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We can all agree that collecting books is a healthy obsession, which is why the brand new Q8 Bookstore is a great addition to the literary community in Kuwait. Created by a group of volunteers and based in Bayt Lothan, the concept behind this particular bookstore is interesting. Anyone can donate their books and get store credit to buy books from the store. Most of the books that are sold there are used so they sell at good prices. With hopes in promoting reading and writing in Kuwait, the variety of English and Arabic books available is outstanding.

Find out how the community space got started and its future plans in the following interview with Fajer Ahmad, one of the founders of Q8 Bookstore…

How did it all start with Q8 Bookstore?

Q8books was previously located in Salhiya and owned by a well-read man, Mr.Jacob, and it ran successfully for 10 years and had many loyal and regular customers including myself. One day however, Mr Jacob decided he wanted to sell the bookstore, and because it was one of my favourite places in Kuwait I did not want to see it go down. I wanted to give people the same joy I got when I walked in, and therefore I decided to buy the bookstore from him.

I started researching where to move the store to and how I can get more and more people to read. I started emailing community centres and no one replied, till one day Bayt Lothan said they will support us and provide us with the place for free.

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What was your main goal behind the bookstore?

Our main goal is to promote reading and writing in Kuwait. We do so by hosting kids reading every Saturday, we also host writing competitions and various events related to reading and writing. We believe in supporting local authors, so if you are a local author and would like to sell your work at Q8books please don’t hesitate to contact us at ask@q8bookstore.com.

Who are the people behind it?

The idea started with myself and along the way I was joined by a fantastic group of people including my partner Tareq Al Ibrahim. I have an amazing team of volunteers that are hardworking and creative, we all have different strengths and different weaknesses, but we meet once in a while and try to plan something, and then share the workload.

Can you tell us more about the process of selling and re-selling books?

We have a collection of around 15,000 books, around 99% of which is used books, so they sell for very reasonable prices. People can return the books they have purchased and will receive half of their value in store credit, which goes towards their next purchase. People can also donate their own books in exchange for some store credit. We accept any kind of books except for academic textbooks.

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How do you wish to expand in the future?

Our main aim is to continue building up our collection of both fiction and non-fiction books. We recently introduced an Arabic section to the bookstore that we are currently trying to expand. So if you have any Arabic books you would like to donate, please pass by the store at anytime.

We are also branching out and hosting writing workshops at the bookstore. Hopefully we’ll be having more events that promote reading and writing in Kuwait.

For more information, follow them on Instagram to view their latest updates @q8bookstore

– Fajer Al Farsi

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10 comments
  1. Sir.Iam Mujeeb.Recently came from India where I could read a lot of books.But in Kuwait,Jehra I was searching for the second books selling shop.then I am here in contact with u…thank u.

      1. I am Mr. Erwin Tenio Gelicame, I have been here in Kuwait for 8 years. I am currently working now as a Human Resource Assistant. While I am using my Facebook account, this website came across popped up in my timeline. Since then I have been active in helping the less fortunate students but deserving and willing to learn. I have helped them established RONDALLA GROUP, DRUM AND BUGLE CORPS, AND VIOLIN MUSIC GROUP. These group of students came from the family who is an average earner that relies only on farming income in the Philippines. Some of them can’t even afford to pay their tuition fees and other fees.

        I am doing this, not for my popularity but of course to help develop the talents and skills of those deserving students. I believe that this individual is the hope of our nation.

        I am appealing to the readers that if in case you have used/old instruments, old books, or anything that can still be used for students in which you are not using anymore, instead of throwing it to the garbage, let us send those instruments to these students who are very enthusiast in terms of sports and music.

        I am willing to participate if ever you will call my attention for a meeting and it would be the best way for me to present to you these talented students who played rondalla, drum and bugle corps and violins. In fact, I have received several books already from a very kind person here in Kuwait and I am about to send it to the Philippines.

        Sooner there will be Philippines-India Peace and Friendship Club at school. This school is known to be very helpful also to those students who can’t afford their studies. They also provide scholarship.

        Finally, I am not bringing the name of the school, but rather stick to my intention to help those deserving students in this little way of mine. I invite you to come with me on my vacation to the Philippines and meet those less fortunate students personally.

        Respectfully yours,

        ERWIN

        +96551184632

  2. Sir.Iam Mujeeb.Recently came from India where I could read a lot of books.But in Kuwait,Jehra I was searching for the second books selling shop.then I am here in contact with u…thank u.

  3. I have Academic books left by my son whos studied telecomm. Engineering and graduated in 2005, all books were kept in protected place and they are in excellent condition, all are in English language.

    Kindly where I can donate these books, maybe other person can utilize of them. Furthermore, I live in Kuwait and ready to carry them to the location you assign.

    Appreciating your prompt reply,

    My cell No. is (00965) 99567746

  4. I have Academic books left by my son whos studied telecomm. Engineering and graduated in 2005, all books were kept in protected place and they are in excellent condition, all are in English language.

    Kindly where I can donate these books, maybe other person can utilize of them. Furthermore, I live in Kuwait and ready to carry them to the location you assign.

    Appreciating your prompt reply,

    My cell No. is (00965) 99567746

  5. Good morning every one who will read in my post . I am Filipino Citizen working here in kuwait since 2011. Since 2013 my Alma MATER school in the Philippines was affected by the strong earthquake , all books were totally damaged . until now some poor students really needs books and other refenrences .To the readers here ,I am appealing to kind heart maybe you have some old books that you will not be using anymore we really need it for the school .The poor student would be happy and by this way you are helping them in shaping their futures. Thank you !
    This is my contact number here in kuwait +96551184632

    Thank you and God bless !

  6. Good morning every one who will read in my post . I am Filipino Citizen working here in kuwait since 2011. Since 2013 my Alma MATER school in the Philippines was affected by the strong earthquake , all books were totally damaged . until now some poor students really needs books and other refenrences .To the readers here ,I am appealing to kind heart maybe you have some old books that you will not be using anymore we really need it for the school .The poor student would be happy and by this way you are helping them in shaping their futures. Thank you !
    This is my contact number here in kuwait 96551184632

    Thank you and God bless !

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