Bookstores, Feature

The Best Second Hand Bookstores in Cape Town – Part 2

After my first post (Part 1) I decided to do a follow-up post on some of the other great second hand bookstores I visit quite often. Let’s get to it:


Bikini Beach Books – Gordon’s Bay

If you’re a fan of seeing rooms and hallways filled with books, Bikini Beach Books is the place for you! Make sure you have time on your hands because you’ll need it to navigate your way around books stacked from the floor right up till your neck. Bikini Beach Books is one of my favourite bookstores, even though I’ve only been to it about 5 times. It has a wide variety of books from different genres, still in relatively good condition. Whenever I visit Bikini Beach Books I manage to find some great popular authors for quite cheap too! It’s definitely a store to check out if you’re ever in Gordon’s Bay. I suggest you take a trip out to the bookstore with some friends and head down to the beach opposite for a chilled day away from home.

Details: 41 Beach Road, Gordons Bay, Cape Town 7140


Help The Rural Child Bookshop – Mowbray

This HTRC branch is much bigger than the one in Retreat I previously wrote about in my first post. Situated quite centrally in Mowbray, HTRC-Mowbray has a wide selection of books spanning across different genres, from popular fiction to school textbooks. I remember in my first year of varsity, my friends and I made a trip to this bookstore and one of my friends actually found a prescribed Psychology textbook for under 100 bucks!! The store has some chairs scattered around its many rooms which make for great introductory reading before actually buying anything. They also sell coffee for R10 so make sure you grab a cup while you read whatever’s in-store.

Details: 6 Victory Road, Mowbray Cape Town (opposite Shoprite) 021 689 8392


CAFDA Books – Claremont

As part of their charitable work, CAFDA sells donated books in a number of stores across Cape Town. One of the things I really like I about this bookstore is that it’s based quite centrally in the Southern Suburbs. This CAFDA Books branch has tons of fictional novels and quite an extensive range of social science and English literature books. If you’re looking for a specific book or just in need of a hand, the elderly staff members manning the counter are always eager to assist! While its store might not host a wide variety of many genres, it’s known to be home to a number of gems. I found a copy of Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography and Nelson Mandela’s Conversations With Myself in very good condition at CAFDA Books!!

Details: Shop P, Cavendish Close, Cnr Cavendish & Warwick Streets, Claremont. (next to Body Architects) 074 194 9973


That Place Coffee Shop – Observatory (Lower Obs)

I’m not sure what to make of the place. It’s either a coffee shop with a great selection of books or it’s a bookstore that sells some really good coffee. Either way, it’s a place you just HAVE to see for yourself. Once you get over all the hipsters chilling with their Macbooks filling up the café, you’re in for a good time. This store has minimal books within its varied range (sounds weird but you’ll understand once you visit it), but it has lots of highly recommended authors. I’ve come across many good books going for cheap at this store, which still cost a fortune at other places. It’s a great place for a coffee date to catch up with an old friend or your crush 😉

Details: 76 Lower Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town


St George’s Cathedral Bookshop – CBD

This little bookstore is one of my favourite stores to visit whenever I’m in the CBD. Its situated right next to St George’s Cathedral so I doubt you’d have trouble finding it. The store has a huge historical selection and hosts a room filled with fictional novels too. (Quite fitting, given the history of the Cathedral itself) If you’re a lover of English Literature, upstairs is where you really want to find yourself. This bookstore is one of those where you might not find plenty books from the same author, but similar to CAFDA Books in Claremont you’ll come across those hard-to-find gems. It also helps knowing that the sales from the bookstore goes for a good cause.

Details: Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town (Next to National Library and Company Gardens)


Have you been to any of these stores? Do you know of any other second hand bookstores you think I should add in follow-up posts? Comment below 🙂


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