WE OFTEN talk of the need to nurture a reading culture especially among the youth but little is mentioned about where one can find reading materials. Reading materials just like most goods in a shop will be availed once the market exists. If indeed people are willing to read, then it shouldn’t be a problem finding what to read but actually reading it.
A simple survey around Kigali reveals that different reading materials can be found in different places and at different prices. There are some bookshops where one can find reading materials like books and novels among others. The most common are Librairie Caritas and Ikirezi. Others are A-Z books and Inkurunziza both in Kimironko. Nakumatt Supermarket also has a large book section that has a variety of books on sale.
Another place to find reading materials is the different publishing houses like Edition Bakame, Fountain Publishers, MK Publishers and Oxford University Press among others. These ones produce lots of books that are used by school-going children and in most cases are approved by the National Curriculum Centre.
If you are into newspapers and magazines, then you can find these in the different bookshops, and supermarkets like Nakumatt, Simba and Ndoli’s. There are also news vendors in the city centre who move around or are stationed near the main round about, close to the Rwandatel customer service centre and the area opposite BCR, main branch. At Kigali City Tower, there is a shop that sells all kinds of magazines and newspapers.
Unlike many other regional cities, Kigali does not yet seem to be having a robust used-books industry. However at Nyabugogo you will find a street vendor with a few books on a verandah. It would be nice to have more of such people so that we have books that suit each one’s wallet.
Those who just want to read and not have to buy the books have an array of libraries they can visit. For example the newly launched Kigali Public Library in Kacyiru has a seating capacity of over 200. Books range from children’s to professional reading material. One can borrow two books for the week if he or she has covered an annual membership fee of Rwf10,000 for adults and Rwf5,000 for children.
Different organisations in and around Kigali are equipped with libraries or resource centres with vital information. It does not hurt to find out whether you can use their services or to start using them if you are an employee already. Others will have a magazine or newspaper on the coffee table by the reception. As you wait to see the boss you can indulge in some reading. It also helps to calm the nerves if it’s a job interview you are waiting for.
The important thing here is that if you love to read, you can always find what to read and if we can increase the demand then the supply of books and other reading materials will increase.