Last May, I read on Mark’s blog that Q8Books, a used books store was shutting down and going out of business. But luckily for us, a kind hearted and generous person purchased all the books and decided to move the book store to a much larger location in Bayt Lothan (next to Marina Mall).
Fajer the Lawyer (from Mark’s Blog) was the person who purchased all the books, and the one who along with many volunteers brought back life into this humble little bookstore. The volunteers and Fajer did everything from scraping the rust off of the walls to painting them, building the bookshelves, cataloging the books, packing and unpacking them, not to mention making it lovely and homey. I was invited last Saturday to attend a private opening and book fundraiser and check out the new location.
Books have been organized by their genres, the place is four times the size it was before and now you and your friends can visit just to chillax on that couch and read a book or hold book clubs and so much more. The best thing about this store however is that they are allowing local writers to sell their books there with no hidden charges, kind of cool isn’t it? I will definitely be visiting them again very soon and spending more time meeting up with friends there. I have many good memories from the first store in my college days why not build on those!
Follow them on Instagram @Q8Bookstore or visit them at Bayt Lothan to see everything there!
Last week, just two days before Amazon announced the release of their new Kindle Paperwhite, Kobo opened the curtain on their new eReaders for this upcoming year. Before I get to naming the devices and their features I’d like to note one thing, I recently jumped on the Kobo bandwagon earlier this year because a dear friend of mine (@NadaFaris) kept on insisting that Kobos kicked every Kindle to the curb and I thought what better way to judge than to try the two platforms out. Personally, I fell in love with the easy and fun operating system which the Kobo uses, you see it’s more interactive and stuff. There are Reading Awards to be achieved with everything you do on the Kobo device. When you turn off the unit, the book cover of the current book you’re reading is right there on the display taunting you and wanting you to come back and finish the remaining percentage of the book. Ordering books is easier than the Kindle in that it doesn’t want you to be a US user or UK user, you can pretty much be anywhere in the world and use it. It’s just that easier.
Back to the point, the press event which took place at the end of August revealed a ‘Pocket’ integration on all its eReader products. ‘Pocket’ is basically an app which allows you to save articles from around the web to read later on a multitude of different devices, now Kobo’s eReaders can do that. A reading-centric mode has been added to the tablets in order to give users a distraction free environment to reading a book, with this there will be no notifications, easier colors to read and simply a ‘Do Not Disturb’ experience.
Once that announcement was out of the way Kobo unveiled their three new eReaders:
Late last evening (July 11) I was invited by the amazing Danderma to attend a special gathering geared towards the launch of Book II of the ‘Dathra’ series also known as “The Chronicles of Dathra – a dowdy girl from Kuwait” (Yawmeyat Wa7da Q8eya Dathra). Now that the book is out from the printers edited and beautifully designed by the amazing Fatima Al Othman from F20 Designs some of ‘Dathra’s’ fans and close friends gathered to celebrate. It also was a mini-early birthday celebration for Danderma as her birthday will take place next week.
Earlier yesterday when I was at work catching up with the latest news all over the world I found an article on Reuters that basically told me that books are closer at becoming extinct now than they have been this past decade.
I mean e-Books have destroyed book stores and laid off people as well as gotten rid of the social aspect of going out to purchase a book but who would’ve thought that Encyclopedias will no longer be available in print and will only be available in the digital world. You might not know it but Encyclopedia Britannica was one of the first digital encyclopedias available but the most popular would probably have been Microsoft Encarta. I remember using that disc on the family computer back in the mid-90s (ahhh the Good ol’ days!)
“The print edition became more difficult to maintain and wasn’t the best physical element to deliver the quality of our database and the quality of our editorial,”, president of Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., told Reuters.
Yet even as publishing industry has created more digital products, it has struggled with financial losses, and Cauz admitted to a “long road to profitability” for many publishers.
“Britannica was one of the first companies to really feel the full impact of technology, maybe 20 years ago, and we have been adapting to it, though it is very difficult at times,” he said.
While Encyclopedia Britannica has continued to operate, he expected “many trade publishers will not survive — and any content development company will have to be thinking about how they are going to fill the gap.”
As to whether print editions of books will be viable products in the future, Cauz predicted, “print may not completely vanish from the market, but I think it is going to be increasingly less important. Many publications will never have a print analog and will only be printed on digital formats.”
With its scholarly, reliable reputation, Encyclopedia Britannica had not been affected by the popularity of free website Wikipedia, he said.
So the gist of the article was that Encyclopedia Britannica which was first published in Edinburgh, Scotland 1768 (gosh darnit that’s like eons ago!) will no longer be supplying you with their printed editions instead their digital versions will be available online for an annual subscription of $70. Previously the 32 volume printed edition would sell for $1400 which would be updated every 2 years. Because we are now insanely digitized and everything has to be available on an app they have already started supplying others with those and these apps range between $1.99 and $4.99 per month.
The company mentioned on Tuesday that they will keep selling their printed editions until their current stock of 4000 encyclopedia sets run out.
I just can’t believe it. I do hope that books do not become extinct but at the same time I kind of do simply because it would save the trees that we have and we would become more eco-friendly. Anyways, I just thought this was something insanely interesting and worth a sharing with the world.
P.S. GOD I LOVE MY JOB! :P
I pre-ordered the actual book along with the iBook version a week ago and finally the day has arrived when it is available to read. This will be my first book in a long time to read that wasn’t a historical romance and one that is 656 pages long!
