Joburg Itinerary: A book lover's guide

08 May 2024

Unwinding and relaxing with a good book never gets old. But what if you're eager to explore literature beyond the four walls of your home? We've been tracking the rise of a new kind of book club in Joburg; spaces that encourage you to read by providing a quiet seat or friendly faces.

While we're at it, we want to share even more places in Joburg that are made for readers. So whether you're savouring a captivating solo read or a group one, or just want to get lost in a book, here's our guide to inviting spaces for book lovers. 

And if you're feeling inspired to read more, why not look at our list of what to read about Joburg, find out where to buy second-hand books in Joburg, or explore Joburg's best independent bookshops.

The new book clubs

Plenty of books for you to choose from at Bridge Books in Linden. Photo: Supplied.

Linden-based bookshop Bridge Books has a reading club. Every Wed from 18:00 – 19:00, arrive for reading hour and read whatever you like. Feel free to stick around for a chat or arrive early to settle in with a drink. During the reading hour, you can enjoy a coffee, a glass of wine, and a peaceful atmosphere (see our guide for introverts if that's the kind of vibe you're after). If you're unsure what to read, the friendly staff can assist you (or see some of their recommendations here). Entrance is R30.
Bridge Books, 59 4th Avenue, Linden.

For a more interactive experience, join Bridge Books for the underground bookseller's walking tour through Johannesburg's literary district. You'll explore the city's vibrant book scene, starting at the African Book Trust office at the pop-up arcade on 97 Commissioner Street. It's a great way to immerse yourself in Joburg’s rich reading culture.


The Silent Book Club brings book lovers together at the Goethe-Institut to share their love for books with like-minded people. The goal is to read together in silence and get to know each other in a relaxed environment without any pressure. You can bring any book you're interested in reading, or choose a title from the Goethe library if you're looking for something new.
Goethe-Institut, 119 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood.

The cool new place to read books in Braam, Mamakashaka and Friends. Photo: Johannesburg In Your Pocket.

Mamakashaka and Friends' newly renovated space in Braamfontein plays host to Bookish, a monthly book event from 11:00 every first Sun, where you can relax outside while catching up on your current or forgotten reads. There are also a few board games to give yourself a break when the plot gets a bit too thick.
Mamakashaka and Friends, 5 De Beer Street, Braamfontein.

Book talks

Looking for a wonderful bookshop that specialises in African literature? Book Circle Capital is 
an independent bookshop founded by Loyiso Langeni and located in Melville's 27 Boxes. The bookshop collaborates with book clubs who host events in their space, including BookWorms Book Club and Bafati Bebumbene Book Club. Events are usually held on Thu and Sat nights and are free to attend. For more information check the Book Circle Capital events page or Instagram account
Book Circle Capital, 27 Boxes, 75 4th Avenue, Melville.


Ample space for reading solo or being part of the crowd at Love Books. Photo: Supplied.

Love Books is an indie bookshop in Melville that offers a wide selection of books, including children's books, fiction and non-fiction, as well as a great selection of South African titles. The store has plenty of chairs and quirky décor, making it the perfect space for exciting events and book launches. Events are popular so you need to RSVP. If you want to see your favourite Joburg author, you might catch them at Love Books. Keep an eye on the Love Books Instagram account for information on upcoming book launches and sign up to their mailing list.
Love Books, 53 Rustenburg Road, Melville.

Book sales for a great cause


If you ever need to fill up your bookshelf, the popular book sales hosted by The Friends of the Johannesburg Public Libraries can help you do that with their Bumper Book Sale. Imagine a day-long sale of second-hand fiction and non-fiction, art books, Africana, and collectables at prices as low as R15. And it's for a good cause, with all proceeds going towards supplementing the book stocks of Joburg’s libraries, particularly those in underprivileged areas, and reading programmes to encourage residents to use their libraries. Keep your eyes on the Joburg Libraries Facebook page for announcements and details on the next sale.


The Johannesburg Heritage Foundation (JHF) can also feed your love of books with their book sales. They have a wide selection of maps and books both old and more recent titles covering travel, history, architecture, and heritage. The next book sale will be in October as part of the JHF Heritage Weekend, so keep a lookout for details on social media. 

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For all the latest news of what to do around Joburg, keep up to date with our weekly events and exhibitions guides.


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