"CEOs can't wait to read Sunny Bindra's articles every week."

May 15, 2022
Why books are still booming in the digital era

This wasn’t supposed to happen. The prolonged global pandemic accelerated all things digital. We embraced electronic ways of doing things: digital payments, virtual meetings, online shopping, video streaming, instant messaging, web-based learning. Devices and software boomed as never before; many old ways of doing things took a permanent hit. Using cash, going to cinemas, travelling […]

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Nov 28, 2021
That person in front of you? Unreliable narrator alert…

Ever since I first discovered them, I have loved unreliable narrators in literature. Those folks who seem to be earnestly recounting a story, but whose narratives seem to be a little off, not quite adding up, so that some disquiet is created in the reader. And then gently it is revealed: this narrator is not […]

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Sep 05, 2021
When to persist, and when to desist? A booklover’s tale

Nilanjana Roy is a wonderful columnist for the Financial Times. She is, like me, a devoted bibliophile. She revels in her love of literature and enrols many in the cause of reading. She recently penned a piece that really got me thinking about how I read books. My why, as regular readers of this page will know, is crystal […]

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Apr 25, 2021
This skill will still be very valuable in the future world of work

We are rushing headlong into a world of virtual meetings and digital interactions. As I outlined here last week, we all need to raise our digital game: running meetings on Zoom; building teams on Teams; delivering projects on Basecamp. It is tempting to think that new-world skills – working with software, deploying new-fangled hardware – […]

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Dec 28, 2020
My top books of 2020

In 2020 I managed to pass a mark I previously thought unreachable – 100 books read in a calendar year. It’s been a very unusual year thanks to a certain virus, and an enforced pause sent me to my bookshelf even more than ever. Here are the best books I read, new and old. My […]

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Aug 16, 2020
How I travelled around the world in a pandemic

A confession: I have been travelling far and wide in 2020, even though there is a global pandemic on.  For example, even as that city locked down amidst one of the most challenging periods of its history, I was in New York, in the company of a troubled teenager who went on a 48-hour drinking […]

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Jan 12, 2020
Wait – did I read TOO many books last year?

I read 80 books in 2019. That was surprising. My standard target is 50, which I always hit quite easily. But 80? That’s a lot of books, by any measure. Was it worth it? Could that number now be in the realm of TOO many books? But first: reading any number of books is no […]

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Dec 24, 2019
My top books of 2019

Here are the best books I read in 2019. I read a lot more books this year – at the time of writing it looks like I’ll clock 80 books. My regular target is 50 per year, so this is unusual. But it does mean I had a lot more good books to choose from, […]

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Oct 27, 2019
Two words to carry around with you

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss is just one of the finest novels anyone will ever read. I picked it up again after many years and found myself mesmerised all over again. It has two words that are repeated over and over, acting as a motif in the life of one of the main […]

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Sep 08, 2019
Give your brain a little workout today

How are you doing with my annual book-reading challenge? I found, somewhat to my surprise, that I have already clocked 50 books this year with a full four months left in the calendar. I’m not quite sure how this happened. Perhaps pushing all of you to read more books has spurred me on as well. […]

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Aug 11, 2019
Technology fail? A human can rescue that…

Photo credit: www.foliosociety.com Do you know The Folio Society? If you’re a bibliophile, you probably do. They create beautiful special editions of classic books. Books done the old-fashioned way: in hardcover, usually cloth-bound; with premium paper and elegant typography; and given a new twist by specially commissioned illustrators. A book-lover’s delight. But expensive. Surely that’s […]

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Jan 06, 2019
In 2019, outread your competitors

Photo by Kimberly Farmer on Unsplash A new year has just kicked off, so regular readers of this column know exactly what I’m about to say: read more books! I am delighted to see that my regular exhortations seem to be having some effect. A good number of readers checked in during December to confirm […]

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Dec 27, 2018
My Top Books of 2018

Another year is ending, so let’s do this again: here are the best books I read in 2018. I used to confine myself to telling you about just 12 books every year, but that seems arbitrary. It forces me to knock some worthy contenders out for no reason. So this year I have 14 books […]

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Dec 23, 2018
If you love bookshops, buy from them

When I was a young boy, I would regularly gather my pocket money and take a bus into Nairobi’s central district to buy books. My perambulations would begin at the famous second-hand shop, Toddlers Bazaar, just off Koinange Street. This ever-busy shop was a prime place to find unusual, affordable novels. From there I would […]

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Nov 04, 2018
Whose child do you choose to be?

