Sunday, April 3, 2011

AUC Tahrir Booksale & a couple nice bookstores in Maadi

Jeff, Cameron and I went to the Tahrir Book Fair at the downtown campus of American University in Cairo (AUC) today.  It was a fun event with many bookstore vendors, people selling crafts and bands playing.   There was even a section with booths for embassies.  I noticed the U.S. Embassy had a booth with publications on display.

Here's a link to an announcement about the Book Fair.  
(The information at this link says the Fair ends today, Sunday, but we heard the event had been extended by one day, ending Monday instead.)

AUC's downtown campus, viewed from outside.

Entering the campus. 
Here's a short video of part of the fair.
Here's a link to this video:

I'm guessing there were about 20 different booksellers at the fair selling new and used books.

Here are a few of the tables selling art and jewelry.
A couple of our favorite bookstores from Maadi had tables at the book fair.  One bookstore with mainly new books is the Book Spot on Road 9, a couple blocks down from the Greco Cafe and on the opposite side of the street.   If you're considering visiting the Book Spot, you might want to go on a Tuesday since most Tuesdays they offer 10% off all books.

A second store we like a lot is a little used bookstore set back from the road not far from the Sadayek Maadi metro station, also on Road 9 (on the opposite side of the street from the metro).  Below is a photo of the owner of that bookstore with his family; a photo of his table of books is below this.  If anyone would like to visit his bookstore or find a book through him, his mobile number is (002) 019 77 45 933, email:

Quiet corner of AUC's downtown campus.
There are bargain books for sale tucked away behind the main part of the fair in an area called the AUC Press Pavilion, (see photo below).
Jeff and I have been quite impressed with AUC's bookstores.  They have a great selection and the staff are very helpful.
Cameron enjoyed the children's story-telling time at the AUC bookstore today.  I enjoyed it too.  The story teller was a woman reading the book she wrote and had published, a book about the old Alexandria lighthouse, one of the seven ancient wonders of the world.
 Here's the cover of the book.
Here's a lovely illustration from the book.  The details about the lighthouse were well-researched to be historically accurate.  The light of the lighthouse was from a bonfire built on stone at the top.  This building really was an architectural wonder.  It was destroyed by an earthquake in 1303.
Here's a page from the book with some interesting details about the lighthouse.  (You can click on the photo to make it larger.)

If anyone reading this blog in Cairo is interested in going to the Tahrir Book Fair, you have today and tomorrow to get there, 10am-6pm.  The entrance to the campus is about 100 yards from the Sadat Metro station, across from the McDonald's on that side street leading to Tahrir Square.

Here's a link to a newspaper article about the Book Fair:
As it reports, an ID is required to enter the AUC campus, but the Book Fair is open to the public so anyone can go.  Admission is free.

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