People often think that Dubai, and UAE in general, is the place where you go only for fun, shopping, looking at the rich and famous and tanning; what they forget is that Arab world has a great art and history and that maybe you don’t see bookstores and museums in Dubai because you are blindsided by sparkly things, but they are there. Some of the bookstores are more transparent than others; some are packed with contemporary writers and their bestsellers and classics, but others are hidden, like small antique shops, hiding some extraordinary titles. Good thing in Dubai is that even though most of the content this city possesses is very expensive and adapted to wealthier citizens, there are still quality things that even those less fortunate can afford. It is the same with bookstores; there are those specialized for big spenders, pricy gift shoppers, those who want to have flashy covers on their shelves, so that they friends would be envious, but there are also those shops where you can find used books. Those are sometimes even more valuable, but in old, small shops, you can find them costing much less than in bookstore chains scattered around the city. Damaged books might not look that appealing, but they are very often worth of buying, owning and showing them to your friends.
Magrudy’s is one of the bookstore chains in Dubai. It has been on the scene since 1975. They started their business as a store for school supplies such as pencils, notebooks, rubbers, rulers etc. In time they widen their offer and became one of the most influential bookstores in UAE because they are inspiring children in schools to read, to get further with their education and to realize that one’s value goes higher if reading. They don’t sell antique books, but you can find all of the classics and new bestsellers on their shelves.
Book World is the perfect place for those who love to wonder and spend hours in a book store looking for the right literary piece of art. This store is not in one of the popular or most exposed locations in Dubai, but it surely is known to people who appreciate some good reading and old books. They do sell new authors and bestsellers, but the magic happens when you try to dig deeper, move the books that are on the top and accidentally run onto something you thought you will never be able to find. Like in every great antique store – there is no logical order on the shelves and you will surely see Darwin’s ‘Theory of Evolution’ right next to Jamie Oliver’s ‘Fifteen Minute Meals’, and leaned on to this cookbook you will see Plato’s ‘State’, but that will just inspire you to go and dig further. For real book lovers, literary theoretic and those looking for a good book of recipes this place will be like a Disneyland for grownups. Damaged books cost way less than new ones, so we might say that this store has to offer something to anyone who comes in.
Enjoy your reading!