Good morning Reader! I hope you are keeping well and reading some good books. A few weeks ago I got a comment on my Instagram post asking if I could do a post on where I get my books. Honestly speaking, this is something I have never thought anyone would be interested in. So to that commenter, thank you, and this one is for you!
I have 4 places I get my books from, bookstores, the streets, the supermarket and apps which I’ll share today.
Soma Nami Bookstore
I have been obsessed with Soma Nami ever since they opened their physical store in August last year. If I had a dollar for every time I have been at this beautiful store, I’d be able to knock off a few books from my wishlist. Located at the Green House Mall along Ngong Rd, Soma Nami offers an extensive catalogue of books especially if you are looking for African and/or Black literature. They do also have an online store. Watch my bookshop tour here
I have been going to this bookstore for the longest time. Pocket friendly with a wide selection of books. Prestige have two branches, one in town Mama Ngina Street and the other one at Lavington Mall. I have bias to the town branch through, it’s bigger and my favorite.
Text Book Centre
I think everyone and their mother knows TBC. They have branches all over Nairobi though my favorite branch has to be the Flagship store at Sarit and the one in town along Kenyatta Avenue.
Between The Lines Bookstore
Located at Village Market, Between The Lines is one beautiful store that I find quite a treat anytime I am there. Also, fans of comic books and graphic novels, you will love it here.
Educate Yourself Bookstore
Located at Westgate Mall, Educate Yourself I don’t go often here but whenever I do find myself at Westgate I do pop in and get myself a book or two.
Reader, I’m obsessed with the classics section at Bookstop. Located at Yaya Centre, Bookstop boasts of a wide catalogue especially Fantasy, Contemporary and Classics, you will love it. (they have other genres though I just particularly go there for these 3.)
For all your second hand books, I find Half Priced Books to be the place. I would say when you go there take your time and browse through, you will find so many hidden gems, and for cheap! They have 3 branches in Nairobi, in the CBD at Bihi Towers, Lavington Mall and The Village Market. I love the one at VM.
I am part of a book club, Birthdays With Frankie, where each month one of us is gifted books and most come from Nuria. This one is located along Moi Avenue in the CBD.
Occasionally when I am in town I love browsing the streets aka the Inama Bookstores and seeing what hidden finds I’ll get. There select streets I like going to where books range between ksh.100 – ksh.500. though I have never bought a book for more than ksh.300.
1st Location – Opposite Imenti House where Babadogo mats are.
2nd Location – Tom Mboya Street where there was a Tuskys. There are about 3 vendors along that stretch
3rd Location – Moi Avenue (I think) cross the road from Imenti House where there used to be Tuskys Beba Beba(?) there’s a lady there who has really nice selection of books.
You would be surprised at what you can find at the supermarkets. I kid you not, every time I pop in at Carrefour or Naivas, I go through book selections, the ones on sale (usually between ksh.200 – ksh. 300) and I have had quite the luck.
By now you know I read my books in 3 different formats, physical copies, e-books and audio books. I use Scribd for ebooks and audio books. I have talked extensively about the app here. Though essentially it’s a subscription where you get unlimited access to ebooks and audio books and if you use my link for your first sign up you’ll get 2 months free.
The other app I use for my e-book reading is Amazon Kindle. Mostly here I usually buy books that I want to read immediately and I can’t find them anywhere else.
I have to start with the disclaimer that I haven’t used these libraries. I have been there to visit and look around but because I prefer to own my books, love them (by breaking spines, page marking etc) borrowing books is not sustainable for me.
I did want to highlight them though in case it is something that you would be interested in.
- Kenya National Library located at Upper Hill. This library is beautiful and spacious! If you have a child, I’d recommend taking them there. For ksh.20 you can look around, for the borrowing aspect is different but quite affordable. Watch my tour here.
- The Bookworm Gigiri. For a fee you get to borrow books for a period of time. Also, they have quite a wide selection of books that would appeal to everyone. You can find out more here.
That’s it for my list. This is not exhaustive of all the places that sell books just where I go to for mine.
Until next time, read something good!
I would love to know, where do you get your books?