x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

M is all about: Books, stamps and pens

People, places and things on our hot list this week.

Read ´N´ Enjoy is the UAE´s first online book rental service that provides free door-to-door delivery and pickup.
Read ´N´ Enjoy is the UAE´s first online book rental service that provides free door-to-door delivery and pickup.

Sketched collectibles

Calling all stamp collectors: keep your eyes peeled for these British-issued Roald Dahl stamps inspired by the writer's best works. Our faves have got to be "The Witches" and "Fantastic Mr Fox". They're so sweet it almost makes us want to start collecting stamps ourselves, just as our fathers and grandfathers did back when people used "snail" mail.

From approximately Dh27, www.royalmail.com/roalddahl


A bibliophile bonanza

Bookaholics, here we go. Business meets culture at the 22nd annual Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, offering access to industry professionals and key players in the publishing world across the Middle East and North Africa region. Visitors will get a great chance to fill in the gaps in their libraries (with more than 500,000 titles on display), plus a chance to enjoy lectures, book signings, workshops, poetry recitals, live cooking shows and more. We're planning stops at the "Discussion Sofa", for talk and debate on books and topics ranging from Islamic art and sociology to cinema and travel; "The Tent", a new, less-formal venue inspired by the traditional majlis; and the "Signatures and Authors' Corner". Now where did we put those reading glasses?

Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, March 28-April 2, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, 9am-10pm daily except Friday, 4-10pm Friday, www.adbookfair.com


Doorstop library

Read 'N' Enjoy is not only the latest community library to open in Dubai, but also is the UAE's first online book rental service that provides free door-to-door delivery and pickup. Joining is easy - just visit the website to register and become a member for Dh50 per month (which includes one free delivery per month and unlimited exchanges). Then you can choose from thousands of titles for both adults and children. Radha Janardhan, a mother of two, was frustrated at the lack of good libraries in the area of The Walk, JBR, so she set up her own last year. Now run by like-minded parents, the library also keeps children entertained with puppet shows, arts and crafts, educational reading schemes and weekly storytelling workshops. Whether you go online to rent your books or pop in, Read 'N' Enjoy is open to everyone, and there are no late fees for slow readers.

Read 'N' Enjoy, The Walk, Rimal Plaza, JBR (next to Figaro's Pizza); for further information see www.readnenjoy.com or contact Radha Janardhan on 055 990 4571 or email contact@readnenjoy.com


Cups of inspiration

We just love to curl up with a good book, lightly toasted crumpets and a mug of steaming tea in hand. Embrace your inner Shakespeare with this delightful Emma Bridgewater Romeo & Juliet mug. Saturday afternoons just got a lot more relaxing.

Dh120, available at Harvest Home, Jumeirah Centre, 04 342 0225


Perfect penmanship

"Some authors type their works, but I cannot do that. Writing is tied up with the hand, almost with a special nerve," said Graham Greene, who specified that he used a fountain pen. Now you can get an instrument tailored for you, as Montblanc - they of the exquisite and elegant pens - are offering an exclusive service where they identify the personal characteristics of your handwriting and use this info to create a customised pen nib. Clever Montblanc will conduct an in-depth analysis on your writing style - including writing speed, writing pressure, pen rotation, swing range and inclination angle - in order to handcraft the perfect gold nib for you. Plus, at no extra cost, they can even inscribe it. That best-seller written in longhand awaits you.

Writing analysis and customised nib, Dh5,807, exclusively available at the Montblanc boutique, Jumeirah Emirates Towers Boulevard, 04 330 4810


Writers in a box

We all know about Penguin Modern Classics - we've bought some, watched the ones that got turned into films and bought different editions of the ones we loved the most. Now we can also add postcards to our list with this beautiful box set of 100 photographs of eminent authors. Whether you use them as actual postcards or get some framed, this stack is well worth an order.

Approximately Dh87, www.penguin.co.uk