Philip Roth, Peter Carey, Tim Winton, Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, Alan Holinghurst, Paul Auster, Naomi Wolf, Neil Gaiman...
... for just Dhs. 3 each! (Rs. 33 or thereabouts)
The Magrudy's Warehouse Sale over the past weekend, was the best sale I've ever attended. We're not talking second hand or soiled copies - they were brand new books most of them still cocooned in plastic. It was maddeningly thrilling to turn the book around and still find the yellow price tags listing (what now seemed) exorbitant prices.
Initially, when I entered, the hardbound books were going at Dhs. 10 and paperbacks at Dhs. 5. But, the prices were slashed in the last hour before the sale. It rankled a bit to find 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix' going for Dhs. 5.
"Take it, take it," pleaded the salesman. "
"I've already got a copy," I said.
"Gift it to somebody," he squeaked, thrusting two copies at me.
It wasn't just the salespeople who'd gone mental. Someone near me had picked up an empty carton, having dispensed with the Magrudy's blue net bag, and was stocking up for a very long winter. Another was wheeling around a supermarket trolley stacked with books. This was what 'Booktopia' would be like, I told myself.
An hour and a half later, fatigue and thirst got the better of me, but not before I carried 18 books to the cashier.
"50 dirhams," said the cashier. I happily paid.
As I was about to pick up the bulging bags and leave, the cashier asked me to wait. He picked 3 more books off the counter and put them in my bags. Diwali bonus, he said and winked.
I could do with a bigger apartment for Christmas.