I am looking into purchasing the Kindle version to place it on my Kindle as well, the reason I got the iBooks version is because well “It’s STEVE JOBS! HOW CAN I NOT PURCHASE IT ON THE BLOODY iBOOK STORE!”
Will be reviewing it later on this week hopefully if I get a chance to actually sit down and read more of it! So far I can’t help but hear his voice while reading the book and getting goosebumps along the way. He truly changed the world for us!
Thanks Steve for everything really! Especially for feeding my iObsession!
I miss reading the historical romances that I seem to be collecting like candy! Every trip to the US I purchase 6 or more books of novels I love and I keep them on the back burner until I find time to read but it’s been a while, I don’t recall reading in the past 2 years or more.. I remember last year I read 2 novels but that was it. Back in the day I used to be able to read at least 50 novels a year or more depending on how much I loved the story.
I remember during my college days I read all of Julie Garwood’s historical romance novels in a month or so, it was something I loved to do hehe but in a way reading from the same author back to back is the worst thing ever because you notice that a novel is written based on a calculation hehe I always predicted when the marriage would take place or when they would realize they fell in love with each other.
2 days ago I picked up a novel, “How to Marry a Duke” by Vicky Dreiling, it was her debut novel and ever since I haven’t been able to keep the novel away. The first few pages had me smiling the whole way throughout the book until I got to the parts that made me cry but then it was back to laughter and happy thoughts. I finished the novel today and miss it already but luckily I am starting now on the sequel to the novel “How to Seduce a Scoundrel” in which I get to revisit the main characters of the first part. I can’t wait!
I blame reading blogs and watching TV Shows as well as work for this neglect.
So this is the first time in a really long time that I get invited to a social event and I kinda missed out on the others since I found out that it can be fun not to mention being able to run into some friends from twitter or the blog world it was awesome!
I was invited by Danderma a few days ago to the book signing of her book “Yawmyat Wa7da Q8ya Dathra” and being an avid reader of the series on her blog and being the one to literally get the very first copy ever and to get it signed from her before everyone else did I had to go and show my support! And I will go to another one if there is as well simply because I love her book and love what she has done to herself! She took a thing she created and made it into an actual book.. Enshalla next it becomes a TV Show! The day of the event I promised her that I would live-tweet the event as best as I could via Instagram and Twitter and that is what I ended up doing. (I feel bad though I didn’t get awesome pictures as I was shooting them with my iPhone4 :()
I arrived there a little bit after 7 and they had not yet begun I was happy, grabbed a seat close to the front, waved and smiled to Danderma (in a way I saw her relax to see another familiar face in the audience, not to mention I kept giving her thumbs up’s hehe cheering her on!) :P Once I sat down I also realized that I knew one other writer up on the stage! I knew Laila Al Gharabally, the author of the children’s book “Al Hadeya” she’s also a fellow bloggerette and I was happy to be there as well to support her!
Up on the panel I saw the authors: Mohammad Al Kanderi, author of “Virginia 999″; Ali Moumen, author of “A Column called: The World We Live In”; Hamad Al Zamami, author of “Tarateel”; Nada Sheshtar (Danderma), author of “The Chronicles of Dathra; a Dowdy Girl from Kuwait (Yawmyat Wa7da Q8ya Dathra”; Laila Al Gharabally, author of “Al Hadeya”; Bashayer Chraq, author of “Shabah Al Mathi”; and Abrar Malek, author of “Mama Aneesa: Al Insana”. They were introduced one by one and given a chance to speak about their respective books! It was awesome to hear from them and see what went on in their heads to create these lovely pieces of art.
Shortly after they were done a Q&A session was started in which members of the audience asked some questions to the authors, there weren’t many questions just 3 and the best one was the last in which a member of the audience asked why the authors didn’t breach any boundaries and talk about things such as religion, politics, etc. The authors responded but the best response was from Danderma in which she mentioned “The day I enter a book store in Kuwait and purchase a Salman Rushdi book “Satanic Verses” and am able to read it in the comforts of my home, is the day we breach the boundaries in Kuwait, otherwise I am content without that breach” that resulted in grabbing an applause from the audience and personally I agreed with every word and syllable in that answer!
The book signing began (I wished it would’ve been more organized: i.e. I wished that there were separate tables with the authors sitting on each separate one and a stack of their books right next to them, it would definitely beat the waiting time you get and the long line in front of one author and not the other). To tell you the truth, Danderma had the longest line by the time I left and the other authors weren’t that crowded (it might also be because Danderma’s book was a brand new one and I have heard that some authors had previous Book Signings hence not a lot of people came for them, or something like that).
All in all it was a lovely event, nicely laid out with a good enough timing (however leaving Shuwaikh at that time of the night was a NIGHTMARE!) and I’d like to thank 52 Degrees the chance to let our lovely authors come all in one place to share their books with us.
I’d also like to say that I met a lovely set of twitter friends and blogger friends for the first time and some for the millionth time :D I met Chirp, Edge from Edge of Imagination, Noodzie, Zabooo6a, Ali M, and I guess some others but for the life of me I can’t remember the names.
P.S. Tareq Al Ali was there and sitting in the row behind me that was awesome! :P I also think I saw Talal Al Yaqout when I came in!
For more awesome coverage of the event be sure to check out these posts: I wish that I’d have met some of them but alas it wasn’t meant to be this time. They have even more awesome pictures than I did and well check them out: