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