Marshalltown’s literary history can be traced back to 1890 when there were already libraries and 11 bookshops within a few blocks of Johannesburg’s old City Hall. CNA started in a corrugated-iron building on the corner of Rissik and Commissioner streets. Juta started on the corner of Loveday and Pritchard and the Bantu Men’s Social Centre, at 1 Rissik Street, hosted social events, a boxing club, gym and a library founded by Herbert Dhlomo and run by Peter Abrahams. Frank Thorold came from Manchester to fight the Boer War and was a pioneer of book sales. “Mr Thorold used to walk around with a Gladstone bag visiting all the shops and markets when Bree Street taxi rank was the Flat Iron Market. He would open his Gladstone bag like a doctor on call and buy books and bring them back to the shop. And that is what the book vendors are doing today — walking around town buying books and taking them back to their place of sale,” explained American-born journalist and academic Griffin Shea. Sh...

Subscribe now to unlock this article.

Support BusinessLIVE’s award-winning journalism for R129 per month (digital access only).

There’s never been a more important time to support independent journalism in SA. Our subscription packages now offer an ad-free experience for readers.

Cancel anytime.

Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.