Bookstores: 10+ secondhand shops to support in South Africa

In case you missed it, I’ve been reading again. It all started with Holly Black’s book and it opened the floodgates. Earlier this year, I wrote about falling in love with literature again, featuring majority local authors (women/femmes) and how much I was enjoying a good book.

As we all know, it’s been a tough year for independent bookstores. The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way we shop and also had an impact on the overall supply chain. This past year, I’ve supported local secondhand bookstores and pre-loved booksellers, from brick and mortar stores to online Instagram collectives. Personally, I think it’s important to shop small where you can and making a conscious decision to buy locally is something to consider. This year, I decided to consume more local literature and with that, also tried to find more secondhand shops to purchase from.

Although donating books can feel like you’re giving away a part of your soul, so many people simply don’t have the funds to buy brand-new books. Sell to your friends or donate your unwanted secondhand books to your local library (if they’re accepting any!). I always think about low-income households with avid readers, and how we all deserve access to cool books of our choosing.

Anyways, I’ve put together a selection of secondhand brick and mortar bookstores and online shops to check out while you’re looking for cool gifts. These are based all around South Africa, some have online stores or Instagram businesses while others are standalone stores. Click through to the links to find out ore and see what they have on offer. Support local and give money to your local community as much as possible in 2022 and beyond.

Do note, those with cities in brackets are standalone stores that you’d have to visit in person.

I haven’t added in addresses, because those change frequently but I’ve either linked a website or Facebook/Instagram account for further details.

CAFDA Bookstores (Cape Town)


BookMark It

Lotus Bookstore

Jimmy’s Bookshop (Gqeberha)

Clarke’s Bookshop

The Book Shoppe (Cape Town)

Shelfrighteous Collectibles

Goedgedacht Trust – Help the Rural Child (Cape Town)

The Bookworm (Cape Town)

TEARS Animal Rescue Charity Shops (Cape Town)

The Paper Moon Bookshop (Cape Town)

I hope you find this useful! Let me know about any other bookstores I might have missed out.

x A

Photo by Alex Block on Unsplash

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