Reading has always been a great addition to civilizations. You read, you get to know about other people’s lives, experiences, and mistakes, you get to add to them and learn from them. It’s said that the one who reads, lives more than a life. Egypt, has always been one of the perfect places for book addicts, so here’s a guide to Egypt’s literature and Cairo’s best book spots.
Ancient Egyptian literature is some of the earliest in history and helped the creation of Egyptian literature in general. Visit the Library of Alexandria, the place where some of the most well-known global thinkers studied, in addition to being the center of education since it was first constructed in the 3rd century BC, right up until 30 BC. It was definitely a great loss to world knowledge when it was destroyed, but despite the acts of sabotage over history, the new library is still a literary pillar that is rich with valuable books. Modern Egyptian literature worth checking out here includes famous figures such as Naguib Mahfouz, the first Egyptian to win Novel Prize in literature, Yusuf Idris, and Ihsan Abd El Quddous.
Cairo contains many places that would make the perfect environment for you to read. Located in Wust El-Balad, Townhouse, is an ideal spot for you to read, with their nice coffee and the book shelves as a backdrop, you’ll be totally in the mood. Alef, Diwan, Sufi, Falak, and Al Kotob Khan bookstores — some of which have multiple branches around Egypt — all have comfy and calm sections for people to enjoy a coffee and read.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Cairo in the period between January and February, you’ll have the opportunity to attend Cairo’s International Book Fair. As the biggest and oldest book fair in the Arab world, it’s a treasure! For affordable, rare, and old books, you can head to El Azbakeya Wall with more than 130 stalls where you will find books in all fields, and you can also leave your phone number to the sellers and they’ll call you once they find it. There are many bookstores around Cairo including Diwan, Sufi, Virgin, Alef, Falak, and Al Kotob Khan where you can find newly published books.