Jordan: Inkitab Group to Hold Second Used Book Fair

After the success of their first event [ar], held in the Jordanian capital Amman on January 6, 2012, the Inkitab Group [ar], which works to promote reading, will soon hold their second used book fair. The fair has been named ‘Noon’ and is aimed at encouraging people to exchange used books and working towards making a culture of reading more widespread across all sectors of Jordanian society.

After the resounding success [ar] of the first fair, it is hoped that there will be a greater number of titles available at this second event on October 1 in Amman's Gallery of Culture.

The organisers describe the initiative [ar] on their Facebook page saying:

“نون – معرض انكتاب للكتاب المستعمل هو مبادرة غير ربحية تعمل على ترسيخ ثقافة تعنى بمشاركة المعرفة وتمكين الأشخاص محدودي الدخل من اقتناء وقراءة الكتب.
جاءت الفكرة بإيحاء من مجتمع انكتاب المصغر من المتحمسين للقراءة ومضمونها تمرير الكتب التي انتهى الناس من قراءتها لآخرين بأسعار رمزية تتراوح بين العشرة قروش والدينارين، مما يتيح لشريحة أكبر فرصة القراءة والتعلم ويساعد الناس على التخلص من الكتب التي لا يرغبون بالاحتفاظ بها في بيوتهم والإفساح لكتب جديدة ربما لتحتل رفوف مكتباتهم الشخصية”.

Noon- This used book fair is a non-profit initiative working to establish a culture where knowledge is shared and people with limited incomes are empowered to own and read books.
A small group of Inkitab reading enthusiasts had the idea of passing books that people had finished reading onto others in exchange for a very small amount of money, ranging from ten qirsh to 2 dinars, to make it possible for more people to read and learn, and to help people get rid of books they no longer wish to keep, freeing up space on their bookshelves so they can acquire new ones.

The 'Noon' book fair logo. From the event's Facebook page

The ‘Noon’ book fair logo. From the event's Facebook page

The first fair was enthusiastically received by the reading public and Jordanian bloggers such as Naser, who wrote this on his blog under the title “The people read, my dear Yahya Abdullah” [ar] [Yahya Abdullah is a Libyan filmmaker who made a short film about people not reading]:

“وصل عدد الكتب حتى يومين قبل الموعد 2700 كتاب، باللغتين العربية والإنجليزية بشكل رئيسي بالإضافة إلى العديد من الكتب بلغات أخرى. توقّع المنظمون أن تكفي الكتب المعرض من الساعة الرابعة وحتى التاسعة مساءً، وهو الموعد المعلن عنه، إلاّ أن المفاجأة كانت عندما بدأ الناس بالتجمهر والتجمّع منذ الساعة الواحدة والنصف، ينتظرون تحت أشعة الشمس ليكونوا أوّل الواصلين ليضعوا أيديهم على كتبهم المفضلة، وعندما دقّت الساعة الرابعة، اجتاح دوار باريس مئات المتحمّسين، من شتى الأعمار والفئات والتوجهات، وقد قدّر عدد المشاركين في المعرض بأكثر من ألفي شخص على مدار بضع ساعات، فالمعرض لم يستمر للساعة التاسعة، لأن واقع الحال وضع المنظمين أمام حقيقة أن 80% من الكتب قد نفدت في غضون ربع – نصف ساعة، وهناك من اشتكى من وصوله متأخراً في الساعة الرابعة وخمسة دقائق!”.

Two days before the start of the fair, the number of books was estimated at 2,700, written mostly in Arabic or English as well as many other languages. The organisers expected that the fair would last from 4:00 in the afternoon until 9:00 in the evening, the advertised times, however they were astonished to see that people began to gather from 1:30, waiting under the hot midday sun so that they would be the first to get their hands on their favourite books. As the clock struck 4:00, hundreds of avid readers of all ages and backgrounds swept Paris Square and within a few short hours, it is estimated that more than 2,000 people came to the fair. The fair did not, therefore, last until 9 as the organisers had to accept the fact that 80% of the books had gone within the first 15-30 minutes, and some people even complained about having arrived late, even though they had arrived at 4:05!”.

It seems that the people looking forward to the second fair are no less enthusiastic than those that came to the first. Yara had this to say on his Twitter account:

@The_YaraZ: مين قال نحن شعب لا يقرأ! شوف هالمبادرة ما أحلاها معرض انكتاب للكتاب المستعمل ‎‫#عمان‬‏ ‎‫#الأردن‬‏ ‎!/noonbookfair‏”.

@The_YaraZ: Who said that we are a people that doesn't read! They should look at this initiative and the wonderful Inkitab used book fair #عمان # [Jordan] الأردن [Amman]!/noonbookfair

Heidal had this to say:

DedeYaseen@: ‏ عندكم كاب قديمة حابين تبيعوها ؟ معرض نون للكتب المستعملة من ‎‫#انكتاب‬‏.

@DedeYaseen: Do you have old books you want to sell? The #Inkitab noon used book fair!

Areej Ibrahim, a volunteer with the initiative, added this:

@Ajeejo: عم بدخل قوائم من كتب معرض نون / كتب بتفتح النفس من عناوينها قيمة وبسعر يا بلاش يا نيال القارئ صاحب النصيب :) #Inkitab #معرض_نون

@Ajeejo: Checking out the book lists in Noon's exhibition, the titles are very interesting and valuable at an excellent price! I envy the readers of those books! #Inkitab #معرض_نون [Noon book fair]

Mazruq encouraged people to attend the fair saying:

‏@MahdMarz: إن كنت في الأردن وتشجع القراءة عليك تابع نون حدث جميل يستحق المشاركة فيه.. وكذا إنكتاب رعاة الأمل بالقراءة

@MahdMarz: If you are in Jordan and love reading, it is well worth getting involved with the wonderful Noon event. Inkitab supports hope through reading

You can follow the Noon used book fair on Twitter and Facebook. See this video for footage of the first fair.

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