Where to find a good book in Qatar
If you are a book lover, and wondering where other book lovers go to in Qatar, look no more. To celebrate World Book Day, we list a few options to help you feed your reading habit.
- With over 70,000 books and growing, Georgetown Library is a popular choice for book lovers to visit. Public can borrow two or six books for a period of two weeks after paying a refundable deposit of QR200 or QR600 respectively. Click here for more information.
- Works are underway for the construction of the spectacular Qatar National Library in Education City that will be open to public by 2014. You would be able to access a wide variety of books in English and Arabic, including bestsellers, classics, picture books, easy readers, and nonfiction. We will also feature e-books, DVDs, CDs, audiobooks, magazines, journals, and much more. Click here for more information.
- Creative professionals in the community can head over to the VCUQ library. There are over 30,000 books on art, design, architecture, art history and other related subjects that you can borrow for two weeks after paying a refundable deposit of QR300. Click here for more information.
- Another public art library is Maktaba that is located in Mathaf: Arab Musuem of Modern Art. The collections available here are on art history, modern art and art theory with a special focus on the Arab world. Call 44028855 for more info or visit their website.
Reading for children
- Doha Mums children library opened in September 2010. This members-only library contains over 2300 fun and interactive titles for children ten-years-old and under. The annual fee is QR100 per family. Click here to become a member.
- Reading circles for children are regularly organised by Maktaba and Mathaf and more recently by the Katara Art Centre. Reading circles encourage children to get into the habit of reading and introduce them to art and story-telling.
- There are also plans to launch the first children’s library in Qatar as part of the Maktaba children’s library project, an initiative by a group of professional mothers in Qatar. The library will house a variety of books in English and Arabic that will suit children of all ages. Visit their Facebook page for more information. **
If you are a book lover, find like-minded people and create your own book club. Book clubs usually choose one book that is rotated among its members. Members then get together every month to discuss and review the book. “I am a member of two book clubs in Qatar that have women from different cultures and interests. I like it because I get to hear and understand different perspectives and ideas,” says Gabrielle Turner.
Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing
There’s an ongoing reading campaign called Laysh: to read or not to read by BQFP and TEDxYouth@Doha. This campaign invites people in Qatar to upload a 1-2 minute video to share their thoughts on reading, and who knows you might actually inspire others to read too! Visit their website for more information.
To celebrate World Book Day, BQFP is also organising a public celebration at Landmark Mall this Saturday near the foodcourt. The event will take place from 2-5pm and will have fun activities such as reading and drawing for kids as well as distribution of copies of some of the books for free to families.
Bookstores in Qatar are very few and there isn’t much variety in what they offer. Virgin Megastores, Jarir Bookstores, ISpy Bookshop (in City Centre) and Tribe Bookstore (in Education City) are stores that you can visit. You could also find a few books (particularly by BQFP) at Carrefour or Woqod Petrol Stations.
Good news is that a 6,000 sq ft WH Smith bookstore will open end of May at the Ezdan Mall in Gharaffa.
E-books are the next best option for book lovers. But based on the country you register from, the options might differ.
Some good e-readers and apps are:
- Kindle by Amazon. You can read books either on a Kindle device, or any other tablet or on your computer.
- iBooks for iOS devices like iPhones, iPads and Macs.
- KoboBooks can be read on many devices.
- Nook by Barnes & Noble.
Do you know any other options? Share with us.
**Note: Inaccurate information regarding Mathaf has been rectified in the current update