As usual, the Muscat International Book Fair is considered an outstanding cultural and social gathering for people of different ages and genders. It is one of the much awaited cultural and educational events in the Sultanate that attract thousands of people from within and outside the country.
In addition to its cultural value, it tends to promote reading habits and spread the awareness about the significance of buying a book. The fair helps to stress the value of books in the society. However, the major aim of the book fair is to facilitate and promote cultural exchanges between authors, publishers and all those professionally concerned with books and book-lovers from the Sultanate and other Arab world and foreign countries.
It is a good opportunity for Omani writers and publishers to promote their publications. The book fair encourages book lovers and writers to exchange experiences and ideas with leading publishers and authors from other countries participating in the fair.
Muscat International Book Fair 2012 features over 110,000 different titles from 500 publishers representing 21 countries. This year’s edition aims to be bigger than ever and is set to exceed the 650,000 registered visitors at last year’s fair. The variety of titles displayed by the publishers and bookshops offer the visitors a proper chance to vary their choices on which subjects they can buy books of their interests. A number of important Omani publishing houses and bookstores are taking part in the book fair to showcase their recent titles as well as to provide important resources and database for researchers, authors, teachers and students. Children and school students have got equal chances to browse through books featuring various subjects and other educational material in both Arabic and English. To ensure that children and school students are given much importance in this event, three days for male students and two days for female students are given to visit the book fair. The allocated time for them is from 10 am to 4 pm from Saturday to Wednesday.
In a bid to take advantage of this opportunity, schools from all around the country organise special daily trips for students to visit the book fair. Some schools organise daily trips for the students in order to allow a big number of students from the school to visit the book fair. They spend from 2 to 3 hours in the exhibition during one trip which is quiet enough time for a child to buy a book or story of his interest.
In addition to the educational, historical, social and other books displayed in the fair, thousands of colourfully attractive collections of books in both Arabic and English targeted to children of all ages are available. The children’s books displayed are ranging from short stories, comics, colouring books and many others that meet the needs of children and school students. There are also encyclopaedias and dictionaries as well as some references 1330848161994248600 for students in different subjects.
Zakariya bin Salim al Zadjali, a school student pointed out: “I bought English short stories and some other colouring books. I’m interested in such kind of books; however there are many educational books available in the book fair that are good for school students to buy”.
Another school student from Muscat, Hatem al Abdali, was fascinated by the children’s books and short stories. Hatem bought a book of puzzles and games. He also got a cartoon colouring book.
Children’s books are extremely popular with different versions of children’s novels, short stories and tales. Publishers and bookshops strive every year to enrich Muscat Book Fair with new titles to attract the book enthusiasts in the Sultanate.