Monday, July 03, 2006

Book Villa Anniversary

A year ago, I joined Book Villa - and I when I renewed my membership today, I also got a chronological statement today listing all the books I have read over the last year.

I started off with a mix of my favourite authors such as Nelson Demille and Lee Child, in the beginning but later on diversified into others books, mostly autobiographies, business, stock and financial books.

The statement also shows that I had borrowed about 20 books worth 10,000 shillings all for an initial investment of 1,500 shillings (i.e. one time 500 joining fee, and annual fee of 1,000).

The number of books is lower than I expected, but it’s because I drive more these days - whereas before I used to do most of my reading in a matatu, now it's in loo.

Also I try and buy all my magazines (I estimate about 2,000 shillings worth) at Book Villa as a way to give back for this tremendous opportunity. The store has a vast collection of books and friendly staff, who are knowledgeable about the location & availability of books, which they can even hold for you. Definitely one of the best investments I have made.


Half 'n' half said...

I started going to book villa about 4 years ago and trust me, they are the best. If you buy in Bulk (like I have to do seeing as bookshops in sudan are yet to open) you can get the next installment of books absolutely free since yu get back like 50% of what you spent.

Keep reading.

Would recommend the following authors if you havent already:
Jonathan Kellerman
James Patterson

Anonymous said...

Wow, another book villa fan - they are the best thing that ever happened to Nairobi. I like the buying magazines bit hadnt thought of that they just got themselves another customer.

Kagz said...

I agree, Book Villa has a smart concept. Luckily for me in Kenya, i had a pal who was an avid reader so he bought both books & magz & i borrowed.Simple MOUs signed :).

Looks like i'm not the only one who reads in the loo :)

This weeks' Business Week (July 10th edition) is a MUST-read for you & all other investors both new & old.

Dozens of pros were asked what books they'd pull off the shelf again and again...and a list of 11 books are highlighted.

bankelele said...

liveinsudan: Keep us posted on developments in S. Sudan please. I used to read Jonathan Kellerman and have tried one or two James Patterson

Anonymous: I just hope they don't become overwhelmned and change their membership plans

Kagz: Reading in that room ensures a relaxed & educational time. What are the books on the BW list?

Ig-know-rant said...

....hhmmmm. Will check Book Villa out soon. I may soon have to ditch my guy at book point yaya.

In the meantime, happy reading!!!

Anonymous said...

What's/Where's Book Villa? I stopped buying books in Kenya after some manager at the Stanley Bookshop told me I could not change a book I had bought 12 hrs earlier. It was a gift for my sister but I realised I had gotten the wrong book. I asked if I could exchange it for another - notnot a refund - and she said no - unapologetically I must add! I left them the book and have never bought another from them. I buy an arsenal of books on rare trips out of the country or get friends to bring me one! What's/Where Book Villa?

Ms K said...

I just LOVE Book Villa. Altho I must say when I got my last statement I was a bit disappointed. Hadn't read as many books as I should have. Altho I was away for some time that year, no excuse. This year I intend to do much better.

DMX said...

I love books too, especilaay travel stories and humour. But time is short and Ihave not been doing too well, not even in the loo, reading books I mean. HAA!!!

Now pray tell me where or what is Book Villa. I have a passion for magazines: mens health, national geographic, flight international, the economistetc. Do they have these?

Baba_Tonia said...

bankelele has been good lakini today you touched a raw spot...
Book villa....
I have been a member there but since the KRA started with the Electronic Tax Registers, things went was either they are closed or in running battles with the city council you tell me...did they buy the ETR ama we do some form of donation and get em some..I miss borrowin my books from the book villa

Shiroh said...

Book Villa for all those asking is just hapo Stanley.

@Ms K, i will be disappointed too i am sure when i check my books. I havent read that much.

Kagz said...


Will get you the list. I dont have a BW copy myself coz i NEVER buy magazines. I read them for free at the gym or Barnes & Noble.

NO bookstore can beat the variety at Book Point but Book Villa has a good borrow-books concept.

The no-return policy on almost everything (not just books) in Kenya is VERY frustrating. In the US, you can return ANYTHING in 60-90 days with NO questions asked.

For all those asking, Book Villa is OPPOSITE The Stanley Hotel...can't rem the name of the street.

