Arts & Culture

Books, books, books! 

September 4, 2019, Author: bianca

Preserving our Heritage

One major part of keeping one’s heritage intact, is the art of storytelling and what better way to tell stories than with books?

From 2 to 8 September, we are celebrating National Book Week – “a week-long celebration where all South Africans can play their part to promote reading and making books available to those around them through the #buyabook campaign,” says SABDC’s CEO, Elitha van der Sandt. What makes the annual book week extra special, is the way in which it also creates a platform through which South Africa’s heritage can be preserved “with a strong focus on promoting indigenous languages, local authors, as well as library awareness and access.”

Why not take part in the #buyabook campaign?

Buy books from the select list of titles available at Exclusive Books and Bargain Books and donate it at the till. The books are made available for R20 and are donated to children across all provinces.

With UNESCO’s International Year of Indigenous Languages being celebrated this year, the National Book Week also tapped into the celebration with ten indigenous language reading festivals in far and remote communities across the country. South Africa has a rich lingual history and the languages identified include Sepedi, isiXhosa, isiZulu, seSotho, Setswana, Afrikaans and English.

It may be difficult to find the time but making time to teach children to read and tell stories is invaluable time that will go a long way. Make going to the library part of what you do with your kids. Here are some of our favourite go-to libraries and bookstores in Pretoria:

National Library of South Africa

The NLSA is the custodian of South Africa’s collective national heritage materials and the national depository of published output materials in the country. It also acts as the national preservation library.

Brooklyn Library

Situated at Brooklyn Design Square, this library is convenient and offers a quiet place for reading or studying.

012 358 9672

Lizmar Books

If you are looking for scarce Afrikaans books, you will most probably find them at this online bookshop.

Rutland Books

If you’re a bookworm, Rutland will have you feel you’ve died and gone to heaven. This second-hand bookstore has 13 rooms with over 50 000 books! If you’re a book collector, this is probably where you’ll find that one book to complete your collection.


As Elitha van der Sandt rightly says: “Anyone can tell a story, whether rich or poor, rural or urban, storytelling runs in our veins as Africans.”

You can celebrate books and reading at this year’s South African Book Fair, happening on 6 to 8 September in the Women’s Jail at Constitution Hill.

Spread the love