Q8Books opening this Sunday

Posted by Mark

Q8Books is officially opening its door this coming Sunday. Other than a night full of cultural entertainment featuring artists Daxna, Monstariam, Dr. Foobar and Hamed Al-Refaei, Q8Books will also be introducing their outreach program. The bookstores opening hours will be 2 to 9PM and they’re located at Bayt Lothan (outside to the right of the main entrance). Pass by and follow them on Instagram @q8bookstore


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Q8Books coming back to life

Posted by Mark

Back in May I posted that Q8Books, the used books store was closing down. Well since then a lot of things have happened. Q8Books did in fact close down but all the books were purchased by Fajer the lawyer and she’s moved the bookstore into a much larger location in Salmiya. She’s bringing back Q8Books and it’s going to be better than ever. The new location is at Bayt Lothan and it’s around four times the size of the older location.

The bookshop is nearly done and Fajer is planning to relaunch it sometime next week. Once it’s officially open I’ll have her post about it with more details including information on how you can donate books and on the bookstore’s outreach project to support a library in Gambia. For now you can follow them on Instagram to see what they’re up to @q8bookstore


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The original Kuwait Bookshop

Posted by Mark

Everyone knows about the Kuwait Bookshop located in the basement of Muthana Complex but not a lot of people know of the one located near the Sheraton roundabout. The Kuwait Bookshop at the Sheraton roundabout is their original location and has been there since the 1960s. I passed by last night with a friend and we ended up picking up a couple of books. Their top floor is full of old stuff and you can even find prints from the 70s just sitting on the shelves untouched and covered in dust. If you’ve never passed by there you should before the building ends up getting demolished. They’re located right on the Sheraton roundabout in Kuwait City to the right of Al Sawan Travels.

Note: The pictures in this post date back to 2010


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Letter Home by Karen Alanizi

Posted by Mark

Letter Home is a book written by Karen Alanizi on her experiences during the 1990 Kuwait invasion. Below is the description I got from her website:

The Compelling true story of Karen Alanizi and her Kuwaiti husband during the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

Based on a letter written to her family in England her story reveals the heart-wrenching emotions, fears and the often amusing and sometimes bizarre side of life during the Iraqi occupation.

She describes the desperation of their separation, and the journeys that eventually re-unite them in England.

As the Gulf War unfolds they fear for their family and friends left behind in Kuwait and wait impatiently for the Liberation of the country that they love so much.

I haven’t read the book but while checking out her website I found some interesting pictures she had taken during and after the invasion. One of my favorites is the one I posted above of the two people in a George Bush and Margaret Thatcher masks. If you’re interested in her book or checking out more photos click [Here]


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Beating the NBA: Tales From a Frugal Fan

Posted by Mark

“Beating the NBA: Tales From a Frugal Fan” is a book by Kuwaiti author Motez Bishara. I thought the subject was very interesting since I purchase most of my concert tickets from “secondary markets” so I emailed Motez and asked him to tell me more about himself and how he came up with the book and this is what he had to say:

I am a Kuwaiti who grew up between New York and Kuwait, before going to university in Boston and grad school in New Orleans. I now reside in London (so I’m kind of all over the shop).

I have been a big fan of the NBA since I was a kid at ASK, where I played high school basketball. Going to Boston University during the end of the Larry Bird era, I had to find ways to buy tickets to see the Celtics on a low budget. From there, I developed a set of guidelines that ordinarily allowed me to gain entry to live events of every nature (theater, rock concerts, etc.) for less than the price printed on the ticket.

About eight years ago websites like StubHub and Craigslist allowed fans to find ‘secondary market’ tickets much easier. Buying off of scalpers on the street was now just one option, instead of the only option, aside from the box office. Conversely, sports teams kept raising their prices to the point where they were not in line with demand. As more and more season ticket holders in the United States started using the likes of StubHub and eBay to sell unwanted tickets, I would often find deals for a fraction of what teams were charging.


[Radio Interview]

As a fan, and conscientious consumer, I was insulted that sports teams — NBA teams in particular — were still clinging to their antiquated model, while it was obvious that their ticket prices were not reflective of the actual market value of those seats. A point I drive home in the book is that fans (and consumers of all goods) should pay no more than the market value of what they are purchasing. And if they can get away with paying less, then all the better. I show people how to do just that.

Beating the NBA: Tales from a Frugal Fan is a collection of stories from my trips around the United States, Canada and London which document how I, along with other fans I met, go about getting good deals. It is sprinkled with anecdotes and interviews from my travels to 31 games.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book its Available on Amazon as paperback [Here]
The Kindle version will be available any day now as well.


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Q8books Closing Down

Posted by Mark

After being in operation for around a decade now, Q8books, the small used bookstore in Kuwait City is sadly closing down. They started with just 50 books but now have over 10,000. They’ll be closing by the end of June so if you’ve never been to the store before or you’re interested in getting some used books at bargain prices then you should pass by before it’s too late.

The store is located on the mezzanine floor of the shopping center behind Johnny Rockets Salhiya. For store opening hours and to check out their collection of books you can visit their website www.q8books.com


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An Art Library in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

Art Kuwait recently posted about Boushahri’s Art Library in Salmiya. The library is filled with both Arabic and English art and design books and you don’t need to be a member to access the books. You just pass by, sign in and read whatever books you want.

The library is located in the Boushahri building on Baghdad Street in Salmiya and it’s open from 9AM to 1PM and then again from 5PM to 9PM. Their phone number is 25621215 ext 110. For more information click [Here]

Note: Art Kuwait mention that it’s the first art library in Kuwait but I believe CAP (Contemporary Art Platform) have had a similar library in their space for some time now. Photo below.


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WHSmith opening soon at the airport

Posted by Mark

The popular British bookstore chain WHSmith is opening up their first location in Kuwait at the Kuwait Airport. The signage caught me by surprise since I don’t remember ever reading WHSmith was coming to Kuwait. I wonder if the That AL Salasil branch at The Avenues will also be converted to WHSmith?


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Kuwaiti writer wins International Prize for Arabic Fiction

Posted by Mark

Kuwaiti author Saud Alsanousi won the 2013 International Prize for Arabic Fiction to become the youngest writer to win the prize. Saud won the prize for his story “The Bamboo Stalk” which is about a character called Issa who is a son of a Kuwaiti father and a Filipino mother.

On returning to his father’s homeland as an adult, Issa finds himself in a difficult position. Rather than the mythical country his mother has described to him, he discovers he is caught between the natural, biological ties he shares with his father’s family and the prejudices of a traditional society, which views a child of Kuwaiti-Filipino heritage as socially unacceptable. Skilfully constructed, The Bamboo Stalk is a story of great strength and depth which questions identity in modern society.

You can find out more about Saud and the prize by following this [Link]


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The Kuwait Urbanization

Posted by Mark

One of the rooms inside the House of Mirrors was a private library filled with old books dating back to the early 60s. Amongst the vintage Tell Me Why’s, one book grabbed my attention called The Kuwait Urbanization. It’s an old book published back in 1964 and it was filled with old sketches and photos of Kuwait. Near the end of the book I even spotted artists sketches from the competition to design the Kuwait waterfront (Gulf Road).

I checked online to see if I could buy the book but I couldn’t find it anywhere but luckily a follower of mine on Instagram had a PDF version which she was nice enough to email me. I’ve also decided it’s worth sharing this book with everyone so if you’re also interested in old Kuwait you can download the 166MB PDF file from [Here]


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