Wednesday, 7 March 2012

My favorite Bahrain Bookstore

Words Bookstore -Café

One of my greatest pleasures when I travel is to spend the day at a large bookstore and shop for books. We haven’t ever had anything similar in Bahrain so when I heard my niece talking about Words I couldn’t wait to check it out.

Kids' books section at Words Bookstore

Spread over two floors in Palm Square, Budaiya (adjacent to Crepe Café), Words is a contemporary space with a lovely light and airy atmosphere.  Housing a café on the ground floor, as well as new publications and cookery books, and then a 2nd floor with probably the best children’s books section in Bahrain, the store has a neighborhood vibe and is packed with families on the weekend.

Books are divided into categories, with age groups for children books so if you are buying a gift for a kid’s birthday it is really easy to find something appropriate.

A great and colorful kids' books selection offering titles not easily found in Bahrain

Kids' section at Words is divided by age category

Specialty publications for every interest are available at Words

There are also sections for gardening, travel, fashion, photography, reference, etc., and some of the specialized publications on offer are a huge book about Pucci, books about Chanel, Marilyn, and even a children’s book illustrated by Manolo Blahnik.  These are books that aren’t normally found at other bookstores on the island, so even if you don’t have something specific in mind when you go, it is likely that something will grab your attention.  The cookery section is also quite good, although with the recent fads in Bahrain, more baking books would be a great plus.
A selection of fashion books at Words

Beautiful images in reference books for travel

I was recently in the US and many of the books available at Words were the same as those on the shelves in bookstores there, so the selection is current, although there is a limited stock of each book.  Prices for adult novels are around BD6.800, with specialty books about design and fashion, for example, at around BD 22+. I took my niece and nephew and the books they bought were BD 4.500 ($9.99) and BD 7.700 ($16.99). Compared to prices in the US, there is a mark-up, but honestly the selection and availability justifies this.
Children can browse upstairs while their parents enjoy a coffee downstairs

Cafe seating area is light and airy

I haven’t tried the café but when I went over a weekend it was really busy. 
With high windows, and the smell of new books, it is really a unique place to have a relaxing cup of tea. 

Words is co-owned by a Bahraini, and she buys her stock mainly from distributors in the US.  In addition, a small selection of locally-published books, mainly about Bahrain, is also available.

Special requests for books that are not stocked can be ordered, but these would be ordered with the regular large orders that are placed by the store, so there will be a bit of a wait if you order something.  Gift vouchers are also available in BD 5, 10 and 20 denominations.

The bookstore is delightful- take your kids on a Saturday and let them browse upstairs while you enjoy a light refreshment downstairs… or if you want to enjoy your own company, go on your own and enjoy the company of books  :)   The staff are super friendly too… I cannot praise this place enough!

What I would love to see introduced is a series of lectures/ storytelling or workshops, by authors or book-lovers, including days for kids, which I feel would be really suitable for Words and isn't done anywhere here..  

Contact : +973 17 690790. Closed on Sundays.


  1. Thank you for such a wonderful review of Words! We're still in the soft stage of opening so any comments, recommendations and suggestions are very welcome.

    We're really happy to hear you enjoyed our selection of books and would love for our customers to recommend books that they think we should carry. Our cookbook section has proved to be be extremely popular and will be replenished just as soon as our new shipment of books arrive in the next couple of weeks!

    Thank you for your suggestion on holding lectures and workshops, as well as story telling for children and bookclubs. That is something we envision for Words too, and we hope to have something up and running soon! Hope to see you back soon, Rana and Eileen

  2. That's interesting! I love books!
    It is a must visit!
    Thanks for the review

  3. Visited Words a couple of weeks ago and loved it. Great to see a bookshop of this kind in Bahrain. My one suggestion would be for the owners to consider adding some light lunch items to the menu (when I went they were only serving cake and coffee). Nothing fancy, just some sandwiches, quiches, salads etc. I would love to grab a bite to eat with friends and have a little browse at the books while I'm there! Congrats on the opening, I wish you every success!

  4. I checked it. A great collection of books, nice place, in general, great job! But wished if the prices were lower. I'm sure there are buyers at this price but won't be me.

    If they'd consider working on the price while keeping it on control, I suggest they make a club membership, where people pay a very minimum fee in order to get a fixed discount and they have to renew it annually, so they can cancel the membership offers or hold it for sometime if they felt it's not good for them.

  5. I finally got to check out the place yesterday. Loved it and was so happy to find books that i would usually only find online.
    There's a book signing this friday (April 13th) by Ahdaf Soueif.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...