Joburg’s Literary District is made up of informal booksellers, conventional and slightly unexpected bookshops.
Centred around the City’s main library, celebrating Joburg’s book culture is what drives this SEF programme – connecting booksellers with publishers as well as fostering a love reading, especially African literature.
As a starting point the SEF team are preparing Library Gardens for storytelling by weeding and maintaining the public space. As yet, storytelling only happens inside Bridge Books, home of the African Book Trust.
Storytelling provides an opportunity for the informal booksellers to engage with local youth and encourages a culture of reading.
Participants who joined up for this programme have found that being a part of this community has reduced their sense of isolation, helped them to make friends and has built their confidence. The skills that are being developed mean that participants can transition from cleaning duties to assisting the African Book Trust inside Bridge Books.
SEF is also providing capacity for the African Book Trust to market their initiatives such as the “Buy a kid a Book” campaign where donations towards the cost of a young adult book go towards covering the cost of a specific book. Donations can either be made in the form of a voucher, or the book can be purchased outright and will be given to the recipient directly.
Ultimately the Literary District strives to create readers and change lives.