Reading on the waters: World’s largest floating library arrives in Mombasa

The MV. Logos Hope when it arrived at the Mbaraki Wharf in Mombasa. The ship is the largest floating library with 5,000 different titled books and it will be docked in Mombasa for 45 days./COURTESY

Mombasa residents and Kenyans at large who love books can now have a chance to read a variety of books while aboard a ship.

This is after the world’s largest bookfair MV. Logos Hope arrived in Mombasa on Tuesday.

The 132.5-meter-long ship docked in Mombasa on Tuesday morning with 350 passengers on board and crew from 65 different countries.

“The tourists will have a chance to sample our sumptuous cuisines, visit our magnificent historical sites, and pristine beaches, and experience first-hand charming hospitality,” said Department of Tourism, Culture and Trade CECM Mr Mohammed Osman.

The floating library will be opened to the public from the 24th of August where book lovers will be able to access and purchase more than 5,000 different titled books onboard the ship.

The array of books covers science, sports, hobbies, language, faith, cookery arts, and medicine.

Speaking while welcoming MV. Logos Hope, Mombasa Education CEC Dr. Mbwarali Kame said the county has organized for all secondary schools to visit the floating library.

“The school visits will be in shifts and also rotate within the different sub-counties in Mombasa for the 45 days that the ship will be here, so if today we bring students from Mvita sub-county then tomorrow we bring students from Nyali or Jomvu sub-county, and so on until we cover all the schools in the county,” said Dr. Mbwarali.

The Education CEC said this will also help improve the reading culture in the county.

“Our schools performed very poorly in last year’s national examinations and one of the reasons for this is the poor reading culture in Mombasa,” he said.

“As a county, we will see how we can purchase books from the vessel and distribute them in our schools,” he added.

Kenya Ports Authority Principal Corporate Communication Officer Haji Masemo says the arrival of MV. Logos Hope marks the start of the tourism season.

“The tourism season normally starts in September and runs till March, so this time we have started earlier. This is just the start and we believe that this season there will be a number of cruise vessels coming in. We will be berthing them at our cruise terminal,” said Haji Masemo.

“This vessel has been here some time back and we have also received other libraries here,” he added.

The floating library came from Seychelles and will be sailing to Dar-es-Salaam after 45 days in Kenya.

“The people on the vessel are from different nationalities, you can see Brazil, Jamaica, Britain, the US, and many other nationalities. They will be able to get some time to get into the city and we believe there will be a lot of business going on between the city residents and the vessel,” said Haji.

Kenyans from all walks of life have been encouraged to visit MV. Logos Hope and get to experience the floating library.

“Entry will be free and all are welcome. You can come with your children, parents; whoever is ready can come,” said Evans Okello from Inchcape Shipping Services.