Joburg’s Kalahari book store for much-loved titles

The interior of Orange Grove's Kalahari Books

The interior of Orange Grove’s Kalahari Books

What starts off in fairly regular interview mode – me seated in a comfortable armchair facing Richard Welch, my notebook at the ready, soon shifts shape. It’s as if the four walls beneath the double-volume ceiling of Kalahari Books contain within them some mysterious force that makes a joke of time and exerts competing gravitational pull. Surrounded by thousands (around 70 000 in all, Welch estimates) of books spanning more than a century we flit from shelf to shelf like magpies. We move from titles by JG Ballard to George Bernard Shaw picking the books out, then discarding them for the next attraction. There is poetry and playwriting, Greek epics and tomes on trains, collectables and curiosities and fiction, heaps and heaps of fiction. Continue reading

Laurie Levine at The Radium Beerhall

#190. Head for the bright spot on Louis Botha avenue where Manny has been holding fort through the neighbourhood’s best and worst of times at The Radium Beerhall. If memory serves me it was often with a baseball bat. Not in evidence on Saturday night but still there’s no doubt he has it stashed somewhere. Continue reading