They are popularly christened Inama Bookstores (Inama, Swahili for bend because of how one bends when making a selection of books from the concrete pavements where the books are usually displayed) These recurring points that sell second-hand (mitumba) books are found in along almost every corner of the street in the CBD. They are difficult to miss even to a newcomer in the city. Their existence is necessitated by the constant need to satiate the demands of the Nairobian reader who cannot afford to buy new books from the traditional bookshops. They have revolutionised the way the Kenyan reader can now access and read books.
For as little as Kshs. 100 (1 USD) one can get up to five books on these streets. With better luck, you are able to find a large selection of books from your favourite authors. Kenyan writer Mehul Gohil chronicles his adventurous hunt for books around the streets of Nairobi.
All images by Leah Kanda and Njuguna Gichia.
(c) Enkare Review, 2016