I found it!
Well … not really. Although I drive past it everyday, I hardly noticed it until I was physically dragged there.
The Bookend is a quaint used book shed located in the compound of The Surgery on John Babiiha Avenue (former Acacia Avenue). Built like a tiny log cabin on stilts, The Bookend is an unassuming store filled with a great collection of books and the scent of used paper, words and love.
It reminds me of my high school teacher, Anne Culter, whose tiny house at the end of the Gayaza High School compound was my favorite place to be. It always smelled of fresh tomatoes, bread and warm dog and had shelve upon shelve books on travel, adventure, mystery and soul.
The Bookend has a small, but growing archive of used books that are available at only 6,000 shillings each. Since I ‘discovered’ it seven days ago, I have been to the book shed twice, picking up Salman Rushdie’s “Ground Beneath Her Feet”, Ian McEwan’s “Enduring Love”, “I, the Divine” by Rabih Alameddine and “Chang and Eng” by Darin Strauss.
The Bookend is not a book rental, but you can resell the books to it for 3,000 shillings. You will get the same amount of money for any other books you sell to Bookend. The owner of the book shed, who refers to herself as ‘a book lover and no one worth really knowing,’ says she’ll buy any books that are in fairly good condition, especially if they are novels or (auto)biographies.
I wasn’t put up to this. I swear on my pet donkey’s life. But in case you need a few more incentives, you can catch a cup of the frothiest cappuccino from the Tea Room while you are perusing through the books and check for your HIV status or do a pregnancy test at The Surgery while you are at it. It may be even be a good place for you to find books for the Africa Reading Challenge.
But don’t take my word for it, visit it yourself. Bookend is open Monday to Friday from 10 am to 4 pm and on Saturday it is open from 10 am to 1 pm.
Three More Things
One More: Liberation Lit is a blog of interesting writing and analysis by people you know. Doreen Baingana (who I soooooo want to be my friend) and Kalundi Serumaga are featured giving their take on Kenya’s post-election violence.
Another More: Libraries of Love, Books for Kids in Slums and Ekitabu Project are doing interesting things for literacy in Uganda. Visit them, will you?
And This Is Three: Thanks to Filoug for pointing me to World Mapper. The map below is of books borrowed from public libraries every year. It is a total indictment against literacy policies of African governments.
More rage and nnnggghhhhhh in J.R. Ikoja-Odongo’s paper on Public Library Politics available here and shock(!) horror(!) the National Library of Uganda has gone online.
Oh, and to answer your question Alphonse (please use the comments section next time) yes, I do have a job, I do spend too much time on other things apart from my job, I do have free internet access and I do consider myself an expert on everything under the sun. I am arrogant, I am a know-it-all and I am a Ugandan.