One of the highlights of my stay in Cairo has to be the The 38th International Book Fair which I attended a few days ago. 623 publishers from 32 Arabian and international countries are participating in the fair this year although due to my lack of Arabic knowledge I was limited to a few stores which offered some English books.
Hopping from store to store I quickly realized it may be a while before I found anything which would suite my taste as well as my language requirements. Each store was filled with Enthusiastic book fundis desperately sifting through the thousands of choices in as many subjects as you can imagine. The call to prayer sounded soon after we arrived and after meeting up with another Egyptian friend we prayed and then set about tracking down the English books. I love books and wish I would spend as much time reading my books as I spend searching for them. Unfortunately for me having being paid half of this monthsâ€™ salary before the holidays I had a tight budget, but managed to get a healthy collection of Islamic books which is my primary choice of literature. I ended up paying for 8 excellent books what I might have paid for the most expensive one amongst the 8 back home and left feeling very satisfied. I was also given a precious gift of a beautifully printed English/Arabic Quran from the Saudi IIPH publishers tent with a few impatient locals not too happy that they were not given the same, and though I feel a little bad for that I am grateful as itâ€™s exactly what I needed having left my own personal copy at home.
All in all it was an extremely satisfying day and made me feel much more comfortable knowing that my obesession with books can continue unhindered.