Joburg's best bookshops

more than a year ago
Under South Africa's Level 4 lockdown restrictions books have been declared an essential item and across Joburg bookshops have re-opened so that city dwellers can again enjoy the greatest educational tools, and avenues for finding peace, calm and happiness in this crazy Coronavirus world, books.

As with other stores that are open during the Coronavirus pandemic, the usual safety and social distancing measures apply. You must wear your mask, you will be asked to sanitise your hands before and after you shop, a limited number of shoppers will be allowed inside at a time, and staff will be on hand to help you quickly find the books that you need. 

To give you some inspiration for what to read during lockdown we've been asking local writers and bookshops owners to share their recommended quarantine reads with us in our ongoing Lockdown Reading List series. Check out the reading lists of authors Nechama Brodie, Gail Schimmel and Craig Higginson.

Book Circle Capital

Passionate about African literature and promoting local stories, this small bookshop in Melville's quirky 27 Boxes centre stocks an interesting selection of books written by local authors including plenty of non-fiction and books for kids. 

Book Circle Capital's owner Sewela Langeni shared with us ten books by African authors that she recommends getting stuck into this month. From history to memoirs, magic, mystery and classic African literature, read Book Circle Capital's reading list here.

09:00-16:00, closed Sun, Mon.
Address: 27 Boxes, 75 4th Ave, Melville, tel. +27 82 692 9889

Bridge Books

Both branches of the friendly downtown independent bookshop Bridge Books are open - at The Cosmopolitan in Maboneng and at Rand Club in the historic Mining District. Bridge Books sells new and second-hand books with a focus on works by South African and African writers. You can also order books online and get them delivered or arrange to come past the shop in person and pick up your pre-ordered books at the curb outside the store. Browse and buy books online at

Griffin Shea, owner of Bridge Books Griffin Shea and a leader of the African Book Trust’s downtown Literary District project, which promotes libraries and book culture in the Joburg City Centre, shared his recommended lockdown reading list with us. From escapist fantasy to South African classics and everyday ubuntu, read Bridge Books' reading list here.
Address: The Cosmopolitan, 24 Albrecht St (cnr Commissioner St), Maboneng, tel. +27 79 708 4461 | 95 Commissioner St, City Centre, tel. +27 79 618 9280

Love Books

Kate Rogan's Love Books at the Bamboo Centre in Melville lives up to its name. The selection of books - general fiction and non-fiction as well as a great selection of South African titles - displayed exhibits thoughtful and considered choices, award-winning books, books people are or should be talking about. The bookshop hosts regular events and launches and also carries a great selection of books for children. During lockdown they are taking their book launches and book discussions online. Join in the conversation on their Instagram Live. They are also running a delivery service during lockdown. Books are delivered for free within Melville and The Parks.

Kate Rogan from Love Books shared her ten recommended reads to enjoy in lockdown with us. As she says; "books transport you – they can be escapist (good for the nerves), they can be informative (good for the brain), they can calm us down (good for the immune system), and more than anything at this time, they can be friends. You’re never alone if you’ve got a good book". Read the Love Books reading list here.

Bamboo Centre, 53 Rustenburg Rd, Melville, tel. +27 11 726 7408.

David Krut Bookstore

David Krut Projects is a top South African fine art print studio and art book publisher. The distinctive Blue House on Jan Smuts Avenue houses an impressive art gallery space, professional fine art framing service and the David Krut bookstore which stocks a unique and hand-selected range of exquisite local and imported art books. While the art gallery remains closed the David Krut Bookstore is now open by appointment. To arrange a visit call +27 11 880 5648/ 4242. Alternatively, you can browse their online bookstore at Order your books online and arrange collection from the shop of delivery.

Address: 151 Jan Smuts Ave, Parkwood, tel +27 11 880 5648, 

L' Elephant Terrible

44 Stanley's cosy second-hand bookshop L'elephant Terrible has reopened with limited hours for anybody looking to buy second-hand books. Whatever genre you are looking for be sure to ask the staff first as they are extremely knowledgeable about what they have in stock. 

Address: 44 Stanley Ave, Milpark. The bookshop is open 10:00-14:00. Closed Sun, Mon.

Exclusive Books

Nationwide bookstore chain Exclusive Books has now reopened all of its stores (except for the airport branches). Find them at Sandton City, Rosebank Mall, Hyde Park Corner, Cresta, Clearwater Mall, Bedford Centre, Benmore Gardens, Fourways Mall, Mall of Africa, Melrose Arch, Greenstone Shopping Centre, Killarney Mall, Mall of the South, Nicolway Bryanston. 

James Findlay Collectable Books & Antique Map

In the business of buying and selling rare and collectable books for more than two decades, James Findlay is one of South Africa's foremost book traders. In 2018 he relocated his bookshop to the historic Rand Club on Loveday Street in the heart of Joburg's heritage-rich mining district. Occupying the century-old club's 175-metre square basement it is a suitably historic location for Findlay's astonishing collection of rare and collectable books.
Address: Rand Club, 33 Loveday St, City Centre, tel. +27 79 779 4574,


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