Quick Q+A with Lotus features local South African businesses in the new world for readers!
Social media has improved many businesses, from startups to big brands. You also discover new brands with unique personalities on Instagram like Justine from Well Read Books SA based in Kempton Park, Gauteng! Read more into Justine’s bookselling journey with funny stories and some of the perks of running a bookstore (very relatable). See why you should support Well Read Books SA and how you can connect now!
Who is behind Well Read Books SA?
Hi, my name is Justine, I am 22, and I am the founder behind Well Read Books SA.
At this point in time, I run the business on my own via Instagram selling second-hand and brand-new books.
What made you want to start Well Read Books SA?
Justine: As all businesses, this one started with an idea.
I thought about selling my unwanted books, but had no idea how I would do that, so I would simply dismiss the idea. Until I discovered that its quite common to sell books via Instagram!
My next problem was where I would source books, and if I would be able to give them up? As I am sure you can already tell, I am quite an avid reader and book collector (yes, those are two different things). So, I was faced with the problem of keeping the books I have sourced for myself and having nothing to sell, which is obviously quite a problem if you want the business to grow!
After much deliberation (between myself and myself) I decided to be very picky and only keep books I know I will read and most probably enjoy.
After this decision I managed to find a few places to source books from, and so began the business known as Well Read Books.
I created a logo, which took a lot longer than it should have, (being that I must now be pickier) and proceeded to create my Instagram account.
Since then, it has grown by over 1000 followers and many amazing customers! I cannot wait to see what will become of this little business.
Tell us the story about how you chose the name Well Read Books SA for your business?
Justine: One day I borrowed a book from someone and accidently got a little water on it (oops).
When returning it I apologized profusely and she responded by saying “it’s not a problem, it just means it has been well read, which is what books are supposed to be!” Since then, I’ve really come to appreciate what a well read book means.
A well read book is one that has been enjoyed, cherished, mentally consumed, and ultimately read, as a book should be! These days many people buy books due to their visual appearance as opposed to the actual story inside, now do not get me wrong, I love a good-looking book! But it is the inside that counts (please excuse the cliché remark).
So that is why I chose the name Well Read Books, to hopefully bring attention back to the story inside, and make it more acceptable for a book to have a few cuts and bruises.
What’s one of the things you enjoy about running Well Read Books and your industry?
Justine: Firstly, one of the most enjoyable things about running Well Read Books is being able to deal with books! I love reading and therefore love discussing books with all the new people I have been able to meet in this community. I love being able to suggest books to people and hopefully give them their new favourite read. I also love spending hours sourcing books and seeing what treasures I can find out there for the store.
This brings me to my second point, is that I have loved meeting all these knew people and discussing literature and other shenanigans!
Thirdly, I love being able to run my own business independently from home.
What can people expect from Well Read Books SA in the future?
Justine: One of the biggest things I am thinking of implementing in the future is a website for Well Read Books SA. I am hoping that this will make shopping a much better experience for my customers!
I would also like to invest in a better delivery system to make sure that everyone gets their books, as well as in good order. I have not had an incident yet, but there is no need to wait for one before something needs to change.
Another exciting thing I am hoping will be implemented soon is customized Well Read Books bookmarks! As well as a new product that may be announced by mid-end 2021.
What do you think is important to make an impact in the world or leave a lasting impression?
Justine: I believe it is important to keep the joy of reading good books alive. Many people today would rather turn to the screen than to the page. I am not saying it is wrong to watch TV or play games, I am just hoping to keep the fire burning within a reader’s soul!
A good book is something that can stay with you for as long as you live, and I do not want anyone to miss out on that opportunity.
How can people show support for Well Read Books SA?
Justine: To support Well Read Books SA, you could please follow me @wellreadbookssa on Instagram, and have a look at the material I have to offer. Also, do not be afraid to message me if there is a specific book you are interested in, or any other questions you may have! Thank you!
Where can people connect with you if they’d like to know more about Well Read Books SA?
Thank you Justine! Being able to deal with books and discuss them with new people are definitely great perks of running an online bookstore. I look forward to seeing you grow even more and implementing a website for Well Read Books SA!
Please support Justine with a follow on Instagram and see what’s available or wait for a surprise!