The Yellow Ochre Gem in Hamra

“Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?”                                                                                           -Henry Ward Beecher
On the very same day I went out to buy Salma’s gift, I stumbled upon The Little Bookshop for the first time. The contrast between the yellow ochre walls and the surrounding concrete highlights its presence. It was such a lovely surprise since I had never heard of the place.

Don’t be surprised.

I am the Patrick among my friends and the rock I live under shines.

Recalling from the previous post, Dalia and I entered the store so we could marvel at the collection of books and I had hope I could find the novels my friend wanted. The first thing you notice when you step in is how small and warmly lit the place is.

IMG_7064A man stood behind the desk and a woman sat at one of the corners, a cup of coffee next to her, reading. The man greeted us with a smile before I asked if he was the owner of the place. Turned out he was. Wow. I had already decided to write about this place before stepping in but now I could get more personal details about the store from the owner.

I struck up conversation with the owner and the woman while Dalia looked through the books. We exchanged names- Adib Rahhal, the owner, and  Melissa Tabeek, a Journalist. Conversation flowed more smoothly after a few moments. I brought up my blog, told them that I wanted to write about this place. Mr. Adib seemed pleased with the idea, even granted me permission to take pictures. Miss Melissa responded with the name of her blog and referred to the article she had written about The Little Bookshop for Agenda Culturel.

The topic soon switched to how I found the place. Mr. Adib wasn’t surprised that I hadn’t known of the store’s existence. He proclaimed that he wasn’t interested in catalyzing the store’s popularity because he wanted to retain the intimate relationship between him and his customers. He soon added that the collection on the shelves were specially picked by him and based on recommendations by customers.

To elaborate on the intimacy of this store, take Antoine bookstore for example. I go in, find what I am looking for and then come out. Personally, I don’t feel like I can linger there for a conversation like I could at The Little Bookshop. Its obvious Antoine was meant to be a commercial space; a place more focused on selling commodities than forming one-on-one acquaintanceship with other book lovers. However, doesn’t mean you can’t try to strike conversation with one of the employees.

Miss Melissa also helped me understand the intimacy the store owner tries to retain when she shared her appreciation of the place. She expressed how frequently she drops by during her free time for some conversation or reading, while feeling relaxed. Certainly adds to the friendly and calm ambiance of the place.

Overall,

“A small cosy space that sells a collection of books based on the owner and the customers recommendations.” -Adib Rahhal

I read Miss Melissa’s piece on this place for. Her article will give you a better insight since she has visited the place many times before. I just happen to stumble upon the place and couldn’t help but write something about it.

If you happen to be near Jeanne D’Arc street and you are a book lover, I recommend you check out the place.

-T.B.B.-

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6 thoughts on “The Yellow Ochre Gem in Hamra

      • I like to read psychological thrillers and books that go back in historical settings.. thanks for the info I’ll try to ask around about the bookstore down in bliss I suppose.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nice! I have a soft spot for memoirs and definitely books that are set in the past. I could always give you directions if you like?
        I don’t read a lot of psych thrillers but I’m interested. Could you recommend a must-read?

        Like

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