News

Reading, Eating. Drinking and Reading some more. June 28 2017

It has been a month since we returned from the Franschhoek Literary Festival. Elated and excited this was a festival to remember.Our first talk was a conversation between Deborah Lipstadt and Philippe Sands moderated by Dennis Davis. A meeting of three great minds, it was erudite and awe inspiring. As Dennis Davis said at the end of the conversation, it exceeded all expectations.And more.Philippe Sands gave a talk on his...

Buried Under Books April 28 2017

Its been a while.Actually it has been a very long while since I have managed to make my way without impediment to this chair and computer.We have been buried in books.And we are starting to surface.The gentle disease of Bibliomania has reared its ugly head again.Besides the “normal” influx of books into our stores and warehouse we have somehow managed to find ourselves in the enviable position of having even...

And Then We Won January 04 2017

The day had started so badly.A long accounts meeting (never pleasant).A mad dash to our shops.Boxes of books waiting to be assessed and knowing that we had to be at the ORT Jet annual prize giving at the other side of town by 6pm.We had been nominated for the Business of the Year Award and since ORT Jet have been so supportive of us we felt we ought to support...

Mail And Guardian, Library Book Sale and Blubird November 22 2016

It has been a long time. Three blogs have been started. Three blogs have been discarded. The reason? We have been so very busy. As we in Gauteng made aware this week it never rains but it pours. And so I have decided to send out a potted version of all three blogs.   My first blog was written after the Mail and Guardian Literary Festival. It was an event...

Bookdealers Celebrate September 10 2016

It is an interesting phenomenon that most deals in the book trade are done over a particularly good meal and a glass or three of very nice wine. Failing that we sit at a desk and gorge on an  array  of snacks that would put any caterer to shame. As a result we are all quite rotund. I look at some of the buyers who are skeletal and shake my...

The Big Move August 10 2016

It has been a long time since we published a blog.I truly thought I had got away with this and then I discovered ... I have readers !People have asked me when the next one is to be written.I was shocked and astounded .But there you go.Life is full of surprises.I may mention that I was also asked while I had an arm full of books that I was packing...

Bibliomaniacs try to sort some books May 08 2016

A couple of months ago we were told some alarming news.The building where we warehouse had been sold and we had two months to vacate.This is not the relatively orderly warehouse which we work from.Okay...This is not the marginally cleaner and slightly more organised albeit overstocked warehouse we normally work from.We have chairs there!All two of them.Oh no this is a huge space piled high with books which were dumped...

In Memory of Alan Rickman March 21 2016

It is a month since one of my favorite actors, Alan Rickman, passed away.It was his his uniquely British droll way of speaking that has always attracted me. And so I have spent the past month watching some of his more memorable classics.'Love Actually' is permanently imprinted on my mindBut what about 'Truly Madly Deeply'?And when I requested to see this from the marvelous Hennie at Majestic movies (conveniently right across...

Vodka, Russians, Historians and Us… March 14 2016

What a week it was… The highlight of which was hosting the launch of the book written by  Boris  Goreilik 'An entirely different world. Russian Visitors to the Cape 1797- 1870' published by the Van Riebeeck Society . It was an erudite occasion And as he described the trials and tribulations of the  early visitors to the Cape I was lectured in the art of drinking vodka. In summary here are...

Another day in the Life of a Bibliomaniac February 24 2016

No one ever said my job was boring.Frustrating? Definitely.But boring? Definitely not.And so it happened that as I was enthusiastically showing a customer some books in our shop he remarked on my rather large earlobes.Well actually huge earlobes.I am a piercer's dreamI could have loads of earrings and still have room for more.But I digress.And so our conversation continued.He spoke of how big earlobes indicate certain attributes.One of which was...

It is a Small Planet February 15 2016

Sometimes I wonder if there is a higher power. Or maybe it is just happenstance. But then again …   You be the judge.   Last week I was sitting in our shop in The Colony centre ...   Ok.   I was not exactly sitting. I was digging into boxes of books that had just arrived. But I digress.   In walked a man who asked if we had...

A day in the life... December 28 2015

It is not easy being a book dealer. Or maybe it is easy being one it is just not easy being me.   Take yesterday for example. On an extremely hot Johannesburg day I was leaving our warehouse where we were packing to send out the last of our Christmas shipments to our very happy customers. I needed to get  to our Bedfordview shop. Go to the bank and a...

Books that I have read and loved December 20 2015

It is nearly the end of the year and I realise I have read 101 books And I have loved them.   As I scan through the titles I try to decide which I loved most.   I know I have developed a huge fondness for the Irish. So Colm Toibin and John Boyne feature in the top authors. But then again I did read three novels by Natasha Solomans...

A Jug of Wine a Loaf of Bread and Thou December 12 2015

But the wine was Moet. And the bread? amazing morsels of deliciousness . The Bookdealers were quietly ejoying the art work of the Everard Read gallery glass in hand. Life as a Bookdealer is not all bad.   As if that was not enough I was invited to Stellenbosch at Summer Place.   The venue was magnificent   Sanlam private wealth displayed their art in the galleries in the house...

