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Support Independent Book Shops! December 7, 2007

Posted by Andreas in Cape Town, Life, News, South Africa.
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I love books and I love book shops. One of the most depressing things in recent years, no make that decades, has been the decline of independent book sellers in South Africa to the extent that the local book trade is now completely dominated by corporately-owned chain stores.

There is some hope for those of us who would rather support individuals who are passionate about what they do and do it to support themselves and their families, rather than contribute to the already gargantuan profits of yet another soulless mega-company that cares only about the bottom line and ever increasing profit margins.

There are independent book stores out there. You just have to look a bit harder to find them, but when you do, your book buying experience is guaranteed to improve immeasurably.

Last night, Mervyn Sloman, an old varsity friend of mine, opened a beautiful new, independent book shop, called The Book Lounge in Cape Town. It’s in a lovely venue on the corner of Buitenkant and Roeland. There’s a groundfloor and a basement, coffee and tea, couches to lounge on, a bunch of really friendly and knowledgeable book sellers and, of course, a great selection of books to choose from.

It’s an absolute must to check-out. If you love books and the idea of a book store as a place that’s much more than just an outlet for selling books, you’ll love it!

While I’m on the subject: for those of you who seldom make it into town, because you live on the False Bay side of the world, go and support Ann Donald’s Kalk Bay Books (on main road in Kalk Bay) – another beautiful and wonderfully independent book shop.