Bookstores in Africa
17 Jan 2012
Cities include (listed basically west to east, north to south by country,
alphabetically within country, but associated areas and language groups are
listed together; if anyone has a better ordering, let me know):
Cape Town, South Africa
Johannesburg (and other Gauteng), South Africa
[Note 1: I collected these comments from a variety of people. I personally
have no knowledge of many of these places and take no responsibility if you
buy a book you don't enjoy. :-) Phone numbers and precise addresses can be
gotten by calling directory assistance for the appropriate city. Call ahead
for precise hours, as even when I list them they are subject to change.]
[Note 2: If you can add information for any of these, in particular
addresses when they are missing, please send it to me.]
Africa Leadership Forum Bookstore (ALF Plaza, 1 The Bells Drive, Ota, Ogun
State). "Sells books and magazines published by the Africa Leadership
Forum. These range from religious texts written by President Obasanjo
to political books (economic development, women's issues, security and
American Community Library (52 Raymond Njoku Street, Ikoyi, Lagos State).
"It's a library that also sells books (mostly paperback fiction). The
library has the best selection of fiction that you'll find in West
Africa. Decent childrens section. Spotty on the non-fiction and
travel sections (many of the travel books are sorrowfully out of
date)." Open Wed 9:30AM-12N, Sat 10AM-1PM.
Falomo Shopping Center (Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos State). "Two bookstores
near Quintessence (I've forgotten their names). Both carry a decent
selection of Nigerian books and literature, one carries a fair
selection of western novels and books."
Hidden Treasures (20, Ekulu Avenue, By Nwodo Junction, G. R. A. Enugu,
firstname.lastname@example.org). Christian, inspirational, and
motivational books, as well as books on entrepreneurship,
management, career strategies, financial success. Mostly
US imports. Open Mon-Sat 9AM-7PM. [04/04]
Ikoyi Hotel Bookstore(s) (Kingsway Road, Ikoyi, Lagos State).
"Collection of bookstores in the hotel lobby. Western book selection
with subjects ranging from medicine, business management, and computer
software. Some outdated, some new. Prices are high (sometimes twice
the list price marked on the book. Decent magazine selection. Some
Nigerian books, though this varies."
Lagos Sheraton Hotel Bookstore (Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, Ikeja, Lagos State).
"Small bookstore, small selection of western trade paperbacks, Nigeria
tour guides, domestic and western magazines."
Manna Bookstore (60 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, 01-269-4272; 2nd Floor, 7 Oyin
Jolayemi Street, off Karimu Kotun Street, Victoria Island, Lagos,
Thanks to Robbie Honerkamp for these.
Book Corner (Silopark House, Mama Ngina Street, 02-332968, FAX 02-215590).
"Small shop with very narrow aisles, and a small selection of most
genres of fiction, coffee-table books, magazines and cards. The
paperbacks are augmented with a small second-hand section at the
bottom of some shelves, all very reasonably priced." Open Mon-Fri
8AM-5:30PM, Sat 8:30AM-3:30PM.
The Book Villa (IPS Building, Standard Street (next to New Stanley Hotel),
02-337890, FAX 02-215837). "Well organised and well-staffed but
cramped, this small shop offers the usual range of glossy gift
hardbacks, and only a small range of recent fiction." Open Mon-Fri
9AM-5:30PM, Sat 9AM-3PM.
The Catholic Bookshop (Kaunda Street, 02-338514/225172, FAX 02-442144).
"Large open-plan shop, with a wide range of Catholic literature in
English and Swahili, also bibles, cards and magazines." Open
Chiana Bookshop (Moi Avenue (near Kenya Cinema), 02-222069, FAX 02-211231).
"The range of books Chiana's once offered has dwindled over the
years; now specialising in educational textbooks and school materials
only. Many of the once-brimming shelves are now half full, but there
are still a few good books to be found on African history and general
education. Also computer products and office equipment." Open
Keswick Bookshop (Bruce House, Kaunda Street, 02-226047, FAX 02-728557,
email@example.com). "Smaller than the Catholic Bookshop across
the street, but with a range of all Christian literature including
fiction and theology. Also a wide range of gifts and cards." Open
Mon-Fri 8:30AM-5:30PM, Sat 8:30AM-1:30PM.
