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Book fair a big boost to wordies on the east coast

FUJAIRAH // Bookworms on the east coast are no longer lost for words with the launch of a book fair that runs until the end of the year.

Residents have complained about a lack of specialist shops stocking multi-language books, with avid readers forced to buy online or make the long journey to stores in Sharjah or Dubai.

The fair, held at Lulu Mall in Fujairah City, has been warmly welcomed by parents.

“I bought some interesting books for my five-year-old girl and I’m glad that I found useful educational books in English, which are difficult to find in Fujairah,” said Abeer Saifaldeen, a 34-year-old Syrian.

“I hope this fair would stay forever, although I do prefer a bigger bookshop with multiple options.”

The fair is organised by Al Mutanabbi Bookshop, which has held similar events in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi.

“It’s considered a great opportunity to serve the residents of Fujairah and fulfil their needs by offering them a wide variety of books in different languages and topics,” said Ibrahim Salabbai, the sales manager.

“We organised a number of fairs in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi, in places without bookshops, and it is really surprising to find out that Fujairah doesn’t have bookshops. We hope to stay here until next year.”

Neha Kauur, an Indian who has lived in the emirate since 2003, took her children to the fair. She always encourages her two sons to read.

“I used to read to them while they were young, but now they have grown up and I hardly find them holding a book in their hands, although I try to buy them some interesting books each time I visit Dubai.

“Keeping them away from computers and replacing games with a book is something every mother dreams of,” she said.

“Most of the bookshops here just sell stationery supplies and school books. Some hypermarkets have a small corner with one or two shelves displaying old and uninteresting books. Ordering online takes more than three weeks to arrive and the cost is high,” said the 43-year-old.

Suad Abbas, an Egyptian teacher working in a private school in Fujairah, said reading should be a habit children learn from an early age.

“I always insist that my students and kids read and explain to them how important it is. They will enrich their vocabularies and they will have a better understanding of life and more experience along with self-improvement and creativity,” said Ms Abbas, 39.

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(via The National)