The Magic of Bookshops in Kuwait

(Add a +1 to used book shops in Kuwait, as we have just discovered a new one)

There is no greater aroma or atmosphere than that inside a bookshop. The smell of the fresh pencils, awaiting to be used, the paper and books awaiting to be written on, the pens whose caps await to come off, to race across white plains to educate young minds.

It is always a nostalgic trip down memory lane when one ventures inside a bookshop-come-stationary shop. Immediately bombarded with memories of school, the trepidation of the first day was always overshadowed by the trip into the book shop to pick up the education utensils, the pencil-cases, sharpeners, rubberscolors, pencils etc. All bedecked with your favorite, multicolored characters.

I enjoy these trips nowadays, they serve as a much welcomed break from the toils of daily monotony, and a brief reminder of the playful innocence of our youth and exuberance.

At first glance, the London bookstore on Qutaiba street in Hawally appears nondescript, a totally regular small bookstore.

The London Bookstore

With magazines and newspapers on the outside, and stationary on the inside.

Narrow inside

However, you would be foolhardy to dismiss this as being the only offering within the Bookstore, for much like Alice, we must venture down the rabbit hole, into the catacombs below, and the magic that entails.

Down the Stairs and into the Rabbit Hole

And the world below reveals itself slowly.

And what to our wondering eyes should appear?

Breath-taking in its expansive size and splendor.

Getting ready for the school year, bags et all

Now the great thing about this discovery is, as I lost myself amidst the plethora of shelve s containing everything from greeting cards to crayons, from Islamic books to posters, from thumb-tacs to other knick-knacks, I came across the Holy Grail of all avid readers in Kuwait, a lone, dust-covered shelf in the farthest corner of the maze, containing, much to my excitement, second-hand reading books!

(yes I was excited, I love reading)

Back up the Rabbit Hole we go

With technology advancing the way it is today, people have lost the sense of a good paperback book in their hands, opting for the cold, lifeless, glazed tablets as an unfit substitute. Nothing beats the feel of a book spine beneath your fingertips as you eagerly flip the pages to discover how the tale twists. Flicking through with your finger on a plastic screen is just not the same!

Hence, add this bookshop to the small list of second hand bookshops in Kuwait, giving us a grand total of, wait for it, 3! Q8Books (link) in Kuwait City, which offers an amazing facility of searching their inventory online for the book you want, Better Books Kuwait in Salmiya (link) which is the only cafe/bookstore in Kuwait, and now London Bookshop in Hawally.

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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