Books is Coming Back

Post by Fajer Ahmed

newbooks

A lot of people think that bookstores won’t survive, I beg to differ! Yes a lot of bookstores are losing money but I think bookstores can be a beautiful thing if they are part of the community, and Q8books was. We had book clubs, writing clubs, writing workshops, kids reading, writing competitions and more practically on a daily basis. So we are all very sad that Bayt Lothan, the generous place that provided us and other young creatives a home closed down last month.

Luckily though, DAI (Dar Al Athar Alislamiyah) is becoming the new trendy place for creatives to go to and they have been generous enough to provide us and our community with a space.

Their Yarmouk cultural center is super cool with plenty of state of the art facilities, a museum gift shop (with lovely books and gorgeous accessories), a beautiful theater, a library, an exhibition hall and so on.

Q8books will be opening at 6pm on April the 23rd (World Book Day) and we would love to see you there. Please come and show your support. Just say hi to our hard working team that wants to make a difference in Kuwait.

Posted by Fajer


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Modern Architecture Kuwait 1949-1989

Post by Mark

modernarch1

Yesterday evening I was invited to the launch of the book “Modern Architecture Kuwait 1949-1989” that was held at Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah in Yarmouk. I really didn’t ask any questions about the event before I went since I’ve been wanting to get my hands on the book ever since I found out about it last year. So when one of the book authors invited me to the launch, I just went no questions asked. What I didn’t know was that there was going to be a presentation by Mr. Khalid al-Essa, the former Minister of Public Works and Dr. Ibrahim al-Shaheen, the former General Director of Public Authority of Housing and former Minister of Municipal Affairs. Both those presenters were around and involved during Kuwait’s architectural rise and once their presentation was over they took part in a panel discussion.

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For those of you that have following the blog for awhile now you already know my obsession with Kuwait’s past and so I felt extremely lucky to be in attendance last night listening to the stories of how Kuwait went from mud buildings to having world renowned architects like Kenzo Tange, Jørn Utzon and I. M. Pei involved in local projects. Listening to the two of them talk last night reminded me again how truly young Kuwait is.

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The book “Modern Architecture Kuwait 1949-1989” is a combined effort by Roberto Fabbri, Sara Saragoça Soares and Ricardo Camacho. It involves over two years of investigative research as well as gorgeous photography taken by the gifted architectural photographer Nelson Garrido who travelled across Kuwait to document over 150 buildings that are featured in the book. The buildings are divided into four categories:

Specimens I – building as infrastructure: 1949-1960
Specimens II – building as national identity: 1961-1979
Specimens III – building as cityscape: 1971-1979
Specimens IV – building as programme: 1980-1989

As you can imagine, the book if fairly thick but with the amount of constant demolishing of old buildings taking place in Kuwait, its important to document as many buildings as possible before it’s too late.

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The book costs KD22 and is available on Amazon [Link] and also at the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah bookshop in Yarmouk [Map]. If you have the slightest interest in architecture, design or Kuwait’s past then you should definitely get one.

This morning the architectural and design magazine Dezeen ran a piece on the book along with around 20 photos. Check it out, their article has a lot more details and the photos will give you a general idea of what to expect inside the book. Here is the [Link]


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1,001 Old Ads

Post by Mark

ads

Last month an ebook containing 1,001 vintage ads from old Kuwaiti newspapers was released by the Dawood Treasury. The ads are grouped into categories to make it easier to navigate but sadly the whole ebook is only available as an Adobe Flash based flip book. It’s difficult to navigate, it’s slow, it spends forever loading and there is no way you could download it to view it later on your iPad or laptop. It sucks that they went through all that effort to create this ebook but then to make it so inaccessible. In any case check it out [Here]

Thanks Adnan


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