Where to Shop for Books in Kuwait

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:

Number One
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.

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In the Avenues Main bookstore.

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In the Marina Crescent.

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The small shop in The Avenues also.

Number Two
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.

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Number Three
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.

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Number Four
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.

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Number Five
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.

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Number Six
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.

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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

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15 thoughts on “Where to Shop for Books in Kuwait

  1. I’m glad to hear that you are finding more bookstores in your current residence Dana. They all sound like they have their pros and cons. That one you mentioned, Jarir, sounds interesting, in that is offers art supplies. I like the sound of that. But I agree in that it is definitely a crime to damage books in this way! I can see not carrying certain books if they don’t like them or whatever, but purposefully marking them up like that is unforgivable.
    Well, I hope that you will be able to find more stores as you continue your bookstore quest. Good luck! 🙂

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    • Thank you Mike 🙂 but now I’m seriously considering buying them online or to get them from Amman. The books here are so limited and they rarely get hardcovers which I love. People offered me e-books but I don’t like them at all. I love the feeling of real books.

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      • Yeah, I hear what you’re saying Dana. I mean, e-books are okay to a point. I’ve bought a few for my Kindle and it’s cool that I can pull them up on my iPod. They’re good for convenience when you don’t have a book with you while you’re waiting in the dentist office. I’m not a magazine person. But you’re right. It’s just not the same as having a real book. Just the other day, I was at Barnes & Noble bookstore (I could spend hours in there as it is so big) and I just love to take in the smell of the store. I love the smell of new books. 🙂 And I was so excited when I went there because on a whim, I found a book that I wanted to buy. I originally was planning to order it online. But yeah, I love to turn the pages of a good book as it increases the anticipation of what’s going to happen next. That’s something an e-book can’t do. A lot of people over here are all for the e-book, but I’m a bit of a rebel. I like real, physical books.
        Perhaps the books that you’re looking for can be found on Amazon. That’s where I buy mine usually. I’m in the process of ordering a series that I want from there right now. I hope that you will be able to find what you’re looking for. 🙂

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      • Well, it’s actually a book that most wouldn’t find to be interesting reading. But I’m not like most. 😉 The book is called “How Business Works”. It’s a very comprehensive text on how the business world works, from non-profit organizations to one of the fastest growing franchises in the world (Subway). What keeps it from being totally “dry” is that it’s filled with color graphics and diagrams, which makes it appealing.
        And the series that I’m currently purchasing is a graphic novel series called “A Bride’s Story”. I think that you would like it. The artwork is so well done and detailed. I have the first two volumes. I need to get the other four.

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      • I also see that its a crime to spoil books i like the feeling of having a book n reading it over n over again n also saving it for later but in kuwait i dont find the books i need some r not available n i dnk how to order online from a good place can you help me plz

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  2. Hey Sara! I feel you… I haven’t ordered anything to Kuwait so far, I’ve been buying most of my books from Amman actually. But I JUST made an Aramex account here in Kuwait, if it goes well, I’ll let you know 🙂

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  3. Hello!! very pleased of finding these recommendations … I would like to know if there are English Course books, teaching English Books… etc Im from Venezuela but I have a friend there and my sister is going to be there in a few months so i would like them to send me some books.. I need that kind of books since Im a teacher of English as a Foreign Language….. Thank you so much for this and for your reply!!

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    • Hello Marcel! I don’t remember seeing the books in Kuwait, but you can check That Al-Salisl in The Avenues if you are in Kuwait. I’m listening to an audiobook, because I want to buy a special edition.

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  4. Pingback: Buying Books in Kuwait | Dana's Sanctuary

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