23 May 2024

The Logos Hope, home to the world’s largest floating book fair, docked in the Lebanese capital Beirut recently, providing the city’s residents access to 5000 different book titles in categories to suit all tastes and interests.

German NGO Good Books for All (GBA), which launched the floating book fair project in 2009, says its boats, including the Logos Hope, have visited over 480 ports in 150 countries and welcomed over 49 million bibliophiles since the program began.

This is the “Logos Hope’s” second visit to Beirut, having visited previously in 2010, and it proved as popular as before with 350 volunteers from 70 nationalities helping the crowd of book lovers find books to buy.

“The company is owned by a German charitable organization called Good Books for All (GBA), and the idea originated from a group of friends who were bringing books to Mexico, and they decided let’s do this somewhere else, and the best way to do this taking books to other parts of the world is through a ship and that’s how we have the ships,” said Saunval Petaliya, media relations officier aboard the Logos Hope.

The program aims to bring a message of peace, especially to troubled areas of the world like Lebanon, which has endured decades of civil war, political strife and economic stagnation.

“Well, Logos Hope, in general, you might know and might have heard a lot, we share knowledge, help and hope. Yes, we were here in 2010, 12 years ago. What we’re actually trying to do, with the minimum with least that we can do, is sharing knowledge, help and hope,” said Nidhin Sebastian, ports engagement director of the Logos Hope.

The books at the floating fair are for sale, but the Logos Hope also donates books to local libraries and buys books from local publishers to sell at later stops on its journey.

“I am very happy that something important like this happened in Lebanon, and it is indicative of culture and science. My husband and I came, and my children chose the books they wanted,” said a visitor to the floating book fair.