Bibliomaniacs Swelter Under a Hot Tin Roof December 02 2015

Sadly with no Cat and no Tennessee Williams.   On the last Sunday of every month the Rosebank Rooftop Market hosts a vintage fair and Mad dogs and Englishmen are drawn to the heat of the excitement of finding the tome they were looking for. Or perhaps the one they did not even realize they were looking for.   Much bartering takes place. Yes it is true that we bought...

Bibliomaniacs try to go slow in the Cape November 12 2015

The Bookdealers have been travelling.   As I write Doron is still swanning around the Cape visiting bookshops a glass of red in hand ... or if not in hand not far way.   There is nothing like a change of scenery to rejuvenate ones soul. The hardest part for me is deciding which novels I am taking with. Since I know I will be visiting bookshops and possibly (okay...

The Unknown Known October 26 2015

I learn so much from my customers I love to discuss and review books that we have read. Most of them are fellow bibliomaniacs and thus we have a lot in common. Sometimes we do get carried away. This is evident by the glazed look on their faces as they attempt to pay for their special book.   And so it happened that one of my customers told me about...

Bibliophiles and librarians have fun in the sun October 14 2015

It was the annual Johannesburg Public library sale and  as usual the community minded Bookdealers were assisting with all credit card sales.   The sun was shining. The books were set out and so began 2 days of buying and selling   And we bought ... and bought … and bought some more.   Boxes of books were selected. Too many boxes of books were selected to tell the truth....

Bibliomaniacs in the Bush October 06 2015

Life In darkest Africa   It is a hard life. Packing the car full of rusks, dried fruit ,crisps and drinks and heading off to the game reserve. Why does one have a compulsion to eat constantly on a road trip? I draw a line at letting my fellow travellers eat biltong while viewing living and breathing animals. I also needed to pack eight novels (for four days) and a...

A Bibliomaniac needs more time September 15 2015

Many a true word… I mentioned to my business partner that I need to take the next two weeks off in order to read. There are so many books I want to read and so little time. Sure he said. Aha I thought. Time to rush home an start reading.   And then I looked at the piles of “Urgent have to read right now” books. And the next pile...

Bibliomaniacs show their wares at the market September 04 2015

On the last Sunday of each month the market on the Rosebank rooftop hosts a collectors market. This is the very essence of a Bibliomaniac's being. It was we are made from. It is what gives us energy to carry on.   And here I am. The day after market day looking with love at my purchases and trying to reconcile my bank balance. And so I find myself in...

A Bibliomaniac who loves stationery August 28 2015

Now I sit and colour endlessly and guiltlessly and suddenly the colours are a little sharper, my crayons much more sparkly and my mood far calmer and happier.

Busy Book Times August 07 2015

It always happens this way. Have you noticed? Feast or famine. I suppose that is putting it too strongly. Feast or diet . Champagne or water. But I digress.... After months of planning the South African Book fair was held at the Turbine Hall this past weekend. The fair was held in conjunction with the Mail and Guardian literary festival. Three days of books, talks, authors, more books, publishers and...

What Bibliomaniacs read July 30 2015

I have never fitted into the norm. Friends and family can vouch for this.I have tried and failed.Again and again.And so I find myself in an unusual position of a book collector who not only gazes with love at my tomes but also loves to read.I love books.I love their feel.Their smell.The crinkle of the pages.But more than that I have to admit I love the words that they contain.And...

Busy times for Bibliomaniacs July 22 2015

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,...

Is this Bibliomania? July 04 2015

Is it yet another sign of this gentle madness or in this case not so gentle madness? The problem is that sometimes (okay most times) a novel stays with me so clearly and vibrantly that it starts to colour the way I think and live. It has always been this way. Boarding school was a rude awakening. Enid Blyton made it sound like so much fun! It wasn't. But I...

Franschhoek and beyond: another note from the Bibliomaniac June 18 2015

It was a Bibliiomaniac's dream come true. There I was walking the streets of Franschhoek and minding my own business (a rare occasion) and to my delight I crossed paths  with Sarah Waters . Of course I had to stop her, swoon a little, (there is lots of swooning going on in Franschhoek during the literary festival) and request an inscription for my book. The fact that the book was...

Thoughts from a Bibliomaniac (the Gentle madness) With apologies to Nicholas A Basbanes June 03 2015

Contrary to public opinion I don't only gaze with love and adoration at my books (yes I do that too ) But I also read them Lots of themIf the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.I am a push over for a good book.Recommend a book that I will enjoy and it will be LOVE.Enjoy a book that I have loved and the bond will be sealed...

Thoughts from a Bibliomaniac (the Gentle madness) May 19 2015

Anyone who has handled a vellum bound tome from easier and earlier times will identify with the thrill and excitement and total joy that a fellow Bibliomaniac has.
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