If you haven’t been in either the Joburg or the Pretoria CBDs you may be unaware that there’s a booming literature industry currently in those cities’ downtown areas.
You can find informal book vendors laying out an entire library out on a piece of cardboard paper or material or sitting in little shops, selling anything from old classics to past best sellers at a fraction of the prices in conventional bookshops.
For his PhD research at Wits University, Griffin Shea went on hunt to look for the people behind the fascinating growth of this trade. You can find them anywhere from a bridge linking Braamfontein and the Bree Taxi Rank to an informal electronics shop near Church Square.
Shea recently used his research to compile a map of where you can find these book sellers.
Luckily, most of these guys aren’t part of a book-stealing syndicate which resells stolen books, but instead most buy second-hand books from hospice shops. You can read all about that and the average day in an informal bookseller’s like in Shea’s article.
Below is his Joburg and Pretoria Bookseller Map.
[Image – Griffin Shea]