We have all heard many people share their thoughts on why Kenyans don’t enjoy reading books as a pastime.
Some say that we just read newspapers, textbooks, magazines and spend the rest of our time doing things that are not related to reading.
Some people claim that the Kenyan reader is misunderstood by many while others don’t want to be dragged in discussions of this nature.
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It is worth noting that discussions like these usually opens doors to more discussions that can help us all understand what is at stake, take note of our weaknesses and strengths, muster enough courage to spend more time reading good literature and take the initiative to promote Kenyan authors and the books and ebooks they write and publish.
Many publishers in Kenya and around the world came on the scene to provide writers with the necessary resource to reach more readers.
Many publishers came on the scene to give readers a selection of affordable ebooks they could choose from.
Many publishers came on the scene to make sure that both the writers and readers build each other up.
And there was a good reason for this.
The writers need readers and readers need writers who produce good literature.
No one party can ensure that more Kenyans fall in love with books. And the moment one party decides to avoid their responsibilities something bad happens.
When writers stop adding the Kenyan feeling to their work because they have to give unto readers whatever they want, something is lost.
When readers stop reading Kenyan literature because they don’t feel as one with it or because they think there is something better, something is lost.
It is even when worse when the time that could be spent reading good books is wasted on other activities that don’t edify the individual indulging them.
What can you do, as someone who loves reading books and ebooks, to make things better?
I don’t want to give you a lecture on how good books can be beneficial to you.
Some make you laugh.
Some help you solve a problem.
Some help you learn about a particular thing or person.
Some help you stay committed to your ideals.
So take some time and check the various online shops and buy a book or ebook you like.
- Speak out. If you have ideas that can help authors and publishers promote more good books, feel free to get in touch with the persons concerned.
- Share your thoughts about books you have bought and read by writing honest reviews. Many people would like to hear your thoughts about an ebook after you buy and read it.
We love honest reviews for one simple reason:
- honesty leads authors, readers and publishers to create an industry where authors write great ebooks,
- publishers give to readers relevant ebooks and print books, and
- readers who purchase a copy or two write reviews that help other readers in making the right decision when it comes to buying.
- Spread the word about books you have bought, read and liked. You can do this on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Linkedin and other online hubs where you usually spend some time to connect with others.
- Recommend ebooks you like via email and the different online hubs mentioned above.
- If you happen to be a reader who also likes writing, don’t let your manuscript gather dust. Publish it.
- Support the efforts of writers by buying original copies. There will be people who’ll try to get books without paying for them – something that is not good at all.
Piracy is not good for you, the authors, the publisher and Kenya as a whole.
The moment short cuts are taken, a lot of people are hurt and we believe that you don’t want to be amongst the people who spread the pain. So, stick with original copies and encourage others to buy original copies too.
- Show other people who are still skeptical about ebooks that they have nothing to worry about.
Some people in Kenya have not really embraced the concept of ebooks and they may be missing out on good things because they long for someone to dispel fears that they may have.
Be that person who dispels the fears. Let them know that downloadable books are just as good as print books. Let them know that the value of a book is not entirely pegged on its form.
- Subscribe via email for free to receive updates on your favourite authors, new authors, bestsellers, new releases, book discounts, launch of affiliate programs, writing contests etc.
This, you can do, by visiting the websites and blogs of various authors, publishers and companies that run online shops in and outside Kenya.
- Report those who are violating other people’s copyright and intellectual property rights. You love Kenyan authors, right?
Protect them from people who don’t want to honour their part as readers by respecting the great work authors are doing.
- Spread the word about the books you read. Tell your friends and them. And don’t forget to tell us about yourself, your thoughts and what you think we can do to promote Kenyan literature.
Share them in the comments section below.