There appears to be no end to what can be delivered to your door in the UAE. You name it, and someone, somewhere will have a business dedicated to bringing it direct to you with as little fuss (on your side) as possible.
This time around, it's books. Avid poolside readers across Dubai need worry no more about their proximity to bookshops or libraries, because Reader's Paradise will deliver your paperback of choice to your outstretched hand at your front door.
How it works
Residents of Sharjah who recognise the Reader's Paradise name shouldn't worry about their memory, because it had a physical shop there for the past six years.
However, it has now moved to Dubai and to the digital age, with its entire 10,000-strong library catalogued online for your perusal. Once you've selected which titles you're after, assuming they're available, you can arrange delivery and, once you've read them, arrange for the books to be swapped for some more.
How delivery works
There are three times to choose from - 9am till 1pm, 1pm till 5pm and 5pm till 9pm. And delivery is twice a week to each area - Jumeirah is Tuesday and Saturday, Marina is Sunday and Thursday, Discovery Gardens is Sunday and Thurs … actually, it's probably easiest if you just go online and find out yourself.
And if they don't have what you want …
So you're after A Practical Guide To Birdwatching by Bill Oddie and, funnily enough, it's not on the list. No problem. Simply email Reader's Paradise and it'll get in touch with its international distributors. Once it's in stock, it'll let you know. You can do this even if you haven't signed up as a member.
The popular choices
Because it's currently holiday season, the children's titles are popular right now - plenty of Asterix, a splash of Tintin and, er, the Steve Jobs biography. But the stock is replenished every two to three weeks. There are even plans to expand into French titles. The service has been going on for about four months, but in time Reader's Paradise will be able to draw an interesting Dubai readership map. Who knows, perhaps Al Barsha will be big on slushy romance while Emirates Hills will be all self-help guides.
What it costs
There are two plans. For Dh95 per month, you can rent up to four books a time and up to 12 a month, while for Dh150 you can get six at a time and up to 18 a month. So the faster you read, the less each book costs. There is also a deposit to pay. And, if you pay for six months, you get one free, and three months free when you pay for 12.
Do they have Fifty Shades of Grey?
Yes. But you shouldn't read it because it sounds rubbish. Go for Asterix and the Goths instead.
For more info, visit www.readersparadise-me.com