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‘Leaky’ pockets force parents to buy second hand books for their children

As the back-to-school rush season goes on, many parents in Meru County have opted to buy second-hand books for their children as a way to cut costs due to the prevailing economic hard times.

Secondhand book sellers on the other hand are smiling as they cash in on the windfall from the increased sales as demand shoots up.

One of the parents Ms Prisca Gakii told KNA that she goes for second-hand books because she can save some money that she will use for paying school fees.

She added that a Form-One student is also safe with the old books at school as other students tend to take advantage of their naivety to steal the new books from them.

“While a new Oxford dictionary is selling at almost Sh1,900, a used one goes for Sh1400, and since they contain the same content. I prefer the old but cheaper one,” said Ms Gakii.

She also said that buying a new book for a student in the final year of her course is a waste of money especially when there is no one else in the family to use them afterward.

Janet Wamuyu who is a second-hand books trader said that the opening of the first term is always their peak season since learners have to transition from one grade or class to another, which calls for a new set of books.

She said that this is the period Form One students are joining school thus increasing the demand for books, such as dictionaries, Kamusi, and Golden Bells among others.

She added that during this peak season, it is easy to acquire books for new stock.

“We exchange books for the next grade or class at a low rate which helps parents rather than buying another new set of books for the new class,” said Ms Wamuyu.

She added that they buy books for new stock from parents whose children have completed studies and have no need to keep them anymore.

Wamuyu however said that the business is challenging especially during other times of the year when only a few revision books are in demand.

By Dorcas Kawira and Dickson Mwiti

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