“One who reads is worth two who don’t.”
Our Riches celebrates the love of books in the person of Edmond Charlot, who in 1935, at the age of twenty, founded Les Vraies Richesses, an iconic Algerian bookstore/printing press/library. Charlot, famous for discovering Albert Camus in 1937, saw his entire archive twice destroyed by French colonial forces, but despite financial difficulties and the vicissitudes of wars and revolutions, Charlot carried forward Les Vraies Richesses as a cultural hub of Algiers.
Fast forward to 2017 and Ryad arrives at the now defunct bookshop, employed by the shop’s new owners to empty and repaint it. He is no book lover, but old Abdallah, the bookshop’s self-appointed, nearly illiterate guardian, opens the young man’s mind. Adimi delicately packs a monumental history of intense political drama into her swift and poignant novel. Most of all, it’s a hymn to the book and to the love of books.
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