Boekehuis has been an institution in Jozi in terms of providing a public space allowing for informed, engaged and intelligent public debate. It is a sad inditement that the holding company, the large profitable corporate Media 24, seemed to look only at the bottom of line of profit, rather than seeing Boekehuis and what it offered in terms of a much needed social responsibility programme, particularly in the current SA media environment . But ce la vie, this amazing intellectual space has gone – mourned by many free thinkers in Jozi. See http://todoinjoburg.co.za/2011/12/save-the-boekehuis-bookshop/ ; http://www.iol.co.za/the-star/closing-a-chapter-on-joburg-history-1.1222994 and may other ‘obituaries’.
The big question is: will anybody else take its place? Love Books is ideally placed to do so. It is an independent bookshop, it is located in the same area and already has the same market of the culturally interested and independent thinker, plus it already has the great adjacent space of the Service Station where Joburg’s intelligentsia and culturally informed ‘meet and eat’. See http://www.jhblive.com/reviews/96290. Boekehuis has left a HUGE gap in the arena of cultural, political, social and economic debate in South Africa – will anybody fill it ??