Jumeirah Beach Road
(Another location at Dubai Garden Centre)
Visited: March 2013
Purchased: Sarah Waters, The Night Watch, $8
The problem with second-hand book stores in Dubai is that the range of books is limited. Primarily a tourist city, used book stores build their stock on items left behind by travellers, and even the most literate traveller, when on holiday, often chooses to read a mainstream thriller rather than something more challenging or esoteric. Last year The National (UAE) rated the House of Prose as one of the top second-hand booksellers in Dubai, though there are not many to choose from. While House of Prose is quaint and clean and certainly has a large number of books, the bulk of their collection is made up primarily of popular mainstream mystery and thriller novels. The classic literature section is embarrassingly tiny (though many classic novels can be found shelved alongside the general fiction, unless you feel Evelyn Waugh to be more Michael Connelly than, well, Evelyn Waugh.
In general the books are in good condition and sell for about half price or a little less. I would recommend the shop to anyone looking for something ordinary, a bestseller over the past twenty years or less, but not for those who like to browse or are hoping to come across something quaint or rare.