Dar Al Atta’a charity book shop promotes reading by offering affordable books in Oman

Energy Sunday 28/February/2016 21:52 PM
By: Times News Service
Dar Al Atta’a charity book shop promotes reading by offering affordable books in Oman

Muscat: A substitute for expensive bookstores in Oman, the ‘Let’s Read’ bookshop by Dar Al Atta’a, is a pioneering effort in promoting the reading culture by offering used books at very affordable prices- such as OMR1 for paperbacks and OMR2 for hardbacks.
This cost was further reduced to OMR1 for hard backs and 500 baizas for paperbacks at a recent book sale held at the Qurum Commercial Centre (QCC), where scores of book lovers from all age groups and nationalities gathered in large numbers to buy their favourite titles.
Speaking to the Times of Oman, Jane Jaffer, initiator of the Let’s Read campaign, said there is a lack of reading habits in the country, while this campaign encourages the love of reading by providing easy access to inexpensive, but good books.
“We are very happy to see the number of people coming to the book sale. By buying books here, you are able to purchase a lot of books because they are less expensive and, at the same time, you are helping promote the cause of reading,” said Jaffer.
Simi, an expat visitor, was delighted as she purchased several books for her seven-year-old-child. “There are some wonderful books here, I think it’s a great initiative which builds the reading culture, as a lot of people are not reading books here, especially in this age of technology.”
While looking for books, Simi came across some classic titles and decided to buy them for her child. “Its my first time here, and I think it’s an amazing initiative. Oman lacks proper libraries and proper outlets where you can afford good books. They are very expensive, so this is a very nice initiative for book lovers, and I think they are doing great in the age of electronics where everybody reads books on screen and books are becoming archaic,” added Simi.
The Let’s Read campaign opened its first bookshop in the country last year at the Al Qurum Complex. This was Oman’s first charity bookshop, and has books for both children and adults. Located at 116, first floor, the shop is open daily from 10am to 1pm and 5pm to 7pm. Sales proceeds are used to support Maktabati, Oman’s first mobile library, which travels around the country visiting schools and festivals. Dar Al Atta’a Let’s Read Campaign has been promoting the love of reading to children in Oman since 2007. The campaign’s committee achieves its aims in a variety of ways, by setting up play rooms, libraries and reading areas in hospitals, schools and nurseries. They also organise teen and children’s book clubs.
Haitham, another young expat, bought a number of titles and said he was glad he came. “I bought a few books from another bookshop in Muscat for a very high price, almost four times the cost here. I now feel like I should have just bought books from here and not gone to the other store because it’s so affordable here and we are supporting a noble cause.”
It is clearly not possible to run the bookshop without enough donors and volunteers, so the bookshop requires donations of books whenever possible. If members of the public are interested in donating books or volunteering at the bookshop or at any of its activities, information can be obtained at the shop at the Al Qurum Complex.