Thursday, July 2, 2015

Things Oman Lacks part 1: Bookstores

I have visited real bookstores. I mean, real actual bookstores. Forget about postal service, Other Oman in the US of A;) [ http://otheroman.blogspot.ca/2010/10/united-states-postal-service.html ]. Bookstores are what are really missing from Oman.

Dear Oman, a real bookstore sells books. They do not sell (at least not primarily) stationary, they do not sell toys, they do not sell school supplies. They sell books, paperbacks, hardcovers. Depending on the bookstore the books can be used or new, the bookstore can be specialized (antique tomes, children's, or fiction or travel etc.) or general (as in an assortment of everything). But they still sell books. Real, live actual books. And I have been buying books... too many of course, so scary thought for my suitcase... but how I have been reading again since I have been here. I think I read more in one week than I do in a year in Muscat, and I read and write for a living in Oman...

People ask me how I know a little about so much about so much (at least in Oman among people who've always lived in Oman) and its because I read. As a child I used to be baby-sat by the library... I read everything about everything, especially history, design, archeology, religion, military tactics, ancestry, and literature (with a good dose of fiction thrown in for good measure because it is so enjoyable). Why do people in Oman not read very much or know less than some other places in the world? Because there is nothing to read beyond the internet, I swear! Media is too limited to trust TV to teach much in any way of variation of subject matter.

Unless you order it online, stuff is just not available, and... books are heavy. Shipping sucks. Back to Other Oman's post, postal service sucks. Getting a PO box... can suck.
I loved used bookstores the most... that's where I find the greatest treasures...
 And quaint little specialized bookshops have their charm too of course...
We even have a "haunted" bookshop... back in the land far and away (pictured with green awning behind the local band). It was closed when I got to it, but maybe I'll go back? I've never seen a ghost before;) but I've been in their store... Its slection is pretty solid.

3 comments:

Oum Adam said...

Oh myyyy, a real bookstore! We don`t have this either in Doha! A library is also unheard of... How do people live here their whole life without this kind of stuff, I wonder?

The only thing that comes close here is Jareer Bookstore. But it also sells crafting supplies (Yay for me as I like to craft too.), but their selection of English books is really, really small. Whenever I travel, the only place I HAVE to go to in the airport is the bookstore, haha. :-)

Now I feel home sick... :-(

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

Oum Adam: Books make me homesick... but now my luggage may cost me an extra 40 omr so... ;).

SALWA RAHMAN said...

It's true... I had to read the same books over and over again coz I couldn't find new ones... How pathetic is that!!!