As an avid reader, I am ashamed to say that I only discovered Educate Yourself Bookshop this year. I was scrolling through some bookish accounts on Instagram a few weeks ago when I saw a book I had been looking for with no success for a while on my friend’s page (check out Abneel’s page here!). Curious as to how she had gotten her copy, I reached out to her and she let me know that she had bought the entire book series from Educate Yourself Bookshop. I was in disbelief, given the months I had spent trying to get a copy of the said book in different shops. I immediately went to their website and was even more shocked to find more of my favorite authors’ books available!
Once I kicked off the bookshop tours, I knew that I had to feature Educate Yourself, if for nothing else, to thank whoever is in charge for stocking amazing books. The friendly people at Educate Yourself took no time in facilitating a meeting between me and Mr Gopal, Managing Director of the Bookshop. As soon as I arrived at the shop, I almost kicked myself for it was obvious that I have been missing out in some solid bookish treasures. Mr Gopal gave me a very warm welcome and we proceeded to have an informative discussion about books as well as the reading culture in Kenya as he showed me round the bookshop.
At a glance, it is easy to see the diverse nature of this bookshop. Their main business has to do with educational books. They supply to different schools within and outside the country and have an array of the curriculums that they have available. Being a bookworm himself, Mr Gopal decided to expand the store’s business to include non-educational books and supplies. With this being the case, the shop boasts of a wide array of genres in the books they have available ranging from fictional genres such as thrillers, drama, fantasy, africana, and so on as well as nonfiction and motivational books. Additionally, there are art supplies, coloring books for both children and adults as well as games such as monopoly and puzzles.
The main reason I would recommend Educate Yourself Bookshop is the exclusivity of the books they stock. As someone who loves reading the fantasy genre, it becomes increasingly frustrating to keep looking for the books you want in local bookshops. I cannot put in words the excitement I felt when I saw a healthy supply of Mark Lawrence and Brandon Sanderson on Educate Yourself’s shelves. This exclusivity is of course not limited to the fantasy genre, I was lucky enough to be present there to see the new books that have just arrived and number of them I recognized as newly released titles. With the team having contact with almost 90% of the world’s publishers, their ever-updated shelves do not come as a surprise.
In terms of pricing, I would say that the books in this shop are pretty fairly priced, considering the mentioned exclusivity above. The prices are actually pretty close to the average prices found in other bookshops so worry not guys, your money is safe. Additionally, if the book is something you have been looking for a while, believe me, you will not mind buying it.
I was not surprised when Mr Gopal told me that to date, word of mouth has been their strongest marketing system. Of course, as a growing bookshop, they aim to incorporate traditional marketing plans in their business. However, customers who end up making return visits to the store often say that they got a recommendation from a friend or so and this is Mr Gopal’s pride. As we say, ‘Chema chajiuza’. If you have been looking for a book title that you just can’t seem to get anywhere, please consider visiting this store, they just might have it. I mean, I found my Mark Lawrence books here!