I can’t believe it, but next month, after the new year would mark two years of marriage and two years since I moved to Kuwait! You can almost say I’m a local now! After the success of my previous post Where to Shop for Books in Kuwait, I got a LOT of questions, so I decided to write down some of the tips I would have found useful when I arrived here.
I’ve went out of my way to find books in Kuwait and I discovered many interesting things; you see Amman is open, there isn’t many secret locations and underground ways to buy anything (as far as I know) but Kuwait is different, there are layers, surprises and many ways to locate what you are looking for.
The way bookshops even arrange their books is chaotic to me. Upon entering a bookshop no matter where you enter, make sure to browse the WHOLE shop! You might find what you are looking for because the system isn’t accurate, a shop clerk might tell you: “We don’t have the book you are asking for.” While you are either holding it in your hands, or just stumbled upon it. This happened to me a couple of times in Jarir Bookstore and That AlSalasil, still, they’re my favorite bookstores in Kuwait, the staff are friendly, they’re clean and there are more options in both stores than any other place in Kuwait, also there is always new books to see every few weeks.
The other thing is, if you like books in English, you must be patient, they are NEVER set together, they would be scattered. You might find a great fiction book set in the Young Adult section, or YA in Kids section and so forth.
If you are looking for the Arabic Classics be ready to be disappointed, your chances to locate a translated edition is higher than the actual book, many are prohibited which I find absurd like Kahlil Gibran and Alaa Al Aswany’s books! So if you have a list certain of books, I recommend Beirut or Cairo for the oldies, or sudden book fairs and small stationary shops, yup, you heard me, they have a LOT of great editions, because the merchandise are chosen by the owners. Still, many of my books are still from home, Amman.
Another good way is to browse Instagram for individual sellers like Chapter One Bookstore and LAVENDER STOP, they both deliver to your house door and take a delivery fee. I bought a book from Chapter One, I felt it was over the price (I later found the same book, half the price) but the packaging was so cute.
Another good place to find books is used bookstores such as Q8books, people from all over, giveaway and donate books, your chances are high in finding books as good as new! I used to buy books from Bayt Lothan but it closed, I found such great editions, it’s a shame.
In any case, if you have any other questions or inquiries, please comment below, thank you for reading!