Thursday, September 14, 2006

My Shop around the Corner

When I was studying for my Masters in Pennsylvania, there was a cozy little bookstore near campus where I found pleasure browsing through its row upon row of books scattered in a seemingly random fashion. The intimacy of this small, non-chain-style bookshop made it a frequent hub for a few students, like myself, who, though awed by places like Barnes and Noble and Walden books, nevertheless found this friendly place more appealing to the mind/eye.

A few years later Meg Ryan reminded me of that place in her own Shop around the Corner. I was again lured by the idea of a small, snug, selective bookshop that serves its customers both books and expertise on these books. A cup of tea of coffee accompanying that expertise would make it more inviting for customers too, allowing them to ‘hang out’ while looking for books.

And then Shurouq introduced me to Qurtas. Being mainly a reader of English literature, I was not previously familiar with the place. And though I went there only once or twice, I find that this store does seem to offer a more or less similar version (if in Arabic) of what I want in a bookshop as it provides a few seating arrangements for its customers. The difference is in the atmosphere that Arabic books provide, different from that of English prints.

I want my own little shop around the corner, more intimate than Virgin and Jareer, more international than Qurtas, and feeding both brains and taste buds.

This post is dedicated to Shopa who reminded me that it's time for a new post. And what better than a post about a shop for our very own Shopaholic?