There’s one thing that everyone knows about Kinokuniya (Book World) at Dubai Mall: it’s big. Really big. It goes in further than a dense forest, and it might as well be a forest what with all the dead trees lying around in bound form.
But big as it may be, would it be possible to spend an entire day in this maze of a store? Or would you just get bored and walk out? I walked in with the implicit purpose of answering that question.
The moment you cross through the threshold you’re greeted by a range of action figures. Not something you’d expect from a book store, but this place is genuinely a whole new world. A world that will provide for your every stationary need. More notebooks and pens and diaries and calendars – well you get the picture – than you know what to do with.
This would be wonderful if everything wasn’t so horribly overpriced.
Waking up at 6am is almost fun if you know you’ve got a day in Kinokuniya ahead of you. The magazine section seemed a good way to start the day, light reading and catching up with Brangelina is the perfect thing to accompany your breakfast. By mid-morning, my brain was starting to hurt, I took this as a sign that maybe I was spending too much time in the science and philosophy sections. While I was meandering in the art section, I spotted a girl who was drop dead gorgeous (and not in an art book.) Before making a move on her, I browsed through a book of pick-up lines in the “self-help” section. Luckily I didn’t need it, as my brilliantly sculpted beard floored her instantly, and we got to talking over coffee in the Kinokuniya café. I still had a whole evening ahead of me.
Some people, sometimes, go on a light jog when the weather cools down to get the adrenaline flowing, but many others dread that horrendous exercise. For us, the indoor people, we like to sit down with a book, maybe a horror-themed one, to get that same feeling. If you’re looking for a book to make you piss yourself or even a book just to send a slight shiver down your spine, your only destination should be the horror section of Book World.
If you have just pissed yourself, or are in need of going to the toilet, maybe you’d like a magazine to read while you’re on the can; maybe a Japanese magazine? Or a Korean pop magazine? No? Well maybe reading a humorous book about how the zombie apocalypse is already here is more your speed. Either way, when you’re in the toilet, entertainment is a must and the aptly named 101 Facts that will Make You Shit Yourself is a sure fire way out of constipation.
Now, part of many people’s weekday routine is going to college or university but don’t think staying in Book World will make you miss out on one of life’s most important aspects. In fact it’ll do the opposite! It will prepare you for a school day with shelves stacked top to bottom with reference books, study guides, dictionaries (in almost too many languages: French, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, and more) trivia books, and everything you could possibly need for your daily scholastic excursions.
This is one place where you can both buy your board games and host your friendly game night, for it has the largest collection of tabletop games I’ve seen yet and more than a few that caught my eye (Avengers vs X-Men Dice game, I’m looking at you) Speaking of games, it’s the only place in Dubai that sells any kind of Pokemon merchandise, and I love it for that.
This store has more accounts of war than there were actual wars, and it really gives you the opportunity for some research. If you’re my uncle and you’re a complete history fanboy/fangirl, or you’re just looking to casually catch up on some history (don’t worry it’s not changing any time soon)
When you’re done with all of this and you want to tuck yourself into bed, but still feel you haven’t gotten your fill of literature, there’s a wonderful variety of audiobooks at your disposal (if you pay for them, of course) and you can let the soothing voice of Stephen Fry narrating The Order of the Phoenix lull you to sleep.
Can you live in Kinokuniya for a day? Most assuredly. For a lifetime? I can, and I reckon a few others can too. Tell us what you think.