Children's Book Bank

The Philosophy behind Children’s Book Bank and Nation Building Endeavours

Illiteracy or a low literacy level is an issue that most of us are well aware of. An illiterate individual cannot read and write, and thus cannot join the workforce or may work as an unskilled labour, lacking the awareness to make an informed decision which affects them and their community. One of the causes of illiteracy or low literacy levels is poverty.

We do not claim to know the solution to poverty or the resources to solve all the issues it presents nor do we claim to even begin to appreciate its complexities that it entails. However, we at Dokusho Bookstore have always viewed ourselves as a social enterprise that wants to be part of something larger than ourselves. We want to be part of a community that thrives together.

However, the hard reality is that Dokusho Bookstore is a for-profit business. This means that we need to turn a profit to pay ourselves, to pay overheads like rental and utilities, and to hopefully expand our business. That is what every for-profit organisation strive to do. Maximising profits while maximising our social impact on society is a difficult challenge that we will face head on.

Indeed, encouraging the love of reading in future generation makes good business sense. A more literate nation with the love of reading would mean a larger pool of potential readers patronising our stores, and in turn, Dokusho Bookstore’s success will allow us to allocate more resources to promoting literacy of the next upcoming generation. It is a positive feedback loop that we hope to achieve as part of our social enterprising business model. We aim to achieve this by establishing the Children’s Book Bank.

Children’s Book Bank

Established in 2022, the mission of Children’s Book Bank is to nurture the love of reading in our upcoming generation. Reading is reading and we want to encourage a child to read a book that interest them in all its form, whether it’s a comic book, a magazine, or even online fan fiction. We do not believe a child should be bounded by traditional choices and instead be allowed to experiment and decide on what books or topics that interest them. We want children to be able to select books that match their reading abilities and not be pressured into “growing up” or reading books that “suits” their age. In fact, we also encourage our customers of all ages who are seeking to improve their literacy level to grab a book or two from the Children’s Book Bank.

  • Knocking Down Reading Entry-Point Barrier

One of the barriers associated to early reading practices is cost. According to Asian Development Bank 2021 report, 0.6% of Malaysia’s population of 31 million is under the poverty line. That translates to 186,000 families under the poverty line. It is more than likely that these families struggle to meet their basic requirements on a day to day basis and purchasing books for themselves or their children would be the least of their concerns. However, we posit that these are the very people that will benefit the most using literacy as a tool to achieve their goals in life.

We aim to remove this barrier by distributing children books free of charge, easing the entry point of reading for children without parents worrying about the cost or “quality” of the book.

  • Challenges Ahead
Like all big dreams, it comes with its own set of challenges. Our biggest challenge is space. For every book space allocated to a free book, a potential space for revenue generating book is taken up. At what point are we able to sustain a healthy amount of free children books without affecting our bottom line?
Currently, we are working hard to continually increase book space to accommodate our ever growing book stock, sometimes creatively! Additional book space would allow more normal priced books and free books to be displayed, and therefore giving children a wider range of book choices in addition to the potential for growth of revenue from normal priced books.
Our next challenge is to extend our outreach to provide free books to children nationwide. Currently, Dokusho Bookstore’s Children’s Book Bank is geographically limited to our physical store. Our vision is to one day deliver children books to homes nationwide free of charge, while ensuring the business model is financially sustainable.
  • Donate Children Books

Do you have children books which are in good or gently used condition that you would like a new family to enjoy? Drop them at our physical store during the weekend (Saturday & Sunday) between 9am – 5pm.