I’m a sucker for second hand bookshops, actually I’m a sucker for bookshops, period. But if you want a real experience visit the Collectors’ Treasury in Commissioner St in Joburg’s eastern inner city. It is located in an 8 story building – a very unprepossessing post-war structure, which is slightly further west of Arts on Main and the Maboneng precinct. I love it so much I have already included it in another blog post: http://lizatlancaster.co.za/blog/joburgs-best-bookshops
As you climb the steps from the front entrance on the street you know you have a treat in store. It is lined from floor to ceiling with piles of books and that’s before you have even reached the shelved books. And despite having 8 floors to house the books, with well over a million books space is a real problem! Collector’s Treasury is the largest used and rare book shop in the Southern Hemisphere.
Apart from running the guesthouse another hat I wear is that of heritage historian. I write history reports on Johannesburg heritage and have found some real gems here - books which are out of print and have proved invaluable for my research. For example Anna Smith’s Johannesburg Street Names is the most amazing resource to have on my bookshelf at home.
And there are all sorts of other wonderful items – old vinyl records, ornaments, maps, periodicals, photographs and lots more wonderful ephemera.
So enjoy your excursion to this veritable hobbit’s treasure trove. Also see http://www.jhblive.com/reviews/shops/collector%27s_treasury/79933