“The libraries are filled with books. Nothing is wanting to the Church. In different places the divine praises are everywhere proclaimed. The mouths of the lectors keep not silence. The hands of all are full of volumes [of Scripture]. Nothing is lacking to the people who wish to be taught” (Contra Donat. 7.1)
It is fascinating to read Optatus' description of Church libraries in North Africa as "filled with books" and that the "hands of all are full of volumes." The abundant number of manuscripts available certainly speaks to the wealth of Christians in this area and the popularity of Christianity. There must have been a ready market for those who wished to study the scriptures for themselves. This comment also serves as a contrast to the generally low literacy rates in antiquity. Even though very few people could read, there were enough literates attending Churches that it warranted large collections of volumes.
Houghton, Hugh. The Latin New Testament: A Guide to its History Early History, Texts, and Manuscripts. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.
Optatus of Milevis. Against the Donatists. O. R. Vassall-Phillips, trans. London: Longmans, Green, and CO, 1917.