Monday, December 20, 2010

Buying Children's Books in Cairo

Reading is definitely one of those things you really want to encourage in your children from a young age. At least that's what I read in the books and online.

And I've seen this to be true from my own childhood, having grown up in a family that reads as well.

One of the first things I wanted to do for my son was to read to him. This was, of course, after the initial shock of becoming a mother in a foreign country wore off.

Except I didn't have any books yet to read to him.

Luckily my family - who came from the States to visit last Christmas right after he was born - very generously provided those first books (especially my dear sister) for us.

At first it felt a little silly to read out loud to my son. I mean, he was barely awake or sleeping. But I kept reading that reading was so important so I trucked on.

And I have to say that after several months of reading to him, he began to show interest in the books. Now at one year old he is pulling the books off the shelf and flipping through them himself.

Not a reader yet but hey, we've got plenty of time for that.

And while I was able to stock up on books the two times we visited the States this year, there is still a limit to how many books you can carry in your suitcase. Trust me on this, you need to WEIGH your bag before you get to the airport and have to go running to the airport store to buy another suitcase because the books are just too much!

So I have kept my eyes open here in Cairo for good places to buy books for kids. There are quite a few places to pick up books for kids. Most of what I have been buying lately is still board books, but there are lots of others out there as well.

Here are a few places I would recommend:

Virgin Mega Store. located in City Stars. Provides a decent selection of books for younger children in English. There is also a small section of books for young readers in English. Good place to buy pregnancy and baby books as well.

Diwan Bookstore. several locations around the city (Zamalek, Maadi, Heliopolis). The store in Heliopolis has a big section upstairs for kids and also has a great selection of pregnancy and baby books.

The Bookspot. located in Maadi (Road 9). Great location with a surprising selection of books for all ages (considering how small it looks from the outside). They also carry used books.

What about you? Where do you buy books in Egypt?

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