The Kuwait National Library

Posted by Mark

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Yesterday I had a meeting at the Kuwait National Library and to kill time before the meeting I wandered off into the small English books section and started checking out the books. I was pretty surprised that the majority of the English books were really old but then I found the advertising section and I knew I hit jackpot.

Right away I noticed, these weren’t just any ordinary advertising books, these were vintage advertising books from the 40s and the 50s! These are the books Don Draper would have on his bookshelf on the TV show Mad Men. I found an empty shelf and started collecting the books I liked and lining them up next to each other. In the end these were my favorite books that I found:

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How to Build Modern Furniture (1957)
Five Hundred Years of Printing (1959)
The Watch Repairer’s Manual (1949)
Advertising – a guide for business man and student (1947)
Advertising and Psychology (1954)
The Technique of Advertising (1940)
Successful Television and Radio Advertising (1959)
Advertising (1953)
International Handbook of Advertising (1964)
Colour in Advertising (1956)

I thought they were all very fascinating so once my meeting was done I headed to the main office to sign up for a library card so I could check them out. Thats where I got an even bigger surprise, turns out the library isn’t open yet and is actually opening in two weeks and even once it’s open they won’t allow anyone to check out the books, you can only read them in the library.

I left the library in love with it but at the same time a bit confused.

If they’re not open yet, why are all the English books so old?
Where did they even get these books from?
and WTF?

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But then it hit me, this is the perfect library. Other than the fact that old books are fascinating, by having all these old books, its as if the library has been around for 50 years instead of just opening now. You’re also not going to find these books on the Kindle so thats another reason to visit the library. Smart move. Once the library is open in two weeks I would definitely recommend you pass by. The library is pretty big and I’m not sure if there was another larger English section but even if there wasn’t, the small section is interesting enough to check out.

The library is located right next to the National Museum on the Gulf Road and here it is on [Google Maps]

PS: If anyone from the library is reading this, please PLEASE remove the horrible window sticker on your building and install a proper sign instead.]


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15 comments, add your own...


  1. Marcopolo says:

    Oh yes, that horrid sticker ruins the whole building.

  2. Sumsang says:

    I don’t think they can put up a sign on the glass facade. I think it will have to be stickers, but hopefully they can do a nicer sticker.

  3. shabana says:

    Thanks for sharing, Mark!

  4. Q8Insight says:

    Totally Agree with Marcopolo………. lol…………..

  5. Asma says:

    Thank you for sharing this!!!! (Y) Will sure pass by!

  6. Anne Kostein says:

    Another pick up joint for the young guys and girls… You would see the best nerd makeup and glasses out here… All of them will be doing their thaaannnnggg

  7. Lisa says:

    Building new…collection old.

  8. Read my Lips says:

    Segregation still rules in the library like elsewhere?

    • lol says:

      What?

      What are you on about? segregation is limited in kuwait (public government schools and some universities)

  9. Back in 2012 November, there was a housing sessions seminar at this national library. We even did a pavillion called pneumatic grove and mark had posted about it at that time. When we enquire back then, the library was due to open in 2 weeks. That was 2 years back. Hope this time around it will be open for real.

  10. xxx says:

    wont let you take the book home? still there are finish a book? mmmmm.. o this is a national library…is there a public library?

  11. uwe says:

    As we can see, nothing “New” is happening in the Advertising and Printing field, in Kuwait ! ;-)

  12. Yousef says:

    Hello MArk,
    just to let you know. the library will be officially opened on the first week of ramadhan to the public. don’t ask me why they have chosen such a horrible opening date, maybe because the Amir of Kuwait officially opened the library back in 2012 i think.

    Now you can borrow all the books you need ,,
    and YES I agree “what a sticker”

  13. zaydoun says:

    That sticker has to go and they can put a brass sign on those steel magnetized thingies. Or suction cups!

  14. Lilu says:

    Hi. What are the Ramadan timings of the library?


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