With the devaluation of the Egyptian pound against the US dollar, it’s been very difficult to find an original book with two digits on the price tag. I’m an avid book reader, I love books. I love how they smell, I love how they can take you to another world and make you forget about the now. I just love them so much, and I refuse to pay too much on them, which is why I’ve decided to come up with this guide on how to pay less for more books in Cairo.
“Book it Forward”
Book it Forward is a charity Facebook group that collects donation money via the unwanted books these bookworms have to offer. They sell these books for little money and donate the revenue to non-profit organizations and hospitals.
There are many hubs scattered across Cairo for used books; we have Bookspot where you can visit the actual bookstore or order online and get your books delivered right to your doorstep. There’s also Al-Maadi Used Books where you can spend hours and hours just gazing at antique books and encyclopedias. Diwan also has a section in some of its branches where they sell used books for very little money.
If you’re a sucker for foreign literature, I advise you start paying Azbakeya a visit. These merchants have high copies of nearly everything. I agree, the quality is sometimes very cheap – but hey, a bookworm’s gotta do what a bookworm’s gotta do!
E-Books all the way
This is the cheapest method, it only requires you to pay for your Internet access *whispers* then you can just pirate your way into reading all the books you could ever wish for *whispers*. If you prefer to pay for PDFs or E-books, it’s still going to be cheap.
Register your name in any of Cairo’s grand libraries (such as Ahly Club Library, Zamalek Library, Masr El-Gedida Library). Most of them will only cost around EGP 20, and you’ll be able read in their library or take any of them home for as much as you want for an entire year.
Or you can always borrow from friends; keep a log with all the books you and your friends have. Whenever you want to read a book, instead of buying one check if it’s in this log and you’ll probably find it. If you are of the skeptical kind, aka always worried that your book will get lost or damaged, you can make an exchange deal with your friend. That way both of you will be extra careful when dealing with the book.
WE SAID THIS: Also, the Cairo International Book Fair in the beginning of every year always comes with great deals from all book suppliers, in addition to used books and high copies.