It's become somewhat of a cliché on Cairo 360, but Egypt has a history with literature and the arts comparable to any nation in the world. From Naguib Mahfouz to Alaa El Aswany, there has always been a steady stream of intellectual output in the country. This is something that has fed into a contemporary wave of unique bookshops where the city's bookworms feast on a smorgasbord of words and ideas; where we go to seek refuge from the cruel harsh realities of the real world; where we dive into other worlds. Dramatic? Yes, maybe, but with big chains and independent bookshops peppering a shopping scene dominated by fashion fads and other immaterial things the Books & Stationary category of the Cairo 360 Editors' Choice Awards is a one that is especially close to our hearts. And when it comes to entertainment, well, we're a nation that takes that particular sphere very seriously, especially when it comes to video games and comic books but only two shops stand out as experts in what is a very tricky and under-served field. Congratulations to the winners!
Alef Bookstores (Books & Stationary Award)
Sporting a large collection of books as well as weekly events and entertainment, Alef Bookstores managed to break into a market dominated by its competition and quickly make a name for itself.
Al Kotob Khan (Books & Stationary Award)
Stocking everything from classical to modern novels as well as stationary items, Al Kotob Khan quickly propelled itself to a forerunner of the bookstore scene.
Diwan Bookstores (Books & Stationary Award)
A giant in Cairo, Diwan manages to capture the atmosphere of an intimate bookshop, but with all the benefits of having possibly the biggest and most eclectic stock around.
Lehnert & Landrock (Books & Stationary Award)
A landmark of Downtown Cairo in itself, Lehnery & Landrock carries as many stories as it does books. The bookshop is complete with photographs taken by Lehnert & Landrock during their travels and adventures before they eventually settled down in Cairo.
Maktoob Bookstore (Books & Stationary Award)
Any avid reader and bookworm understand the value of a used book, and the story it carries in itself. With book prices starting as low as 2.50LE, and a borrowing system similar to that of a library, Maktoob Bookstore is a welcomed addition to the array of bookstores in Cairo.
Shorouk Bookstores (Books & Stationary Award)
Founded in 2008, Shorouk Bookstores quickly became a big player on the scene and has played an active role in exposing Cairo to all facets of literature, with regular pen discussions, launches and workshops.
Sufi Bookstore (Books & Stationary Award)
Warm and intimate, Sufi used the laidback atmosphere of a rustic apartment to create a unique and personal book shopping experience.
Kryptonite (Games & Entertainment Award)
A haven for comic book fans, Kryptonite has shelves stacked from floor to ceiling with comics and collectibles.
Play N Trade (Games & Entertainment Award)
Creating a sense of community between gamers by introducing trading and store credit, Play N Trade boasts a collection of videogames that spans all the consoles, and a community of dedicated customers.
For more on the 2015 Cairo 360 Editors' Choice Awards, click here.