Bookshop owner doesn’t buy the dubious Kenyans-don’t-read song

Mercy Kibira, the proprietor of Half-priced Books, at her bookshop on Moi Avenue in Nairobi. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • The description on Mercy’s Instagram profile says #kenyansread. I like that hashtag.

  • It is so precise yet so contrary to what is touted about our reading culture as Kenyans.

  • No one quite recalls where this notion was birthed but Halfpriced Books is keen to dismantle it.

I pull out a book from one of the shelves of Halfpriced Books bookshop. Memoirs of a Geisha, the novel by Arthur Golden. Its pages smell of musky storage, mawkish sentiments and a textured personality. It smells old. It smells like an old book that was never new.

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