There is nothing wrong with large chain stores; it’s good to know where you will find the latest best-seller. But sometimes, as a book lover, you have a need to explore. You want to find that book that you didn’t know you were looking for.
Whether you’re looking for something old, something new, something borrowed or something collectable, here is a list of some of the best independent bookstores you should visit in Gauteng.
Jozi’s streetwise bookstore, Bridge Books, has many international books for sale, but mainly focuses on African writers. They also host exciting events and workshops you can join!
What makes buying books at this bookstore better? Every sale helps raise funds for their non-profit organisation, The African Book Trust, that provides much-needed books to schools and libraries throughout South Africa.
Collectors Treasury is a must-visit for any bibliophile! They were founded in 1974 and is known as the largest used bookstore in Africa. You will enjoy an amazing collection of books, maps, newspapers, and second-hand memorabilia.
ESANLU BOOK SHOP
With a collection of almost 16 000 books, you’re bound to find something you like. This collection includes collectables, first editions, and new books. You’ll be able to choose from fiction to non-fiction, including almost 2 000 religious works at the Esanlu Book Shop.
In the historic Orange Grover area, you will find this small, eclectic bookstore which specialises in out-of-print books that are difficult to find.
When you visit Kalahari Books, they will impress you with contemporary fiction, political commentary, and many after-crime fiction books.
L’Elephant Terrible is a charming second-hand bookstore right next door to the Bean There Coffee Company. So you can enjoy your cup of caffeine while browsing through their shelves stocked with everything from fiction to biographies.
Located in Melville, this little bookstore will lure you in with its homely décor and layout; making you feel at home as you look for your next buy.
Love Books also hosts different book-related events and story-time sessions for children to enjoy. Make sure to keep an eye on their website if you don’t want to miss out!
It may not be considered as your typical bookstore according to old-school book lovers, but Outer Limits is the number one comic book supplier in Pretoria. If you want to satisfy your inner superhero, then this is the place to go! You will find graphic novels, comic books, board games, and awesome memorabilia.
Run entirely by volunteers, the PCH Bookshop sells good quality, second-hand books to raise funds for the Princess Christian Home (a non-profit organisation that provides care for the elderly and those suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease).
Their books are on sale on the last Saturday of each month and include anything from non-fiction to popular fiction donated by the public.
Visitors of Rutland Books have described this bookstore as the heaven for bookworms. And with 13 rooms filled with over 50 000 second-hand books, it’s clear why. You will be entertained for hours as you search for your next favourite read.
SKOOBS THEATRE OF BOOKS
Skoobs Theatre of Books is a bookstore, coffee house, and champagne bar all in one. And don’t forget about the balcony! It’s the perfect place for relaxing before a theatre show.
A trip to this bookstore will treat you to a variety of fiction and business-related books, as well as quirky accessories which are great gifts for any book lover. And did you know? Skoobs is books spelt backwards – and yes, I got excited when I discovered this for the first time.
SUNGARDENS HOSPICE BOOKSHOP
As one of the top five second-hand bookstores in South Africa, the Sungardens Hospice Bookshop sells books to raise funds to help take care of patients with advanced or incurable diseases.
The donated books are carefully arranged according to the quality and quantity. So, whether you’re looking for a book on fiction, non-fiction, education, or the arts, you’re covered.
Let the art of book hunting begin!