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In a city crying out for a cultural revival, there aren’t many independent bookshops competing with mainstream stores. A few people, however, have taken up the challenge and opened little nooks that offer an escape from mainstream book trends. Here are the best independent bookshops in Beirut.
Opened in September 2016, Aaliya’s is a meeting place for book lovers to socialize. Named after a character in Rabih Alammedine’s book An Unnecessary Woman, the shop boasts a collection of Lebanese authors writing in English. The owners started out with a 1000 titles and the collection has grown with customer recommendations. The owner’s aim is to create a literary atmosphere by hosting book club and story-telling night. Aaliya’s is more than just a store; it is a community, too.
Hamad Street, Beirut, Lebanon, +961 81 765 352
Small and homey, Uncles Joe’s is the place to be if you want a book with a history. Opened in 2009, the second-hand bookshop was an attempt to reignite people’s passion for reading. It offers a wide selection of used books, just waiting for you to pick up and give them a new home. You never know what historical gem you may find!
Hamra Street, Facing Fransabank, Beirut, Lebanon, +961 71 392 597