Nakumatt Mega (Uhuru Highway). Ten minutes' walk from the city centre or
10 shillings in a matatu. "The new huge Nakumatt Mega supermarket
(built in 2002) has a rather good books section on the ground floor,
with a wide selection of recent British publications mostly covering
fiction, classics, self-help and business. Also has a better than
average children's section. On the plus side, every single book is
available as '4 for the price of 3', though on the negative side
this store has drawn criticism for not stocking any African
authors. Also upstairs is a rather decent (and quite cheap)
internet café." Open Mon-Sat 8:30AM-8:30PM, Sun 10AM-6PM.
Prestige Booksellers (Mama Ngina Street (next to 20th Century Cinema),
02-223515, FAX 02-246796, firstname.lastname@example.org). "Average size (for
Nairobi) general bookstore, with a small selection of fiction (badly
in need of some organisation), non-fiction, educational, specialist
books and maps, also plenty of large glossy 'tourist' hardbacks."
Open Mon-Fri 8AM-6PM, Sat 8AM-3:30PM.
The Stanley Bookshop (Stanley Hotel, Kenyatta Avenue, 02-212776/333507/
224619, email@example.com). "Under the Stanley Hotel, a
good bookshop despite its average size. There is a good range of
fiction and non-fiction paperbacks, plus plenty of classics and a
good but small selection of UK and US edition SF/F. A good
selection of health and spiritual reference works." Open Mon-Tue,
Thu-Fri 8:30AM-6PM; Wed 8:30AM-5PM; Sat 8:30AM-3PM.
Thanks to Pete Young for these.
Cape Town, South Africa:
The Book Lounge (71 Roeland). New books. Has an extensive schedule
of events. [01/12]
Clarkes Bookshop (211 Long, +27(0)21-423-5739,
"A fantastic shop. Excellent, knowledgeable staff/owners.
Specialises in Africana." Open Mon-Fri 9AM-5PM, Sat 9AM-1PM.
Exclus1ve Books (http://www.exclus1ves.co.za).
The biggest South African chain (also in Botswana). [03/04]
Wordsworth Books (+27(0)44-887-0224, http://www.wordsworth.co.za.
New books. "They have a number of bookshops in the Cape Town
area. They have two well-stocked shops at the tourist
mecca of the Waterfront, one general, one travel books
(both guides and glossy picture books of South Africa and Cape
Johannesburg (and other Gauteng), South Africa:
Collectors Treasury (244 Commissioner, 2001, 27-11-334-6556, FAX
27-11-334-5344, firstname.lastname@example.org). The largest used and
antiquarian bookstore in South Africa, with more than 500,000
books. A wide range is covered with strength in travel,
archaeology, the arts, lierature, modern first editions, transport
and military history. Described by Colin Steele in the ABMR as
being "the jewel in the crown of South Africa`s bookshops." Ships
Estoril Books (Fourways Mall, Shop M10, cnr. Witkoppen & William Nicol Drive,
Fourways 2055, Gauteng, 011-465-6885, FAX 011-465-8013; also Cresta,
Village Walk (Sandown), and SouthDowns (Irene),
http://www.estorilbooks.co.za). "One of South Africa's
better-established bookshops (over 40 years), Estoril Books'
move to the Fourways Mall has given them plenty of space, but
the impression is still one of cramming as much onto the
shelves as possible. Good sections covering all subject
matter, but especially good are the long shelves devoted to
health matters and all varieties of esoterica/mysticism etc.
SF/F is well represented with an even mix of recent UK and US
paperbacks. Books also available in Afrikaans, though the
children's section is a little limited. The down-side to the
shop is the large stickers they use to price paperbacks, which
are impossible to remove with any kind of solvent without
damaging the covers." Open Mon-Thu 9AM-8:30PM,
Fri 9AM-10:30PM, Sat 8:30AM-10:30PM, Sun 9AM-8:30PM.
Exclus1ve Books (http://www.exclus1ves.co.za).
The biggest South African chain (also in Botswana).
"Johannesburg alone has twelve branches. The main branch in
Sandton Square is a very impressive store, beautiful decor,
coffee shop (I think Seattle) but most importantly a huge
range of English-language books, all new from business and
computing to children's and fiction." [03/04]
Frank Thorold (42 Harrison, 3rd Floor, 011-838-5903). Antiquarian.
Open Mon-Fri 9AM-5PM. [12/11]
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Evelyn C. Leeper
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