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Literary

Underground Booksellers of Johannesburg

Literary

Underground Booksellers of Johannesburg

1 review
Duration
2.5 hours
Group size
Up to 10 people
Includes
Food, Drinks
Hosted in
English
Literary

Underground Booksellers of Johannesburg

Literary

Underground Booksellers of Johannesburg

1 review
Duration
2.5 hours
Group size
Up to 10 people
Includes
Food, Drinks
Hosted in
English

What you'll do

Start: Bridge Books, 95 Commissioner Street. Coffee, tea, and snacks including muffins and scones are provided by local baker Dicky’s Cakes, a Soweto-based bakery. Visitors receive a 10-15 minute overview of our work with local booksellers, Johannesburg’s iconic place as a setting and inspiration in South African literature, and a discussion of where the walk will be going. (Bathroom if needed) Along the way, the walk will see a religious bookseller, the site of the original Central News Agency building, and then visit James Findlay Collectibles at the Rand Club (please note, the club is sometimes closed for private functions). The visits booksellers in street markets, a spaza shop, a Nigerian importer, and the beautifully renovated City Library. The visit explains how books move through the underground economy, and discusses the history of bookselling Johannesburg -- from the first black-run library, through the days of censorship and book burning, to the ways new modern readers find books in inventive ways.

Your host

Griffin

Griffin

Bridge Books is a unique little bookstore in downtown Johannesburg. We focus on African literature, and on creating connections between the informal book market and mainstream publishing. Through our work, we change perceptions about what, and how, South Africans read. We're based in an underground literary hub, with about 70 booksellers trading within 10 blocks of the store. Our work has been profiled in the Financial Times, BBC, the Sunday Times, High Life magazine and numerous other media. We also run the non-profit African Book Trust, which provides new, local books to schools and libraries. We're working in a new partnership with the Johannesburg Development Agency to rebrand our neighbourhood as the Literary District, pulling together the fantastic City Library, booksellers large and small, and the city's literary heritage.

What's included

Food
Scones and muffins from Soweto-based bakery Dicky's Cakes
Drinks
Coffee and tea at Bridge Books

Guest reviews

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Where you'll be

James Findlay Collectibles: in the basement of the Rand Club, with a rich collection of antique maps and books. Victory House: Home to Felix Books and a spaza shop bookseller De Strong Tower: Nigerian booksellers who have filled a gap left by the move of one of the city's oldest bookshop. City Library: home to 1.5 million books, stored mostly in a tunnel under the city Joubert Street Market: a corridor home to about 50 booksellers

Availability

Things to keep in mind

Cancellation policy

Any experience can be canceled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase.

Communication policy

Always communicate through Airbnb. To protect your payment, never transfer money or communicate outside of the Airbnb website or app.

Guest requirements

Up to 10 guests ages 18 and up can attend.

More tips

The walk lasts about three hours, but is mostly flat and goes at a leisurely pace. Inside some of the older buildings, there are no ramps or elevators.
Griffin
Underground Booksellers of Johannesburg
1 review
From $28/person
1 review
From $28/person