Beautiful bookshop stocks a wide variety of good reads

Waldo Boshoff owns and runs the Bookworm Fantasy Bookshop in Somerset West.

Global research has found there to be reading surge during the Covid-19 pandemic and if you find this research to applicable to you, then there is a literary gem in the Somerset West CBD, offering locals a large variety of good reads to indulge in.

With Waldo Boshoff at the steer of the new Bookworm Fantasy Bookshop located in Main Road, readers both new and avid will find books which will tickle their fancy.

Entering his stylish, modernly furnished, character-filled shop complimented by the black and white chequered floor tiles and ample lighting, the shop exudes a warm, welcoming, and relaxed atmosphere, almost worlds removed from the hussle and bustle occurring right outside in the main road.

The charming atmosphere and setting most certainly entices you to delve into the rich collection of reading delight and amusement — which Mr Boshoff lovingly regards as his orphan children— beckoning from the fully stocked shelves.

Mr Boshoff, a Somerset West resident opened this contemporary secondhand bookshop in April this year and describes himself as a passionate reader with a love for novels since childhood.

With a long-time dream of one day being his own boss, his passion and love for books, and goal to become being independent; wonderfully intertwined this year resulting in the opening of the shop.

Like so many background stories relating to recent start-ups or opening of small businesses, his own story also links back to the first hard lockdown the country underwent in 2020.

A salary cut at his former manufacturing company, compelled him to find alternative ways to substitute his income and he started by selling books online. Mr Boshoff says, “it just snowballed from there”.

His inspiration in opening the store is twofold, the main reason being to offer people good quality books at affordable prices.

“It’s more about what you get for your money, how much books you get for your money. So, people are really trying to capitalize as much as they can to get the value for their money and that’s what I’m trying to do.

“The current books on the shelves I sell for R100, maybe R120, depending on the subject matter, but I try to not go higher than that.

“I’m trying to put the books into the hands of people, and trying to create the idea that you can get good quality books here current books, at very affordable prices.”

Although operating as a secondhand bookshop, there is a wondrous section in the shop stocked with some of the latest and sough after collectables for the niche market, as well as brand new popular and affordable children’s books.

What has he observed in terms of current reading trends among locals? “Surprisingly I’m getting a lot of teenagers, I expected it to be the other way around, but it’s actually quite the opposite,” he rationalises this trend to teenagers becoming so accustomed to technological gadgets and now possibly drawn to the sense of nostalgia brought out by holding a book in their hand.

He sees the running of his own bookshop as an art imitates life moment and references the book by Lawrence G Green entitled, A Decent Fellow Doesn’t Work as his real-life manifestation.

“What it comes down to is if you follow your passion, you’ll never work a day in your life and that’s exactly how I can explain this, I don’t see this as work, I enjoy every moment of being here, discovering new books and new authors.”

He describes his new career as a fascinating job with not one day being the same. “People enquire about books on any topic imaginable or unimaginable.”

The second-hand book also falls into categories. There are normal used books, carefully used books, old books (not necessarily rare), rare books or collectable books.

“It’s a far cry from manufacturing,” says a visibly happy and excited Mr Boshoff about his new venture.

Genres in books are very varied and cater for everybody – from fiction, mystery, crime, fantasy to cookbooks, biographies, history, short stories, children’s books, poetry and many more. There’s also place for stocking locally-based Helderberg writers and minimal foreign language section to cater for the international market.

He describes his target market as ‘anyone who enjoys reading a good book’ and says presently the most popular reading genres are non-fiction and historical fiction. Another interesting trend is the popularity of art books, he adds.

“People are craving, I think more factual things, with social media out there containing so much fake news, I think people are looking for something a little more grounded.”

He agrees with the global research proving a surge in reading as a result of the lockdowns. “I think people are reading more, it’s a very cheap form of entertainment medium and I think a lot of readers were born in the lockdown period.”

In addition to selling books, other services he offers includes an exchange service, a loyalty programme, and he has also now added a client search service for special client request with a notification sent when the requested book is in stock. Other immediate plans include running a Christmas special as well.

Pop in for a visit at the The Bookworm Fantasy or send an email to, info@bookwormfantasy.co.za the shop is also available on all social media platforms.

Stocking a wide selection of books and reading genres on his shelves, owner Waldo Boshoff is ready to assist in finding books to suit any reading taste or preference.
At this charming bookshop in Main Road, owned by Waldo Boshoff, readers can discuss their needs whether to buy or sellf books with Waldo, a knowledgeable self-professed bookworm himself.