So many books, so little time

Frank Zappa said: “So many books, so little time”.

A house is not a home without at least one bookcase full of books. And, a trip abroad is not a trip without at least one book being bought.

Here in Jozi, we have enough diverse bookstores to keep locals and visiting foreigners happy until the end of time.

Without any further ado, let us share with you some of these literature treasures.

Bridge Books – 85 Commissioner Street

This unique bookstore has an exceptional mission: they support African writers. They also act as a go-between for publishers in South Africa and smaller retailers who might not have access to new books. The owners are setting up the African Book Trust, a non-profit organisation that sponsors African books to schools and libraries. It will be worth your while to get onto their mailing list to attend one of their many interesting events.

On the weekend of 19 and 20 May, JoziWalks2018 will be hosting guided walks through the inner city’s literary history, tracing Joburg’s informal book trade. The walks kick-off at Bridge Books.

The Collector’s Treasury – 244 Commissioner Street

Staying on Commissioner Street, this is a gem of a bookshop that so few people know about!

It is the largest second hand bookstore in the Southern Hemisphere housing over 1 million rare and used books.  Walking inside is quite a feat.  There is an enormous mess, but a delightful one. Eight floors with stacks and stacks, piles and piles of books.  All sizes and all genres.

There is a room just for antiques and vinyls at The Collector’s Treasury. AbeBooks also lists the following for this bookstore: maps, prints, musical instruments and ephemera; LP and 78rpm records (over 250000).

Love Books – 53 Rustenburg Road, Melville

The owner-run Love Books in Melville is especially known for its book launches. The tasty wine accompanying the launches is sponsored by Joostenberg, a family estate in Stellenbosch. There is a story hour for the young every Saturday at 10 o’clock, whilst parents may enjoy a delicious brunch next door at the Service Station Café.

Up and coming launches at Love Books: Wednesday 25 April 6:00 for 6:30 pm – Bhekisisa Mncube’s memoir The Love Diary of a Zulu Boy; Wednesday 9 May – Psychologist Paul Bushell launches raising kids to thrive in a constantly changing world; Wednesday 16 May – Christopher Hope Cafe de Move-On Blues; Wednesday 23 May – Maya Fowler launches her new book Patagonia.

Skoobs, Theatre of Books – Montecasino, Fourways

You will just have to pop into Skoobs when next visiting Montecasino for a show at the Teatro, some wining and dining or even gambling.

This delightful bookshop has a gaming selection, a coffee shop and an upmarket champagne bar complete with a baby grand piano!

Skoobs also hosts many book launches. The next one is on 22 May with world-renowned authority on natural healing, Christine Lynne Stormer-Fryer. She will be discussing her new book, “Reflexology – Hot Footing It to Health”, revealing how feet highlight the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of being human.

Exclusive Books

Of course, no bookstore list is complete without mentioning Exclusive Books . There are many branches in Johannesburg – those closest to our guesthouses can be found in Kramerville, Hyde Park, Rosebank Mall and Sandton City. Our personal favourite is in Hyde Park, as it accommodates the bohemian EB Social Kitchen & Bar, which was nominated for the 2016 Boschendal Style Award. EB Social is especially known for its craft cocktails. What could be better than reading some Ernest Hemingway whilst sipping on a “The Sun also Rises”.

Exclusive Books Head Office in Kramerville, Sandton is having a warehouse sale from 27 April to 1 May. Get there!

Don’t forget that many of our Johannesburg Guest Houses keep a small selection of books.  Perfect for cosy dinner reading …