Well organised - GulfToday

Well organised

Used Books Festival Sharjah

The Al Nakheel Park makes for a perfect venue for the event. WAM

Though it was my first visit to the festival, the experience was rich. I picked up a few novels and tech books. But the most amazing part, for me, was the large presence of children at the venue (“Avid readers flock to ‘Used Books Festival’ in Sharjah”, Feb.29, Gulf Today).

I have been to a few festivals of a similar nature in India, but I am yet to see such a wide variety of readers under one roof, especially young children.

I guess it is because parents and elders came along with the kids. The Al Nakheel Park which is on the shores of Khalid Lake also makes for a perfect venue for families, but credit to the parents for trying to inculcate the reading habit in their wards early.

Considering it is ‘used books’ festival, I was under the impression that there would be reading material which was not too recent. But I was surprised, or was I just lucky, when I found a novel which was released as recently as last year.  Of course Arabic literature had a wide collection, but the English section too was substantial.

The organizers and volunteers need a word of praise for the way they managed to control and guide the visitors. I had a young boy come up to me to ask my preference and when I said I was looking for novels, he promptly took me to the relevant section. He was really courteous in advising me that some of the books could be dusty and that I should be careful of that.

Guess the festival has a huge following because I saw a few people cart away books in a trolley to the payment counter and then eventually had them packed in cartons. While that meant a 20 minute delay for me to reach the cash counters, it was worth the wait. Where else could I get six novels for Dhs 15.

And of course I heard a cultural event going on in the background while I was sifting through. It was a family event, but in a class of its own.

Carmen R
By email

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