NOTE: Stanley also has a book store of its own on Kenyatta Ave.

Anonymous said...

Now I know Book Villa! I got some Alexander McCall Smith books on Precious Ramotswe. They were nice easy reads. Award winning too. Will check out the book club - maybe even open my own!!

Kagz said...

Bank Man

I've OFFICIALLY stopped calling you Banks.Thats the name of my neighbour back home & i'm getting kidogo confused :).

Nway,the rant has listed the 11 books from BW on your next post.You can read the reviews on BW online.

All the best with your book club. I may join. My pal tried one in Kenya but...
1st book to review was "The Art of War" By Sun Zu. I think it was too complicated for most people.

bankelele said...

Ig-know-rant: You won't regret it. Yaya is also an excellent bookstore, but alas no membership plan.

Ms K & Shiroh: Me too, I thought I had read way many more books. could the printouts be wrong?

DREAMWEAVER: They have variety books on health, national geographic, politics, africa, travel, fiction. but the magazine selection is quite thin.

Baba_Tonia: Am not aware of any ETR issues there. Also, when you borrow a book there is no charge

Kagz: Free magazine reading at Borders or Barnes & Noble is one thing you'll miss about America.

Anonymous: Agree, though many big price items now come with warranties (but not books)

Anonymous said...

wow! I can see we are many book villa fans!!

It was recommended to me a few months ago, and I love the concept of borrowing before, to decide if it's worth buying.. and also the little incentive of 10%discount for purchase of books also helps.

The Alpha Quadrant said...

I've been a member for almost a year now, and I'm thinking of upgrading my membership plan since i'll be travelling abit.

Best thing that has happened to reading books.

I now only buy books that i feel i'll be referring to alot in the future.

gathinga said...

looks like some of us have been missing out. will check out the villa

Kagz said...

My 3rd comment on this post,hhhmmm,shows you how much i love reading.

I dont't know if Book Villa has them in stock (but if i remember well enough, you can recommend books they should buy) but below is a list of books i STRONGLY recommend.
NOTE: They have ALL been listed among MUST-READS for MBAs

The World Is Flat


When Genius Failed

Good to Great


Half 'n' half said...

Baba Tonio, Yes they cleared the ETR issues, but if you are a member all you need to do if they are closed is give them a call and they will Kinda "sneak" you in to buy the books.

For anyone travelling you can buy many books and return them and get 50% back

I will definately look at my list when I get back on saturday see if their print outs are correct.

Kagz: Freakconomics ranks as one of my all time favourites, I bought it with the plan of returning once I finished but I still have it.

pesa tu said... i'm not the only one who goes to Book Villa. I joined a year ago on 2nd July.
They sent me an SMS telling me that my membership had expired. the only guys who do this are VIJAY OPTICA-Mombasa.

They will let u know by SMS when you are due for your Annual eye check-up.

propaganda said...

Man! I just dropped about Sh8,000 on books from Book's First in the last two weeks. They have a buy-three-get-one-free deal on a limited range (My purchases included Freakonomics, Boo Hoo, Liar's Poker)

It's the first time I've been on leave in like five years off a job with mad hours, so I'm going a little crazy after years of barely reading anything. Wish I'd known about Book Villa before I threw down the cash: by now I'd be passed out from the weight of reading I would have caught up on!

Speculator said...

I found the complete list of BW best seller list online.

Jess said...

hmm, i think to book early its really better, too. You get a discount for it. Last month i was in Cyprus, it was great. I found wonderful Cyprus holiday villa for low cost living and I recommend everybody to try it.

Wanjiru said...

would any of you have the telephone number of Book Villa (Current). I am a member but the numbers I have do not seem to work. I need to get books for my Christmas reading and am feeling quite desparate!

bankelele said...


Tony said...

Just received a newsletter from Books First. Apparently you can now buy books from Books First online on their ecommerce website from anywhere in Kenya and they will deliver. Actually the books are cheaper than in the stores which are mostly in nairobi anyway. I found "Dreams From My Father" "unbowed" and lots of management books on the website with payment methods being mpesa, cash, bank deposit and cheques even. Maybe soon they may consider accepting credit cards too.

Definitely worth checking out for booklovers.



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