Photo by Tim Wright on Unsplash I have just finished reading my 55th book of the year. So I am well ahead of schedule in my #50BooksIn2018 challenge. How are you doing? There is still time for a late burst. Allow me to give you another reason to keep reading books. Consider this remarkable wisdom […]

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Jun 24, 2018
The WHY and HOW of reading books

Half the year is gone. How goes the book-reading? I’ll soon be opening book number 35, so I’m well ahead of schedule. How are you doing? I hope you’re still up for the #50BooksIn2018 challenge. A quick recap: why a numerical target? Because humans respond to quantified challenges. Why 50 books? That’s the stretch target […]

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Jan 09, 2018
My Top 12 Books of 2017

It’s that time of year, so here they are: the best books I read in 2017. If you confined me to just 12 books in the year, this is the dozen I would hope to end up with. My regular caveat first: reading is a very personal endeavour. The value of a book is squarely […]

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Jan 07, 2018
How many books will you read in 2018?

How will you measure your achievement in the year ahead? Will it be in terms of money earned? Promotions gained? Holidays enjoyed? Friendships made? Learnings achieved? Kindnesses imparted? I have a simple measure for you to aim for in 2018: books read. Believe me or not: for many people that simple activity – reading books […]

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May 21, 2017
Staying analogue is as important as going digital

Digital transformation is on everyone’s lips these days. If you’re ‘analogue’ you’re finished: a dinosaur awaiting imminent extinction. Or are you? The e-book was supposed to kill off the printed book. Did it? No. E-books took off rapidly, and then levelled out in 2014. Sales of physical books have been rising for several years now. […]

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May 07, 2017
Reading 50 Books every year: your questions

Greetings, book-lovers. How are you doing with #50BooksIn2017? I just completed my 16th book of the year, so I’m more or less on track. What about you? I started the #50BooksIn… hashtag to try and persuade more and more of you to read books. I am delighted to see so many of you writing or […]

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Jan 05, 2017
My top 12 books of 2016

You keep asking, so here they are: the best books I read in 2016. If I were reading just 12 books in the year, these would be the dozen I’d wish I’d read. Reading, please note, is a very personal endeavour. I am reluctant to offer “Best Of” lists as recommendations, simply because the value […]

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Jan 01, 2017
How many books will you read in 2017?

A year ago I wrote here that it is possible to read 50 books in a year. Provided you love and value books, that is. I put it down as a challenge to bibliophiles, ardent or lapsed, to raise their game. Having thrown down the gauntlet, I found myself accelerating. At the year-end, I clocked […]

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Jun 05, 2016
Going the extra mile in customer care pays – big

When Amazon.com launched in 1995, it was the world’s first substantial e-retailer. It was a shot in the dark. Its early demise was predicted many times. Now, it is an absolute behemoth, selling everything from apparel to consumer electronics to cloud computing services. And last year, the world’s largest physical retailer, Walmart, was quietly overtaken […]

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Jan 26, 2016
Come and talk books with me at Prestige Bookshop this Saturday

I wrote this piece about reading 50 books every year, and it seemed to raise even more questions… The Prestige Bookshop is one of Nairobi’s oldest book havens, one I’ve been going to since I was a boy. I’ll be in the company of Jeff Koinange and Martin Oduor-Otieno this Saturday, 30th January, 11 am […]

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Jan 10, 2016
How to read 50 books every year

I have a target I set myself every year: to read fifty books. For those of you quick on the mathematical uptake, that’s approximately a book a week. It seems like a reasonable aim to me, and I find I usually get close to it every year. As 2015 closed, I hit exactly fifty books. […]

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Jan 11, 2014
Chekhov on society and discourse

“What savage manners, what people! What wasted evenings, what tedious, empty days! Frantic card-playing, gluttony, drunkenness, perpetual talk always about the same thing. The greater part of one’s time and energy went on business that was no use to anyone, and on discussing the same thing over and over again, and there was nothing to […]

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Dec 15, 2013
My love for the printed book – rekindled

Three years ago it seemed a no-brainer: the e-book would kill the printed book. I joined the revolution early, buying dozens of books both on an e-reader and for mobile apps. My conversion looked complete. Early this year, though, I pulled the brake and did a u-turn. I am back to print with a bang, […]

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Sep 09, 2007
No books, please – we’re Kenyan! The debate continues

Two weeks ago I wondered why Kenyans don’t read books, and the comments have come in thick and fast (you can follow the best of them on www.sunwords.com). This is clearly a subject that perplexes many people. So let us spend some more time examining the issue again. A number of readers pointed out that […]

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