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

Dec 30, 2021
My Top Books of 2021

  I read 95 books in 2021. I didn’t quite make it to the heights of 2020, but that’s OK. Still way more than my annual target of 50. Here are the best books I encountered, new and old. The usual caveat applies: which books we love is very much a personal matter. This is […]

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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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Feb 14, 2021
To write better, read better

Last week on this page: if you want to write better, the path is the practice of writing. You don’t get better at writing by just thinking, talking or dreaming about writing. You get better by actually writing. The practice is the learning; the doing is the improving. This week on this page: if you […]

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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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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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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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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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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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Aug 26, 2007
Books are the key to a better life

Why don’t Kenyans read books? That is the lament of many a writer, publisher and intellectual. We don’t have that many bookshops in this country – and most of the successful ones are forced to sell a whole range of other items, from CDs to greeting cards. Equally, it’s rare to find a writer who […]

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