What’s On may have entered the digital world but we’re still as fond as of the old printed page as we ever have been. With that in mind, we scoured Dubai for the best and ever so slightly off-beat second hand bookshops where we’re sure you’ll pick up something you simply won’t be able to put down.

House Of Prose
This Dubai institution offers a ‘buy back’ policy, where you can bring back a book you bought at House Of Prose and they will take it off your hands for half the price you paid. Owned by American book-lover Mike McGinley, there are two locations and a vast selection to choose from.

Dubai Garden Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai
Tel: (04) 3449021. Metro: First Gulf Bank.
Daily 9am to 8pm. 

Book N Bean
From the bibliophiles that brought us House Of Prose, this new addition is in two branches of Ace Hardware and, as you’ve probably guessed, serves coffee as well as having a selection of good quality second-hand books. There’s a loyalty scheme where you get your tenth cup of coffee free, and the same ‘buy back’ ethos as House Of Prose, where you’ll receive half the price of a book back when you return it, which goes towards your next purchase. Ideal for a quiet brew while the other half peruses the patio furniture.

Ace Hardware, Festival City, Dubai
Tel: (04) 2326992. Taxi: Festival City.
Sat to Wed 9am to 10pm, Thur and Fri 9am to midnight. 
ALSO: Ace Hardware, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi

A real gem on Plant Street, Bookworld has wall to wall second-hand tomes that you can buy, rent and then return, if you like. You’ll find everything from old Viz annuals to the latest beach read, plus unused books, stationery and posters.

 Al Hudaiba Street, Satwa, Dubai
Tel: (04) 3491914. Taxi: Plant Street.
 daily 9.30am to 9.30pm. 

This article first appeared in What’s On in November 2012