The Johannesburg Book Club

A good read is always a good idea, and chilling with people who love books just as much as you is twice the charm. The Johannesburg Book Club define themselves as a place "for those who read for pleasure, knowledge, enlightenment and fulfillment, while also celebrating the social aspects of reading". This place is essentially a hub for books and bibliophiles alike. If you're looking to share your interest in books with like-minded people, honey, you'll call this place home! To find out more about their regular get-togethers and literary discussions over wine, click here.

Collectors Treasury

Who cares if people think you're a weirdo when they catch you sniffing on a book? It's part of the joy of reading. I sniff and am shameless about it! While it has been argued that digital books (e-books) are taking over, for those who appreciate actual books, it's a big deal to find a gem like this place. You'd swear you've time traveled to a different era when you walk into this place. Besides the smell of old, musty pages, you'll find thousands of books and records for sale among other antiques. For more information, visit Collectors Treasury.

Bridge Books

This is where African literature thrives, so if that's what you're after, be sure to check this spot out. There's loads of amazing books – from drama to non-fiction, fiction, poetry, children's books and even second-hand titles. In this busy city life, we see it as a necessity to escape by drowning in a book or two, or three. Okay! Maybe we're just book junkies so check them out for a list of upcoming readings and latest releases, here!

Book Club Society

Cheeky Natives

With a Facebook definition that reads, "A podcast primarily focused on reviewing books interspersed by posts about other types of art performance," The Cheeky Natives are bringing the love of reading and literature to a new platform, which we love! They also publish great interviews with authors on their Tumblr, and host signings and meet-ups. Keep an eye on their social media for events and listen to their podcasts on Soundcloud.

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Finding out about book launches around the city can be a drag and is often the reason we miss out on some incredible book-related events. Luckily the Sunday Times Book LIVE platform has made it simple for us to check out which events are taking place in and around the city and to RSVP. Check them out here!

African Flavour Books

African Flavour Books embraces more than just African literature, they promote African music and film too. They buy, catalogue, market and sell African literature and vernacular literature from South Africa, and their film and music selection is wonderfully diverse. Have a peek at their Facebook page.

Side note: To my crush out there, this is the right place to take me out. Oops, sorry, just getting a bit sidetracked... No judgement!

African Flavour Books

People are different and we have to discover our personal passions for ourselves. One of mine is books. I love books – picking them up, handling them, reading them and remembering them. I am particularly fond of older books, which have the trapped air of the centuries within them, and the invisible imprint of loving fingers. To open one is to release the magic of imagination, the gale-force winds of passion and purpose, or the deep-flowing streams of information and intellect. All three of these attacked me as I entered the Collectors Treasury. In fact, it was rather like walking into an old, travel stained volume. I climbed the stairs between stacks of books that seemed to be lined up waiting for earlier ones to vacate the property. Inside was delightful chaos, so full, scattered and abundant. There were books everywhere. Upstairs, downstairs, in the lift, on the floor, narrowing the passages, and in an unbelievable number of nooks and crannies. To my comment that one could easily get lost inside Geoff Klass responded, “Many people have tried.” I felt that I was quite fortunate to have found both he and his brother Jonathan, as they seemed to live in a small cave carved out of the surrounding bookery.

The Business of Books

They have been in business since 1991, starting out in what is now 44 Stanley Street, and making their way eastwards to their present address, where they have traded since. They describe themselves as having, “...the largest used and rare book shop in Africa, and in the Southern Hemisphere, having 1,000,000 plus items on hand. In addition to books, there are substantial offerings of maps, old engravings and prints, printed ephemera, periodicals, newspapers and photographica. Collectors Treasury also deals extensively in records, with a stock of over 300,000 vinyl and 78rpm discs. We also have an extensive range of small antiques and collectables, with strong emphasis on the decorative arts 1870-1970.”

The collection covers almost every subject available. Here I found the William books, by Richmal Crompton, and Biggles, on the one hand, and great sets of Churchill’s History of the Second World War and The Barbarian Invasions of the Roman Empire, on the other. Scott’s Last Expedition was not far from the Cricket section that included Jackie McGlew, Pelham Warner and some ancient Wisdens. I came across a book on Polynesian Myths and Legends, near the astounding collection of vinyl records. There is an assortment of sheet music as well as a number of old albums and photographs.

The hardest for me to leave behind were the rare, and hence expensive volumes. Some were beautifully bound and included Africana.

Apart from the books, the large displays of antiques and small collectables were fascinating, and deserved their own browse time. I spent a very happy couple of hours there and could easily have stayed longer, if my credit card had not developed hiccups.

The premises are easy to find and secure parking can be arranged at Jewel City next door. Although they do not have their own website, some 70 000 books are listed on various other sites, through which they may be ordered.

Address: CTP House, 244 Commissioner St, City and Suburban, Johannesburg, 2001

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