Nothing quite compares to leafing through a book, and these independent South African bookstores sell the best of the best. From major cities to small towns, they’re the perfect place to spend long afternoons or lazy weekend mornings.
Dustcovers, Nieu Bethesda
This quaint bookstore is somewhat unexpected in the small Karoo town and visitors easily spend hours inside. From collectables and coffee table books to classics and new releases, most books are second-hand but are in immaculate condition, and sell for a fraction of the original price.
Dustcovers, Hudson St, Nieu-Bethesda, South Africa, +27 82 517 0045
The Book Lounge, Cape Town
This independent bookstore in Cape Town opened in 2007 and hosts an array of book-related events, and stocks an eclectic range of titles. It’s also the perfect place to spend a rainy afternoon, sipping on freshly brewed coffee while reading in the lounge area. Ideal also for those with children, as every Saturday morning at 11AM it hosts entertaining readings for youngsters.
Fables Bookshop, Grahamstown
Fables Bookshop in Grahamstown was founded in 1990 and deals mainly in out-of-print, academic and specialist, Africana titles. Fables also sells fascinating hand-painted maps of the Cape Colony and Eastern Cape, as well as almost impossible-to-find genealogy CDs.
Fables Bookshop, 119 High St, Grahamstown, South Africa, +27 46 636 1525
Love Books, Johannesburg
Love Books, a small bookstore in the bustling Bamboo Lifestyle Centre in Melville, offers a tightly curated range of titles. The store hosts many events, as well as book clubs, and story-time sessions for children every Saturday morning at 10AM.
Love Books, 53 Rustenburg Rd, Melville, Johannesburg, South Africa, +27 11 726 7408
The Book Cottage, Hermanus
The Book Cottage is exactly as the name suggests: a charming cottage filled with books, and is situated in Hermanus, a seaside village in the Overberg. They stock a comprehensive range, from local authors to international best-sellers and children’s books, plus they often host special readings and book launches.
The Book Cottage, 17 Long St, Hermanus, South Africa, +27 28 313 0834
Last Chance Books, Durban
Last Chance Books has a brick-and-mortar store at the Stables Lifestyle Market in Durban, with approximately 4000 titles for sale. They also have an extensive private collection that can be viewed by appointment. This interesting collection includes historical titles, limited, signed, and first editions by authors such as Ian Fleming, Wilbur Smith, J.M. Coetzee and more.
Last Chance Books, Stamford Hill, Durban, South Africa, +27 31 312 7825