Since I came here, I was vastly disappointed by the lack of books and variety, so I needed to discover all the bookshops available, form an opinion and go from there to what to do next. Which is naturally to order through internet and use a shipping company such as Aramex.
Here is a list of all the available shops I discovered and their locations and what they have:
That Al-Salasil | ذات السلاسل
That Al-Salasil has many branches, I discovered 5 locations so far, but there isn’t different variety in the collection. It has two branches in the Avenues Mall, the main one is larger, but I prefer the smaller one because it has more English books, and it’s closer to Frozen Ice Cream (another story, another post… soon!). The third branch is in Al Hamra Tower, tiny but has good YA novels. The fourth one is in the Marina Crescent, and the last one is on the way to Old Salmiyah, too tiny and old for my taste.
Jashanmal | جاشنمال
Jashanmal is by far my favorite bookstore in Kuwait, it’s located in the ground floor in 360° Mall, it has a good collection of books and sometimes magazines, the latest cooking books I got were from this cute shop.
Jarir | جرير
Jarir is not just a bookstore, it has many stationary and art supply, and by far I think it has the largest updated collection of both Arabic and English books. I just wish that books weren’t a taboo here, I mean if they don’t like the cover or the title, they either don’t bring it OR worst, they would tarnish it with black marker as they do magazines to me this is a crime of first degree! Jarir of course isn’t the only place that does that, all the other bookstores are also under this terrible spell.
Bayt Lothan | بيت لوذان
Bayt Lothan kind of reminds me of Books@Cafe in Amman, it sells used books only in great condition, most of the sold books haven’t even been used, the spines usually are intact, you can find great editions there, but don’t count on finding the whole series! Bayt Lothan also is a great place to give your books to or exchange it with. Some local groups have their book club meetings there which is cool.
Al Muthana Complex | مجمع المثنى
I don’t remember the name of this shop for many reason, the first that it’s horrible, a messy old bookstore that’s about to close, that’s why I used the name of the building rather than the store. Seriously, it has nothing except a collection of withering books collecting the dust. Don’t bother visiting, not worth the effort.
S&S | أس أند أس
This tiny bookstore is located in Layla Gallery which is a mall, ground floor, mostly sells kids books and very few YA books, but it has an order service, so if you want a certain book they will deliver, haven’t tried it because I still order from my book dealer back home.
I guess that’s mostly it, which is depressing, if you dear reader know any other good bookstores I’m all ears. I wish Kuwait will expand its horizons not just in trade and commerce in other department such as book, and food products, some brands are overpowering the market which isn’t fair to anyone, especially people like me who like quantity and variety. On a last point, I think it’s time to change and be more open-minded about books, magazines and womanhood. There’s nothing wrong about the female body or even romance in books. It’s all healthy.
Stay “ocean” minded. x