Looking for somewhere that sells English literature in Maadi? This south Cairene suburb features a surprising array of bookstores. Whilst books in Egypt are not much cheaper than they are in the West, bookstores are increasingly becoming places to read, study, and to take children. Here is the ‘Maadi Messengers’ Top 6.
Of our selection, Alef bookstores is perhaps the most conveniently located for most and can be found on Street Nine just around the corner from ‘el Maadi’ metro station. It is a popular chain store in Egypt. The majority of books are written in English, and it caters mainly to fiction readers. The non-fiction selection is made up largely of self-help books, and the section for history and politics is limited. They have no seating area for adults but they do have a large children’s area, with a table and chairs, as well as games for the little ones to play with. There are plenty of board games and children’s toys also on sale.
You will find Adam Bookstores among the designer clothes shops at the Maadi Grand Mall. Surprisingly, their selection is very reasonably priced, albeit limited. The shop is small and does not feature a seating area for either adults or children. The children’s section is large, however, and makes up around a third of the books on offer. The other two thirds are divided equally between Arabic, and English/German.
Books & Books
Located in the heart of Degla, Books & Books is tucked away on street 199, just off 233. The store features a wide selection for its size. It has an extensive array of books in English spanning all areas of reading. They hold a decent selection of AUC press publications, as well as classic novels. The staff are friendly and the store has a nice browsing atmosphere. It is well laid out and it is easy to find what you need. It is not really a shop in which you can read or study but they do host a large children’s section. The owners are passionate about getting kids into reading which makes Books & Books a good place to visit as a family.
Diwan has become a staple feature of Cairo’s bookstores, hosting a number of outlets throughout the city. Their branch in Degla is modestly sized, but stocks an impressive selection of fiction and non-fiction books. The children’s section is small by comparison to the other stores listed, but this is a great place to browse through non-fiction books on history, archaeology, politics etc. They also have a good range of stationery on offer. They have a couple of tables indoors which customers may use but the main seating area is outside. There are refreshments on sale, such as coffee and fresh fruit juice decently priced. At any given time this area is host to groups of young students, studying and chatting.
Kotob Khan is the most personable of the bookshops listed. Spread over two floors, Kotob Khan is more of a hangout spot than a book store. There is a small café counter, table and chairs on each floor, as well as a balcony. About 50% of the books on offer are written in English. They have a good selection available, as well as an accommodating children’s section. There is a small section for posters and Egyptian souvenirs, as well as DVDs and music CDs. They are known to host talks and film nights, so ask the staff about upcoming events.
The Bookspot is a medium sized book store on Road 9, halfway towards Sakanat el Maadi. It has a more independent feel to it than most of the stores listed and offers a large second hand book section. Most of the books are in English, although you can find Arabic and other European languages here also. It has a decent seating area and kids section, fitted with tables and toys for kids. The Bookspot is the best shop listed if you’re interested in browsing through second hand books. It is not the best place to study, however, and it may get uncomfortable during the summer months.