A good friend wanted to give me book voucher as a gift. I suggested he rather give me the cash (yes, how forward of me) because at a place like this I could literally buy 3 times the amount of books. This is absolutely a gem of a book store. Well known for over 30 years in Gordon’s Bay, Cape Town, it has welcomed thousands of passers by and regulars. An old beach front house converted into a book store.
Not located in a shopping mall where they are bound by a lease to trade until late, but guess what? They stay open until 10pm anyway, how fantastic. It makes sense, you need to pack enough water for a trip to this book house. That’s the magic of it. Make no mistake, I regularly visit large book chains, but here you have to really spend time and search and along the way you find books you would have never known, never seen or never bought. Fiction, non-fiction, crafts, fitness, literature, languages, dictionaries, poems, plays, biographies, autobiographies, comics, history, self help, encyclopaedias, Maps, Air Land and Sea Navigation and more! Kid in a candy store!
I try to imagine the amount of hands each and every book here has passed through. How much knowledge, laughter, suspense, romance and history has been brought to possibly thousands of readers. Every time I find an inscription from a loved one on the first page I have to stop myself from going, “YAY!”. I found a book once with the inscription “To my dearest daughter. May this book bring you all the joy and happiness you deserve. I hope you enjoy it. Love Mom”. Simple, yet I wondered where that mother and daughter were today, who were they? Did the book do it’s job? Is Mom still alive? It made me think of mothers and daughters all over the world.
The only sounds coming out of this place was Gregorian music in the background and the ‘creaking’ of the old wooden floor as another book-hunter moved from one stack of books to the next. Yes, Mills and Boons’ The Brazilian Millionaire’s Love-Child is also available here so do not despair. I was over the moon to find a Word Menu (ultimate word and idea resource) and a book titled “10 000 Jokes, Toasts and Stories”.
God bless my fiancé who stayed patient as I rummaged through these books like a crazed junkie! I got my fix (4 books) for R110 (divide by ten if you are in a first world country). Time and money well spent. This will definitely be a regular spot from now on and I don’t mind the 30km drive (explorers don’t complain about the distance).