Few Things I Discovered Before Buying Salma’s Present


The weather was bipolar- coordinating outfits by it was a joke. Salma’s birthday was approaching and this year she, and the rest of us, made a list of gifts we wanted. Ranine and I split up buying the requested books and notified each other whenever one of the novels was purchased or spotted.

My half of the list:

  1. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
  2. In Darkness by Nick Lake
  3. Tsarina by J.Nelle Patrick
  4. The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters
  5. The House of The Spirits by Isabelle Allende

Fascinating list (I hadn’t heard of any of these).

So on a very meh day, I set out to buy the books when my friend, Dalia, messaged me that she was in Hamra. I was ecstatic! The last time I saw her was at the AIESEC conference back in March.

I met her and her two other friends on Bliss Street. Friendly, bubbly ladies who are studying Business at AUB. Let’s call them Reem and Sara. One of them recommended a Facebook page I think you will find interesting: The Shelf Club.

The obvious bookstore to go to was Antoine, one of Lebanon’s most popular book-selling franchises. However, before my companions and I reached Hamra Street, Sara needed to go to a nearby salon for a last minute appointment. There was no reason to object. On our way there, I laid eyes on the ochre walls of a place called The Little Bookshop.

I remember announcing excitedly that I wanted to check out the place. I think Dalia reacted the same as I did and Sara and Reem didn’t mind. Moreover, there was a chance that one of the books I was looking for could be sitting on one of the store’s shelves. After exploring the intimate collection of books, I didn’t find any of the books…

Doesn’t mean we left without purchasing anything.


We arrived at the  salon where we were welcomed with smiles. Luckily one of the beauticians could squeeze Sara in for a last minute appointment. In fact, they could squeeze all of us for a quick touch on our nails as well. Truth be told, I’d never gotten my nails done at a salon before. I’m not a very girly person (I think I got more girly when I started university) and so the very few times I painted my nails, I did it by myself. Not that I was any good at it, unlike my little sister who can make cool patterns and much more.

Anyways, after being convinced by the other girls I decided to give it a shot. Picking a color took a while because I’m indecisive and I’ve only tried two basic colors: crimson red and dark violet. Nail polish bottles of different brands probably have different exaggerated names for those two colors but that’s it really. Tempted I was to choose the dark violet but then Reem pushed me to go for a lighter shade. So I decided to try Lilac.

I ended up liking it more than I expected. Lilac nail polish is here to stay!

While waiting for my nails to dry, I suddenly remembered Antoine’s closing time, leaving me approximately an hour to get there and shop. Sara wasn’t done yet, so Reem, Dalia, and I left for Antoine. When we arrived, I headed down to where the novels were kept only to discover someone I met recently worked there. Tossing my feelings of shyness away, I said hi to him and he responded happily before helping me look for the listed books.

I got 1/5 of them.

I was slightly disappointed but considering my budget and the fact that she was definitely getting two more books from Ranine, I was thankful that I found at least one of the novels. Salma had had warned us that these novels would be hard to find.

Dalia, Reem and I soon caught up with Sara and then headed back to Reem’s dorm to have a break from being outside.

I memorable day although only little events unfolded. The little things count.

I bought no. 5! Picture taken by the birthday girl
I bought no. 5!
Picture taken by Salma





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