Booksellers face heat in Nigeria as economy faces downturn



Printed books can reign supreme in most parts of the world, although in some areas it is not. Take for example the situation in Nigeria where booksellers find it difficult to sell enough books to lead a decent life, and they do not blame the advent of the Internet or e-books for their miseries. Rather, it is the economy itself that has shrunk to a situation where there is simply not enough currency in circulation to allow buyers to opt for printed books, Sunday punch reported.

Booksellers say many have been forced to postpone their book purchases as they save money to fund their other essential activities. This also includes the student community who have started downloading their reading material from the Internet to continue their education. Many complain that reading on their laptops or other devices tires their eyes, but have no other choice.

Parents too have become accustomed to buying the most essential textbooks for their children in order to control their spending given the sharp increase in the price of printed books in the country. If the poor state of the economy is not enough, booksellers also blame social media for their miseries as they claim it is too much of a distraction for readers to spend quality time reading books.

Lack of adequate and constant power does not help matters either, as it sometimes leads to blackout of smartphones or laptops. So, those who choose to read e-books often have no other choice if their devices are depleted. This is where printed books can come in handy as they can continue their education regardless of energy situation, at least during the day.

Overall, the model appears to be the same as elsewhere in the world where printed books remain the first choice. However, with the economy seriously lagging behind, buyers just don’t have the money to splurge on the books just yet. Many prefer e-books, but again, the lack of a stable power supply is often seen as a barrier. Unfortunately, no one really knows when things should get back to normal.


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