Yesterday I visited the Karachi International Book Fair abbreviated as KIBF 2016. The last time I went there was around five years ago with a book lover friend and we ended up buying nothing because the books seemed to be overpriced and the stalls were mostly filled with religious books and Urdu Literature. This year however with all the social media hype saying the KIBF was hosting all kinds of books. I decided to give it a try and certainly I was impressed. The KIBF of today has something for everyone.
I was surprised and pleased to see such a large number of people at the event. Last time I went there wasn’t much of a crowd. But this time a large number of people proved that reading as a habit is still prevalent in Pakistan. Most of the stalls were filled and the checkout lines were brimming with people with many books in their hands.
First of all, I would like to give a general overview. The KIBF is being held from 15th December to 19th December 2016 at The Expo Centre Karachi. The event is being held in three Halls of The Expo Centre: Hall 1, Hall 2 and Hall 3.
Here is a list of publishers in all three halls.
Stalls I found worth checking out
The Liberty Books has the largest stall this year at KIBF. Liberty books is considered a high end branded bookstore which keeps young book lovers away from it as their pockets cannot afford the high prices. But this year Liberty has brought awesome discounts for book lovers with books starting from as low as Rs.100 in both adults and children category. Especially there is a huge variety on discounted children’s’ books so I would suggest you to visit Liberty and stock up books for your kids for the whole year since you wont get such awesome books at low prices anywhere else. As for adult books, in the low priced section you would have to search for titles but there is an astounding variety and you wont be disappointed. I spotted Mohsin Hamid’s How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia in the discount section. I also bought one amazing from Liberty at a very good price. The book shown below I merely got it for Rs.500 which is such a bargain considering how awesome this book is.
It documents and gives solutions to the common problems faced by parents who are raising toddlers. I have just started it and I have gotten amazing advice on how to control my baby’s tantrums, eating habits and so much more. A detailed review will follow soon on this book.
Also, Liberty Bookstore is giving 15% discount on new arrivals.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is also included in this 15% discount category.
On Sunday Omar Shahid Hamid (author of The Spinner’s Tale and The Prisoner) and Moazzam Hussain (author of Putting Pakistan Right) will be visiting the stall of Liberty for book signings.
Generation Book Stall
This stall was mentioned several times when I asked on social media about the stalls to visit. This stall belongs to the shop already located near Schon Circle right across Agha’s. They have English fiction titles at amazingly low prices but most of the writers are unknown so if you want to check out new writers you can get their books at amazingly low prices and there are new titles as well at good prices. This stall is the best for children’s books as it has got amazing discounts on those.
Saleem Book Stall
Many people recommended this stall as well. This stall has lots of Jodi Picoult and classics at good prices. There were many other writers as well. Again the children’s books at this stall were worth checking out.
Eishal Bargain Books
This is the stall from where I got my second book a Dean Koontz novel for a mere Rs.100.
Taj Book Company Limited
It has the most beautiful stall with Qurans in such exquisite and intricate covers.
There is a lot of variety of religious books at KIBF. There is a stall by Dar us Salam Publishers, a giant for books on Islam, so if your niche is religion, I would highly recommend to go and check out the books at KIBF 2016.
Pros of KIBF: A Must Go For Children
There were lots of stalls with games and activities for kids along with really awesome books. There was a stall where dictionaries were at a whopping 50% discount. Stalls carrying textbooks were separate. All in all, you must take your children to this book fair and buy them lots of books to instill a love for reading in them.
Cons of KIBF
The organization of books could have been better according to genre, writer, etc as most of the stalls just had books with price ranges but the division was not according to author or genre making it a tiresome task to sift through the books and as for a mother like me who only had an hour or two to check out the fair before her baby woke up, finding good books in such a scenario became a difficult task.
Overall, it is an excellent book fair and make sure you visit it to support local publishers and booksellers and to keep the habit of reading alive in Pakistan.
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