Any dedicated bibliophile can attest to the fact that there is something precious about finding a bookstore that makes your heart sing. Johannesburg is richly endowed with independent bookstores – for both new and second hand books – that will renew your faith in the beauty and longevity of ink-and-paper – it’s simply a question of deciding which of these literary oases you’ll love the most.
Although it’s my personal favourite, Collector’s Treasury is not for the faint of heart. It’s a self-contained, multi-storeyed labyrinth of chaos, wherein second-hand books are literally piled waist-high on the floor, with no discernible system of logic whatsoever. The books themselves, though, are typically in great condition, and you are more likely to find a rare title in amidst the chaos here than you are anywhere else in Johannesburg. Perversely, the blatant disarray contributes to a truly immersive browsing experience, because, in attempting to navigate it, it becomes essential to sideline other thoughts and focus wholeheartedly on extracting gems from the staggering towers of tomes.