Two Saturdays ago, once I actually got out of bed, I woke up fresh and excited to go to the annual 47th Cairo International Book Fair. I prepared my backpack while making sure I saved enough room for all the books that I would buy. The thought of just my bag full of books once I got back home made me full of the joys of spring! So, I wore the comfiest outfit I own, I ate my breakfast and I gladly guided my two best friends to the Book Fair.
Since it wasn’t my first time to visit the Book Fair, I knew where to go and we headed straight to Sour Elazbakeya, where the cheapest books were. Apparently the bookstores in Sour Elazbakeya don’t sell original books; they photocopy them (which makes sense since they sold the books for third the official price)! I didn’t care though. As long as the books were tangible and the words were readable then I’m buying as many as I could. Sour Elazbakeya itself was huge! There were an endless number of bookstores which looked all the same to me. I don’t think there was a possible way to visit them all, unless you had a map which wasn’t even an option. Most of the books they sold were the same, anyway. Eventually, I got bored of seeing the same books over and over again.
After two hours of book shopping in Sour Elazbakeya, we went to our regular bookstores: Alef, Diwan, Shorouk…etc. Of course, their books were a cut above Sour Elazbakeya’s. There was a greater variety too but their prices started at 70 LE. And I emphasize on the word started. Let me tell you something; when you buy books from Sour Elazbakeya for a maximum of 25 pounds, you will not be able to bring yourself to later buy books at at least triple the price (neither I nor my friends could)! So, we just looked around, read the summary on the back cover of the books and lost each other in the crazy, slowly moving, leaving-no-place-for-people-to-exit crowd. It was a madhouse at these bookstores!
The highlight of my day was when I moved my bag contents from a handbag to a backpack for all the books that I planned to buy. It was whenever I bought a new book and put it in my backpack so the bag felt heavier (I even asked my friends to put their books in there too). It was whenever I read the summary on the back of a book and it was really good that it made me grin from ear to ear. It was when I rushed against the clock to try to visit as many bookstores as possible before I had to leave. It was when I went back home and showed my mum all the books I got. It was when I put the newly bought books next to the old ones on the bookshelf. The day itself was one of the highlights of 2016!
Now my super excited self might have given you the impression that I bought an endless number of books (I wish), but I ended up buying only four! I intended to go on a book shopping spree at the Book Fair; I wanted to buy like 12 books (why 12? it is the average between 10 and 15 haha). Here is the thing about me; I can’t trust a book just by the summary on its back cover. I must read a few reviews online and if they’re good enough for me I’d then buy the book. So maybe if the internet service wasn’t shitty there, I would have gone home with the number of books I wanted. I did buy one book of the four purely based on the lines written on the book cover, though. That’s how wild I got, haha!
Now, let me show you the books I bought: (I’ve been excited to do that before I even got them)
1) Fangirl (25 LE)
This is the book which I decided to get based on the summary on its back cover. I think what won me over was the idea of twins going their separate ways. Most probably it doesn’t sound that interesting to you, but something inside of me clicked when I read the summary. Plus, I read another book by its author, Rainbow Rowell, which was called Eleanor & Park. I loved that book; the story and the characters. I didn’t like the ending much, but I still enjoyed it a lot.
2) The Five People You Meet in Heaven (20 LE)
Two years ago, I downloaded the book on my iPad and I read a few chapters, but I never actually finished it. I loved the part that I read; the story was quite interesting and engaging. I wanted to read it from the start and actually finish it this time, so I got it as soon as I found it without thinking twice!
3) If I Stay (20 LE)
4) Where She Went (20 LE)
How many of you buy a book based on its movie? I do! I got 3 books based on their movies and, to my surprise, they sucked big time! In case you’re interested, the 3 books were: Silver Linings Playbook, Dear John and One Day. I thought if to me the movie was a big success, the book must be a bigger success. I was wrong! So I decided not to do that anymore, that is buying books for which I’ve watched the movies already. But If I Stay, the movie itself was beautiful. I remember that I enjoyed it so much I was pissed off that the movie Where She Went (part II) hasn’t been released yet, especially after that cliffhanger in part I. So, I decided to once more take a chance, buy the book and find out myself what happens next. Of course, I am going to also read If I Stay because we all know how they cut out most of a book when turning it into a movie. I hope this time the book is actually better than its movie. I will update you on that!
A month ago, I also got two books from Virgin Megastore. So since I’m sharing with you the books I recently got (and I only got FOUR books – can’t get over that), I thought I’d add them to the list.
5) The Next Together (123 LE)
This is another book I decided to buy completely based on the question on it: How many times can you lose the one you love? There is no summary on the back cover, nothing else to give a hint about the book but that question. I told you that I don’t normally do so but that question won me over! It affected me so much I had to buy the book. I wanted to know the story behind that question. I have a soft spot for beautifully written words. Plus, the cover looked very colorful and tumblr-ish; I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. I do fear though that it is one of those books where it will take me months to finish because it is boring, but I’ll still read it anyway hoping for a great ending. I will update you on that as well!
6) هيبتا – Hebta (25 LE)
I don’t read Arabic books except once in a blue moon! I have about four (now five) Arabic books in my book collection, and I’ve only read two of them! I will get around and read them someday. This explains why I have just bought هيبتا a week ago. I think the greatest Arabic book I have ever read is الفيل الأزرق, so I really wish that هيبتا will turn out to be as great as that one.
There was this book that I’ve looked for at the Book Fair and I was sad that I didn’t go home with it; A Book of English Poetry. Ever since I began loving poems and rhyming writings, I have wanted a book that contains a collection of poems. I knew that it existed, but I didn’t know where to find it. That was until my best friend told me that her friend got this book from the Book Fair, so my hopes went uphill and I thought I’d for sure get it that day. But, all the bookstores that I searched in broke my heart. *pats self on the back*
These were my choices of books that I am so excited to read. I’m already 60 pages into The Next Together book, and the story is definitely different from any other story I’ve read so far. Let me know what books did you get from the Book Fair this year, or if you’ve read any of the books I got. Cheers!
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