Thursday, October 18, 2007


Borders opened in Muscat City Center earlier this month. It's bigger than their shop in Mall of the Emirates and unlike that one it sells CDs and DVDs as well as books. The first time we were there I didn't have any particular books in mind and just spent an hour browsing its aisles. I can't stop myself from buying books even though I have three big stacks of books I haven't read. I came out with two books, Neil Gaiman's American Gods, a book I've been wanting to read for a while, and Frank Herbert's Dune, one of my favorite books which I've read many times before but the last time was over ten years ago.

I went back to Borders this past Sunday with the following list of books from my Amazon wish list:

The Gum Thief - Douglas Coupland
Absurdistan - Gary Shteyngart
Revelation Space - Alastair Reynolds
Consider Phlebas - Iain M Banks
Mac OS X The Missing Manual, Tiger Edition - David Pogue

They didn't have not even one of them. Not only didn't they have the Mac guide that I wanted, they didn't have any other Mac book in their computer section either. The sci-fi/fantasy section is quite large, but it looks like the books were ordered almost randomly or maybe by someone who doesn't care about the genre. For some authors you can find their more minor books but not the book they are most famous for. They didn't have the book I wanted, Revelation Space, but quite bizarrely they had its sequel. And not a single book by Neal Stephenson except for one book from the Baroque Cycle trilogy.

I'm not surprised because in my experience, even in the UK I could never find all the books I wanted in Borders so I shopped more at Waterstones or ordered my books online.

Conclusion, it's great to finally have a decent bookstore in Muscat but if you're reading taste is not mainstream don't expect to find what you're looking for.


Egnaby said...

You're so right - it's great to have Border's here, but let's hope the stocking gets to be a little less random as they settle in - some truly puzzling oversights, and at the same time more "Chicken Soup for..." books than I ever imagined existed.

Pretty good history and bio section, though.

Ladykin said...

Yes!!! I fell in love with the bookshop my self..

NiGhTFaCe said...

Their music section is disappointing!

Twister said...

It's one of the most famous bookshops in australia...

Julia said...

Hi there.

You may consider this a stupid question but I was wondering, are all of the books in that Borders in Arabic or are there any in English?

JOHN said...

About 80% of the stock at Borders in Muscat is in English.

JOHN said...

People are certainly right about the eclectic, or uninformed, choice of stock at Borders in Muscat. They also have never heard of shelfreading. The things you find misplaced in the fiction shelves are beyond belief, and some fiction in the drama section too!

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