ThimphuTech was the first technology blog in Bhutan. We started writing it in 2009, just as broadband and mobile internet started to take off. (Although internet in Bhutan was launched in 1999, it was either super-slow or super-expensive, and was only used by a selected few).

In the blog, we wrote about technology and food, but also about plenty of other stuff. The blog became popular and influential in Bhutan. A companion bi-weekly column -- Ask Boaz -- was published for many years in the Kuensel, Bhutan's national newspaper. (The complete Kuensel columns are available as an ebook, Blogging with Dragons).

We stopped updating the blog when we left Bhutan in 2014, but the information within the posts can still prove useful, and thus we decided to keep it online.

We thank all our readers.
Tashi Delek,
Boaz & Galit.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bookless in Bhutan

Looking for IT books in Thimphu bookstores? Look no further. There are none. A few days ago we scouted the main bookshops in town in search of general books and textbooks on computer literacy, Internet, IT, programming, Microsoft Office, etc. Nothing fancy, nothing specific. We checked out DSB, Megha, Pekhang and a few others. To my shear amazement we found none (aside from a small local booklet on Javascript for class 11-12 students).

There were lots of textbooks on management, accounting, and even on... biostatistics! But none of the incredibly-popular "For Dummies" self-learning basic IT books. Several of the shopkeepers mentioned that there is no demand.

Why is demand non-existent? Do Bhutanese techies use only online resources? Do they get them from the IT-book-galore-shops in India? With the growing emphasis on the potential of ICT education in the country (e.g., the Chiphen Rigpel project), it is crucial to have well-stocked shops and libraries with IT books. In India it is the norm: Computers and Internet is the first category in Books on, a large Indian online retailer. The same is true in the US: has plenty of items under its Computers and Technology Books category.

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