One of the things I most often complain about regarding life in Oman is the poor selection at book stores. However, I came away with quite a score this last weekend at Dar Al Atta'as Charity "Let's Read" bookshop on the top floor in the Al Qurum Complex (we used to call it CCC). They were having a sale. All paperbacks were 500 baizas and the hardcovers were 1 rial each. I also got some magazines.
Just because they were lovely hardcovers, I got a House and Garden "Bedrooms and Bathrooms" coffee table book, a "Basic Guide to the Prado" art museum with a ton of colour plates and some extensive academic commentary to make one feel confused and dizzy while reading, and a book on oriental carpets "Rugs to Riches" because you never know, I could totally take up collecting carpets now couldn't I? My stepfather, I remember loved collecting two things in the GCC, one was rifles, the other was rugs. Of course, both collections went up for auction years ago, but I could carry-on the tradition right? Highly unlikely, but you never know.
The staff at Dar Al Atta'a seemed overly excited to have an Omani family declare their children loved reading. They were oddly disappointed to learn I was not indeed Omani when I told my daughter she'd have to get her father to read her the Cinderella story (it was in Arabic) she was enamored with. Still, my Omani husband dashed aboard their "Maktabati" bus to get some Arabic stuff for the kids.
Now, I love used bookstores, and Oman needs more books in general. I have to keep in mind to donate all the stuff I am not filing away for our home library use. Dar al Atta'a also, being a charity, uses the funds from book sales to purchase children’s books, in Arabic and English, for a mobile library with its aim being to promote the love of reading for children in Oman.
Apparently the book sale can also be open at convenient times to suit women’s groups, clubs or schools. This can be arranged via calling 99314230 or by e-mailing Dar al Atta’a at letsreadoman@ gmail.com to book an appointment for a group of eight or more adults or children.
Book sales on the last Saturday of each month at the Al Qurum Complex will continue, Muscat Daily reported;) when I Googled it. Apparently on Wednesday they also set up a branch or some tables at the Qu'rum Public Knowledge Library, so I'll have to check that out too when I next get time.