February 4, 2010

Books, Books, Books

Filed under: On books and reading,Uncategorized — by AmiraAK @ 12:32 pm

I love this time of the year.. December and January… in December there used to be the AUC holiday book fair where we would save up money all year round and then buy lots of books at great prices, and January was the month of the Cairo International book fair where needless to say many long visits would result in piles and piles of books.  We would start the year with many new acquisitions that would last us many months ahead. 

This year our enthusiasm for the Cairo Book Fair has diminished for several reasons, among them the abundance of bookshops around Cairo, the availability of books everywhere, the amount of unread books we have at home and the lack of time to read them and various other reasons.  Nevertheless, the temptation of going to the fair is something we cannot resist, and this week has been an extremely happy one for me in terms of books and book hoarding.

I went to the fair yesterday and bought a few Arabic books: Mourid Barghouthy’s new novel, Wulidt Honak, Wulidt Hona (I was Born There, I was Born Here), Ahmed El Eseily’s Ketab Maloush Ism (A Book Without a Name), Khairy Shalaby’s Awwelna Walad, and a few colouring and children’s books for the kids at home.  I also got a book of verb conjugation in Spanish – lawazem el espanol yaani – and a Dennis the Menace book of puzzles to keep me busy when I’m in a puzzly mood. 

I have also been mooching lately ( and I have been fortunate enough this past week to have relieved myself of some extra books I had at home (Nick Hornby’s Slam and The Complete Polysyllabic Spree, Martin Amis’ Lucky Jim, The Language of Others and Jostein Gaarder’s The Ringmaster’s Daughter.  I also happily received quite a few books: White Teeth by Zadie Smith an almost brand new copy! Life on the Refrigerator Door, True Pleasures: a Memoir of Women in Paris, Nick Hornby’s A Long Way Down and Ji gave me an extra Spanish book on top of those, a poetic study from different writers and poets commemorating Cervantes.  Last month I also paid a visit to Virgin Megastore and bought a couple of books that were on sale: Amelie Nothomb’s Loving Sabotage and Edward Said and Daniel Barenboim’s Parallels and Paradoxes (two totally paradoxical books I must say!). 

I have also mooched Out of Africa and I’m waiting for it.  I just discovered that there are some very significant and famous books that I haven’t read and never bought and never actually thought of buying such as Out of Africa and The Remains of the Day!  maybe because the films were so superb.  I mooched Out of Africa and someone has accepted to send it.  I will probably mooch The Remains of the Day too and Wicked and a few other books I never thought of buying or I don’t feel like spending money on, then I’ll be content for the rest of the year.



  1. Wow, looks like you got a stack of books for the rest of the year :). My sisters read”Book without a name” and they enjoyed it, hope you would too.

    I’m definitely checking Bookmooch. If i wanted more details i’ll get back to you.

    Comment by ze2red — February 4, 2010 @ 8:31 pm |Reply

    • great ya ze2red :) you’re my faithful reader ;) get an account on bookmooch and i can mooch you some of my books. i have loads and i’m going to update my list within the next few hours.

      Comment by AmiraAK — February 5, 2010 @ 11:40 pm |Reply

  2. […] blog; from the Arab News Blog a funny piece about the police book exhibit; Bebasata’s round-up of the fair. Crowd shot; Dar el Shorouk tent in the background. My son took lots of photos of the stacks. Crowd […]

    Pingback by Photos from the Cairo International Book Fair « Arabic Literature (in English) — February 6, 2010 @ 8:46 am |Reply

    • Wow! hey, thanks for linking me in :) Nice blog!

      Comment by AmiraAK — February 7, 2010 @ 11:29 am |Reply

  3. You do bookmooch from Egypt? (Obviously not from the post office near our new place, where we’ve got about a 12.5 percent success rate on receiving mail.)

    Comment by mlynxqualey — February 6, 2010 @ 8:57 am |Reply

    • I don’t know about books, but I have no problem receiving letters. I sent a whole bunch of books last week all over the world. I haven’t received any notification whether or not they have arrived yet – I’m hoping they will soon :). Let’s cross our fingers and see :) Do you have a bookmooch account?

      Comment by AmiraAK — February 7, 2010 @ 11:23 am |Reply

  4. done :)

    let’s see ba2a, because i don’t have this huge pile of books :)

    Comment by ze2red — February 6, 2010 @ 10:33 am |Reply

    • you joined goodreads. yalla join bookmooch ya ze2red.

      Comment by AmiraAK — February 7, 2010 @ 11:24 am |Reply

      • i had my goodreads account a while ago :)
        and i created the bookmooch, bas 3amla zay el batekha over there :)

        Comment by ze2red — February 7, 2010 @ 11:32 am

  5. Ya Amira..I cannot deal with the Mooching thing da.
    Goodreads ashal.

    Comment by nerro — February 7, 2010 @ 11:01 am |Reply

    • yes, i see what you mean. but it’s the idea of giving books away (which i have to admit is in itself a very difficult thing for me ;)), and the opportunity of getting books which is very tempting and quite exciting.. and going to the post office and sending books all over the world :)

      Comment by AmiraAK — February 7, 2010 @ 11:19 am |Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: