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DUBAI: A gargantuan touring book sale that touts itself as the world’s largest is making its first stop in the Middle East, filling a huge hangar in Dubai with stacks of three million discounted books, open around the clock.

The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale, launched in Kuala Lumpur in 2009, has since regularly toured Asian cities including Jakarta, Manila, Cebu, Colombo, Bangkok and Taipei. Organisers hope to attract as many as 300,000 visitors during 11 days in Dubai.

Founder Andrew Yap said he expects the sheer number of books will lure in punters. “In a mature market like Dubai, this will give variety to readers,” he told Reuters.

Roudha Al Marri, an Emirati co-author of a guide to life in the UAE whose own book was on sale at the fair, said a city such as Dubai needed such an event to help spur reading among a “tablet generation” preoccupied with screens.

“To hold a book, smell it, to return us to more beautiful days, to throw us into mazes of stories. Every generation needs this,” she said.

Published in Dawn, October 19th, 2018