Five great second-hand bookshops in and around Cape Town

Here is a curated list of wonderful second-hand bookshops in the Cape Town area, stretching from Gordon's Bay to Cape Town city centre.


Whether you read a few pages every night before bed, or spend all your free time with your nose in a book, reading brings joy in many different ways.


One of these joys is book shopping and even more so when you find a bargain.


Bookworms can lose hours in bookstores, new or old, looking through every shelf and reading every blurb.


Second-hand bookstores are more than a place to save money and find great reads. They also help you to avoid the trap of consumerism. After all, if you buy a previously used book, you are in effect recycling.


This list has something for every reader and every budget.

Bikini Beach Books


This little bookshop in Gordon's Bay has been around for more that 25 years and is a must-visit spot for bookworms.


Here you will find a wide range of books, from children's and translated works to latest releases. The quality of the books is fairly consistent, with newer books generally being in good condition and older books a bit more worn.


This is one of the most affordable bookshops around Cape Town, with most books selling for under R30.

  1. Bikini Beach Books, 41 Beach Rd, Gordon's Bay, Western Cape (8am to 9pm).



Clarke's Bookshop 


Clarke's Bookshops in the centre of Cape Town is for the more niche reader and book collector.


Here you will find beautiful artwork for sale, some new releases and many older books in fantastic condition. There are even some first and second editions!


The more seasoned reader and book collector is likely to love Clarke's. Come as a treasure hunter rather than a bargain hunter and be prepared for higher price tags and rare reads.  

  1. Clarke's, 199 Long St, Cape Town city centre, Cape Town (9am to 5pm).



The Book Lounge


The Book Lounge describes itself as "an independent bookshop in the heart of Cape Town. Passionate staff, great coffee and fantastic books". Which, when you think of it, is pretty much everything a bookworm needs.  


Along with a fantastic in-store display, the Book Lounge has an even wider selection on its website. This is a literary hub for both older and younger readers as it has many book-related activities for kiddies, like story times.

  1. The Book Lounge, 71 Roeland Street, Cape Town, (9am to 5pm).



The Book Shoppe


The book shop at Kirstenhof is a mixture of old and new. It has a wide range of older books and new releases, all of which are very fairly priced.


The Book Shoppe also has great children's and classics sections, as well as a very extensive science-fiction and fantasy section.


Be prepared to spend hours here and walk away with unique finds and great bargains.

  1. The Book Shoppe, Shops 14 & 15, Tokai Junction, corner of Main and Tokai roads (9am to 6pm).



Blank Books


Nestled in the eclectic area of Woodstock lies this small gem of a book shop. At Blank Books you will find something for even the pickiest of readers.


It has a great classics section and a wide variety of Africana as well. This little book shop reflects the artistic atmosphere of Woodstock in its unique collection of African comics.


Be sure to check out the online store as well.

  1. Blank Books, Unit 2, Salt Circle Arcade, 374 Albert Rd, Woodstock (9am to 5pm).



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