Tripoli’s largest ever secondhand book fair will open on Saturday in Martyrs’ Square, offering thousands of books, each for the price of LD 5 or less.
Coinciding with World Book Day on 23 April, the fair will last three days. It aims to make books affordable and accessible.
“Libyans don’t generally read a lot,” Eman Alghoul told the Libya Herald. She is a founding member of the Tanweer (‘Enlightenment’) Movement, which is running the event in partnership with the Libyan Libraries Consortium.
“Books are, in general, expensive and there is not a wide variety of choice,” Alghoul said: “The idea is to offer Libyans books at affordable prices.”
The project has been four months in the planning. It was conceived by 18 people who formed the Tanweer Movement. Working with the Libyan Libraries Consortium, over 100 volunteers have spent the time collecting a mass of books to sell at the fair.
All the stock offered for sale at the fair has been donated, by both individuals and organisations. As word has spread about the project, more and more books have been donated. There have been book fairs in Tripoli before, but nothing on this scale.
“We hope that it will be well-attended,” Alghoul said. And it appears that it almost certainly will be. Over 6,000 people have confirmed via Facebook that they will come along, and the event has been much-anticipated by Tripoli’s reading public since it was announced in February.
“I have been looking forward to this for months,” one enthusiastic reader told the Libya Herald, “I love books, and I know that a lot of Libyans have travelled abroad, so I am hoping to find books that are not usually available here.”
The fair has received financial support from the Ministry of Culture, as well as some books.
The proceeds from the sale will go towards Tanweer Movement’s next project, which is to establish mobile libraries to improve the country’s access to books. These will be stocked with unsold books from the fair.
Tripoli’s book fair will open on Sunday at 6pm. On Monday and Tuesday it will be open from 9am to 2pm and then from 6pm until 9pm. On Tuesday, there will also be a storytelling event for children at 6pm.
For more information, see: https://www.facebook.com/events/492935190763902/?ref=25