Might be a digital world, but the allure of coffee table books
continues to entice SIBF 2020 visitors
Lebanon’s Books and Beyond has brought an exclusive collection of richly illustrated chronicles
of Islamic art, architecture, & Egyptian pharaohs to the 39th Sharjah International Book Fair
Sharjah, November 06, 2020
At a time when the world is consuming more content online, one area of publishing that has proven surprisingly resilient is the medium of coffee table books. Filled with stunning photographs and richly detailed illustrations, and accompanied by well-researched text, coffee table books continue to appeal to the imagination of readers as a perennial source of visual inspiration.
At the 39th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair currently on at Expo Centre Sharjah, Sahar Helal, Sales Manager of Lebanon’s Books and Beyond, explained that although the primary point of appeal of a coffee table book is visual, these books also spark conversations because of their creativity and exclusivity.
Featuring a wide range of books on Islamic art and architecture at SIBF 2020, Helal said the books trace the architecture, calligraphy, ornamental styles, painting, ceramics, textiles, jewellery, and glasswork of a vastly accomplished and influential civilisation.
“Our books are sought after by connoisseurs of art and culture, public libraries and museums, and cultural institutions, amongst others,” she said. “Those beginning to explore Islamic art will also benefit from our extensive and spectacular collection.”
She added: “Books on Islamic art and architecture offer a glimpse into a glorious past. They offer a historical and cultural overview of our shared heritage and history, allow us to examine the changing artistic styles, and draw attention to the exquisite craftsmanship and artistic achievements of a bygone era.”
One of the main collectibles at Books and Beyond is The Art of the Pharaohs which, Helal says, is a magnificently illustrated 175-pages large format book that traces the profiles of 34 kings and queens, and offers an intriguing insight into the history and art of ancient Egypt and its pharaohs.
Other beautifully illustrated books that bring to life great cultural treasures and presents a textured layer of the past and present is The History and Religious Heritage of Old Cairo.
Artists, architects, and students of design frequently visit the stand to glean ideas and find inspiration for their works, she added. “Islamic architecture, for instance, is celebrated for its striking ornamental patterns, symmetrical silhouettes, intricate calligraphy, vaulted ceilings and exquisite tilework. Modern architecture is slowly phasing out the rich building traditions of the past that have shaped our culture, but these lavishly illustrated and well-researched books hold within its pages important remnants of our rich heritage.”
The publisher is exhibiting in Hall 6, Stand O4, at Expo Centre Sharjah. To browse and buy their exquisite literary offerings, visitors to the Expo must pre-book fixed 3-hour (renewable) visitation slots at registration.sibf.com.