As I said a while ago, the 21st Nairobi international book fair was last weekend. The biggest annual book event in Kenya brought together thousands of attendees. Publishers, writers, bloggers, bibliophiles, book critiques and book clubs all convened at this event.
The event that happened at the Sarit Center Expo Hall ran for the whole week, 26th to 30th of September 2018. Being busy all week, I attended the event on Saturday, arriving at 1400hrs and leaving at 1800hrs.
21st Nairobi International Book Fair
The 21st Nairobi International book fair is an annual event that brings together everyone in the publishing industry. This year, the event attracted 55 local exhibitors and 15 more international ones. Some of the local exhibitors included the Kenya Copyright Board, the Kenya National Library service and the Kenya Yearbook Editorial Board. Established publishers such as the Longhorn Publishers, Kenya Literature Bureau and Phoenix Publishers were in attendance.
Emerging publishers and digital ones such as Big Books Ltd and eKitabu respectively also made an appearance. Internationally, Cambridge University Press, Nsemia Publishers from Canada and Quarterfold Printabilities from India exhibited their works. I was intrigued by the Snapplify.com concept, I hope it breaks into the Kenyan market.
Religious firms such as Biblica, Bible Society of Kenya and the Scripture Union of Kenya also had stands at the 21st Nairobi International book fair. The event was kid-friendly too which was amazing. I could almost swoon at the number of children and teenagers that attended the event. It’s important to see the reintroduction of the reading culture into our Kenyan society.
Kenya Publishers Association
This event was organized by the Kenya Publishers Association (KPA). The association currently boasts the largest publishing event in Africa (21st Nairobi International Book Fair- NIBF). Lawrence Njagi, KPA’s chairman shared the most moving words in the Book News issue:Books are probably the single most important item that contributes to a person’s personal growth and advancement. #NIBF Click To Tweet
2018’s 21st Nairobi International book fair’s theme was ‘books for nurturing skills’. Most stands had a 30% discounts on all books. Course books, self-help books and motivational books were all over the place at amazing prices.
Kenyan authors also got to showcase their works. For instance, the Kenya Writers guild was in attendance having published Thrills and Chills by Boniface Sagini among other works. In addition to that, the Kwani series is out. You should put it on your list.
Having moved back to Nairobi, I’ll be attending more events. This was among those I was really looking forward to. The array of publishers there was tremendous, the energy out of this world, the displays alluring, and the prices generous. This book fair helped me cross a book off my to-buy list. Stay with me by Ayobami Adebayo was my greatest hit at below $7.
I also picked up a Christian book that was on the clearance section. In My Father’s House by Bodie and Brock Thoene is the first book of an amazing trilogy (The Shiloh Legacy Series) I hope I’ll read. And I got it for a dollar, how exciting is that. I hope it makes it to my book review section.
Sarit’s Text Book Center
While at Sarit, I also got to visit the Text Book Center. Guys, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale was on the shelves. I mean, that series made me want to start a movie review category. If you haven’t watched it, kindly go pick it up. Its hours well wasted and it already has a season 2.
P.S- Text Book Center has a book club. The book of the month is The Hundred Wells of Salaga by Ayesha Harruna Attah. Join us on the 13th of October for the review.
Finally, if you didn’t get to attend this year’s NIBF, there’s always the next year. Mark your calendars as you wait for the official dates. Bonus thing is that the event runs for 5 days so you’ll have ample time to attend. Save your dimes for all the bargains that’ll be available.