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The Book Lounge is an independent bookshop in the Eastern Precinct of Cape Town City Centre. We opened in December 2007 and have had the most wonderful response. Talk to our experienced and passionate staff about the book you are looking for or feel free to grill us on what we’ve been reading recently. We pride ourselves on the many interesting book related events that we host – check out our events page for details of what’s coming up. Or just come and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee while relaxing in the Lounge area and perusing our eclectic selection of books. Bring your children to the best kids section in town and if you know of a 3 to 8 year old who likes a good story, every Saturday morning at 11.00 is story time at the Book Lounge. We have a wide and unusual range of books, and if you’re looking for something we don’t have in the shop, we will do our utmost to get it for you. Enjoy the site and please drop us a mail if you have questions, queries about books or comments to share.


Open Book Festival: 7th-11th September 2013

The third edition of Open Book was an incredible experience – those of you who were there know what I’m talking about! The authors who joined us – international and local – were on top form, sharing their opinions, talking about their work and generally keeping everyone spellbound.

2013 has been an amazing ride that really kicked off with the World Record Attempt where we together with Central Library knocked over 2586 books in a row (we await Guinness approval for the record). When we decided to attempt the record, I don’t think any of us had a clear idea of just how crazy getting it right would be – needless to say, while the event was brilliant, one record is enough! To watch the video of the record, click here.

That was just the start though…Our programme this year was packed with events that make highlighting any one almost impossible. We can’t say enough about how delighted we are that events we spent months planning were so well received!
New to the programme were Poetica, curated by the remarkable Toni Stuart, and the Open Book Comics Fest, curated in part by industry specialist, Moray Rhoda. Both areas added significantly to the existing Open Book programme and we look forward to working with Toni and Moray again.

InstallationAlso new – and something we aim to repeat in the years to come – was Pulp Fiction, our installation of 25000 books that were due to be pulped. Thanks to Granta Publishers for their generous donation which not only allowed us to create incredible backdrops to our events (thanks to Stuart Cairns!), but more importantly, enabled us to send out an invitation to Libraries and other organisations urgently in need of books to join us on the 12th September to collect as many books as they could carry! It was an experience not soon forgotten and of immense value to so many.

So much goes into the organising of the festival, it’s difficult to thank everyone – the public who showed their support like never before, the authors who were so generous with their time in and out of events, our partners and sponsors who assisted every step of the way and the staff who worked tirelessly to make sure the experience people had was an excellent one. Let’s do it all again next year!
If you would like further details about the festival, please contact Frankie (

The Open Book Team


Westridge High Library Appeal

Our Library Appeal continues – This year we have identified Westridge High School in Mitchell’s Plain as our target school. The school has over 1,100 pupils but no library, so we have committed to installing a full library of 5,000 books for them as part of this year’s Open Book. We believe passionately that children benefit exponentially from having access to books throughout their education. Last year we installed a library at Parkhurst Primary in Mitchell’s Plain, with great success. Parkhurst feeds in to Westridge, so this will give every pupil at both schools the wonderful opportunity to engage with books and reading throughout their school career.
We are asking all our friends and customers if they would consider contributing – the books have been carefully selected and will be available in-store to buy for the school, or just mail us with an amount you would like to contribute to the appeal, and we will select from the book list for you.

Please consider contributing to this very worthy cause – any amount from R100 to R10,000 would be an enormous help! For more details please mail us on



Open Book 2014 Diary

Photo: Don't miss out on the fabulous Open Book 2014 diary! Featuring literary facts to impress your friends and original contributions from some of our favourite local authors. Grab one now while stocks last! Only R190!The must-have accessory for next year is the slim, stylish unique and limited edition 2014 Diary, produced for and by the Open Book Festival. Featuring top tips for what is on in Cape Town next year, plus international literature dates, literary facts to wow your friends with and contributions from 12 of South Africa’s best-loved authors, this will be a stylish companion for any desk or bag for the whole of next year. A snip at R190 - grab a copy now and avoid disappointment!



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We are absolutely delighted to be able to offer you a pre-publication discount of 20% on the new cookbook from the wonderful team at London’s popular Leon restaurants. Leon: Fast Vegetarian enables you to make the most of the fresh vegetables available in markets, allotments, veg boxes and supermarkets. The philosophy at the heart of [...]

New exhibition at the Cape Town School of Photography

Titled ‘A House in Harrington Street’, Nicholas Eppel’s debut solo exhibition reflects three years in the life of long-time Harrington Street resident, 68 years old Elizabeth Barrett. Eppel’s photographs document Elizabeth’s house and life, which stand as a testimony to community living against the rapid gentrification of the inner city. Elizabeth recently made headlines by saving 14 children from her burning house, which now stands in ruins.

The exhibition, which is sponsored by the Centre for Curating the Archive, UCT, and supported by the Cape Town School of Photography and Orms Pro Photo Warehouse, consists of 30 images: still lives, portraits and intimate moments of the household prior to the fire.

Venue: The Cape Town School of Photography, 4th Floor 62 Roeland Street (cnr Harrington St)

Exhibition Opening: 27 February 2014 at 6pm

Contact: Jade Nair 021-4807151 (Centre for Curating the Archive)

Forthcoming Events

Launch of poetry collection Irki by Kadija George Sesay

Tuesday, 22 April 2014 at 5:30 PM

Vociferous Wednesdays : Public Protector’s Nkandla report

Wednesday, 23 April 2014 at 5:30 PM

Launch of Arctic Summer by Damon Galgut

Thursday, 24 April 2014 at 5:30 PM

Events Calendar

April 2014
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