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Get Lost In A Book At These Book Havens Of Riyadh

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  • KAPL provides free access to the Saudi Lawyers database,
Saudi statutes, Ask Zad and other digital information systems.

    KAPL provides free access to the Saudi Lawyers database,
    Saudi statutes, Ask Zad and other digital information systems.

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  • KAPL has one of the largest Arabic children's books collection in KSA.

    KAPL has one of the largest Arabic children's books collection in KSA.

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By Johara Al Mogbel

Where, when and how to get lost in a good book in the city.


Photo Credit: smyh.wordpress.com – Open only to students and faculty of Princess Nora University.

Princess Nora University Library

Ah, we’re do we start. PNU should be universally acclaimed as one of the most beautiful university campuses in the whole world, if it isn’t already. The university was built with a no-expenses-spared frame of mind, and that applies to the library as well. With interior design that makes you feel like you just stepped into a really luxurious five star hotel and a reported capacity of 5 million books, it’s where we want to be if we ever get stuck in a weather/zombie/anything related to apocalypse. The only hurdle with PNU Library is that you need to be a student or a faculty member at the university to be able to visit. We, er, we just discovered a pressing need to take multiple undergrad degrees. At Princess Nora. Yes.

King Abdulaziz Public Library

Probably the most prominent and active of the libraries in Riyadh, King Abdulaziz Public Library (KAPL) also happens to be our favorite for around the year reading. They have endless programs to promote reading for children and can always be found in most expos and exhibitions. The thing we love about the library the most, though, is the support they’ve given to enriching Arabic children’s books. With their own printing press, the KAPL’s publishing program is open for any Saudis with an idea or the skills to illustrate. Their books are also the best priced on the market.

King Abdulaziz Public Library

King Abdulaziz Public Library

Opening Times:
Men’s Section
Saturday – Thursday  8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday 4 – 9 p.m.
Women’s Section
Sunday – Wednesday 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. then 4  – 8 p.m.
Thursday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Friday closed.

Fun fact:
KAPL houses one of the largest publicly available Arabian cartographic collections in the world.

Reading in the capital city doesn’t stop there, though. There are many bookstores in Riyadh that are gems. Our favorite is Kan Ya Makan bookstore for children.

King Salman Central Library

b6-optimizedOne of the city’s hidden gems, we’re almost reluctant to tell you about this one and spoil it for ourselves. And okay, yes, being KSU alumni ensures that it has a special place in our hearts. But honestly, we can think of no other place in Riyadh that felt as close to Narnia as this library does. And since it caters to a big university and being well stocked with books on all sorts of subjects is a must, you can find all sorts of treasures hidden on its shelves. The library is in the middle of the male campus of King Saud University and is open for women once a week.

Opening Times:
Men:
Sunday-Thursday 8 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Friday 2 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Women:
Saturday 8 a.m. -5 p.m.

King Fahad Library

King Fahad Library

King Fahad Library

There are few people who don’t know about King Fahad Library, thanks to the gorgeous façade it received as a result of a renovation it recently went through. Its location on King Fahad Road also ensures it’s the most centrally located library on this list! And from what we’ve seen in the pictures released by the library, the renovation was very well done. We could easily say it’s one of the most eye-pleasing public spaces in Riyadh.

Opening Times:
Sunday – Thursday 8 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Men only for now.

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