My trip to the CIBF (A recount or book haul?)

I’ve already posted a blog about what is the Cairo International Book Fair You can see it here.


So, I thought I’d share this wonderful experience with you. I went last week and I’m already wishing I could go again. This isn’t the first time for me to go, but it was the first for me to choose my own books and decide what to get and what to not – I felt like an adult 🙂 . Anyway, so I started by casually checking out the publishers and bargains before I buy anything. It was impossible to see all the fair ground then come back again, so I ended buying from first sight. The first place I bought something from was Dar El Shrouq. They had 50% discounts on 250 titles and 150 other titles for only 5, 10 or 20 EGP (0.3, 0.5 or 1 $). Here’s what i got from there:

  • Beatrice & Virgil by Yann Martel hardcover – 30 EGP (1.6 $)
  • Trash by Andy Mulligan paperback – 20 EGP (1 $)

Next was the AUC Press (they had to drag me out of there).

What I got from the AUC Press:

  • Instinct by Ben Kay – 32 EGP (1.7 $)
  • Indulgence in Death by J.D. Robb – It doesn’t have a price sticker on it but I think it’s the same as the one above or maybe cheaper.

After that I sauntered around for a few hours. My sister got some Arabic novels and my dad got a business book for him and children’s books for my other sister at home. And then we reached the Azbakia section. This is where second-hand, old and fake copies are sold. They are usually the cheapest books in the fair. I got quite some books from there. All of those are paperback:

  • The Selection by Kiera Cass – 20 EGP (1 $)
  • All the Light We Cannot See – 25 EGP (1.3 $)
  • 5 books for 50 EGP (2.7 $)
    • City of Ghosts by Bali Rai
    • Drama Girl by Carmen Reid
    • Distant Waves by Suzanne Weyn
    • The Black Sphinx by Matt Hart
    • A beautiful Lie by Irfan Master
  • 1984 by George Orwell – 20 EGP (1 $)

 


I just noticed the post ended up being a book haul and not a recount. Anyway, what do you think of my purchases? Any idea which book should I start with first?

What is the Cairo International Book Fair? And why should I care?

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I’ve wanted to write this post for over a week now, but I just kept postponing it. A procrastinator’s typical life. Here we go!

Note: All prices are converted into dollars by the price of the day Feb 2nd 2017

The What:

The Cairo International Book Fair is one of the biggest book fairs in the world, drawing hundreds of book sellers from around the world and about 3 million visitors each year. It is the largest book fair in the Arab world,as well as the oldest. In 2006, it was the second largest book fair in the world after the Frankfurt Book Fair. The Fair is considered the most important event in the Arabic publishing world.

The When:

It takes place each year in the last week of January and the first week of February. However, the exact starting date is announced at the beginning of the year. This year it will be open daily from 10am until 7pm for book selling, and until 9pm for cultural events. Tickets are sold in front of the fairgrounds for 1 EGP (0.054 $).

The Where:

Cairo, Egypt. Obviously. It is organised in the Cairo International Fair Grounds in Madinat Nasr.

The Why:

As for why you should be keen on attending this fair (if possible), there are a couple of reasons:

  • Sales. As simple as that. You can get a book worth 200 EGP (10.767 $) for only 10 EGP (0.5 $).
  • Variety. The book suits every reader’s taste. You can get academic books, specialized books (history, economy, politics, religion etc.) or as in my case novels. Also you can find books in about 10 languages (that I know of). Arabic and English being the most popular, followed by German, Chinese, French and Russian.
  • The fair is a perfect place for a family outing or picnic or even for a group of friends or an intellectual date.

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  • Lots of books! This year we will see 670 publishers, 451 Egyptian, 200 Arabs, 13 international, and six from African countries.
  • Book signings. The fair is the ultimate chance to meet all of your favourite authors, poets and novelists and all in the same place!

    I’ll post my own trip in another post for the sake of organization. Have you gone to the fair this year? What do you think of it?