“ Let your imagination take flight as your finger trawls the shelves of books “
As a child I loved reading and always looked forward to our fortnightly visit to the local library to exchange our books. I remember trying to read after light out at night with a torch tucked under my duvet as I had to get to the end of another Nancy Drew or Famous Five adventure. As I got older it became The Hobbit and later The Power of One

As technology has taken over, books shops have dwindled and the price of new books makes one think twice, however there are many fantastic second hand book shops in our cities. I have complied a list of my favourite five.

Collectors Treasury

Established in 1974 and owned by 2 brothers, any bookworm who enjoys hours of browsing and getting lost in a labyrinth of books this is the perfect spot. This 8 floor shop is filled to the brim with books, it feels like it’s bursting at the seems as even the lift has books in it that go up an down all day.
Besides the largest collection of first edition and leather bound books there is a room dedicated to vinyls.
You will also manoeuvre your way between delicate porcelains and glassware and boxes over flowing with old black and white postcards
Known as the largest second hand book store in the Southern hemisphere its easy to believe with its roughly 2 million books.
Some may call this a fire hazard, others say is a dream come true. Whatever your opinion you should go and have a look, you are going to find something here that will have you digging in your wallet regardless of the price.

Address : 244 Commissioner Street
Call : (011) 334 – 6556
Hours: Monday to Saturday



L’Elephant Terrible

This quaint, old fashioned second hand bookstore that is found in the corner of the trendy 44Stanley stocks both fiction and non fiction. You may be wondering about the name, its actually a simple explanation – the owners love for elephants.
This unassuming shop is a gem in the city. Filled with little nooks and crannies and a rather precarious staircase that takes you up to the second level you find yourself looking around for all the secret delights, like the lamp in the corner on a table with some really old books under it. The children’s corner tucked away on the left hand side has some fun characters sitting on top of the shelves looking down on the delighted children.
This quirky store is one of a kind, even the music playing in the background suites its musty , old feel.

Address: 44 Stanley Avenue
Call : (011) 482 – 1871




The reading room

“ fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks “ Dr Seus

This charming little shop found at 1Fox has new and second hand books. The big painted mural of Dr Seus in the main room is the character to this independent store. My older son bought one of their wrapped up gifts, this mystery book parcel adds to the excitement of any avid reader because after all who is brave enough to buy something without knowing exactly what it is. It turned out to be the perfect purchase for his girlfriend- a book of poems.
There is ample seating to sit and enjoy paging through a book and the walls and simple wooden shelves are tastefully decorated with old fashioned items such as white lace gloves in a frame and the old type writer and old violin that sit on the top shelf proudly.
The unusual colour of this shop and the simplicity of it make it unique. Quantity is not always quality and this rings true for this shop, it may not be filled from floor to ceiling but i find the collection of books always good and I never leave empty handed.

Address: 1Fox street Ferreiras Dorp
Facebook : Reading Room
Hours: Friday 12h00 – 17h00
Saturday 10h00 – 16h00
Sunday 10h00 – 16h00



Teddybear house

A collector’s dream, this vintage shop owned by Stephanie, is roughly 6 years old and found in one of the older houses in Benoni, with its wooden floors and stained glass front doors it adds to the character of this shop which is not only home to fiction books but also 600 teddy bears that have been donated over the years. Some call it a Teddy Bear retirement home. Kobus, the biggest of the lot sits proudly on his chair wearing his Springbok jersey. One room is dedicate dot children’s books and there is a table in the room where they can colour in or read a book while parents browse around in other sections. The books are carefully selected and adhered to the schooling syllabus .
The target market for this is pensioners and parents who homeschool their children. They work on a library type system where you receive 50% back of your purchase when returning and buying your next selection of books.The shop is in impeccable condition with books arranged alphabetically and the friendly staff greet you on arrival and are happy to have a chat with you. Memory runs the store and is there every day.

Address: 130 Wooton Avenue, Western Ext Benoni
Call : (011) 420 – 0135
Hours: Monday to Friday 9h00 to 17h00
Saturday 09hoo to 13h00



Rainbow Books

This bright and cheerful second hand books shop sells a variety of books and also has a large Christian section to the shop. The owner Lauren grew up loving the character Rainbow Bright and as childhood memories can have a lasting impact on use, when opening her first book shop she called it Rainbow books.
There is a large collection of children books as well as toys and some fantasy dress up costumes. The main section of the store has well packed shelves and they work on a “ trade in “ system. English and Afrikaans books can be found here and the local homeschooling community holds a kids Entrepreneur’s day once a month to assist with teaching children how to mange their own business’s.
My personal favourite is the travel section, I can spend hours perusing the shelves and dreaming of my next adventure. The service is outstanding and if they don’t have the book you are looking for they will try their utmost to source it for you

Address: 126 Golf Avenue, Clubview, Centurion
Call : (012) 660 – 1910
Hours: Monday to Friday 9h00 to 17h00
Saturday 9h00 to 15h30
Sunday 9h00 to 15h00