Mervyn Sloman: The Story of a Bookshop – Changing Cape Town’s reading culture

In the first episode of Books Stories People, I talk to Mervyn Sloman, owner of one of Cape Town’s best loved book stores. As a youngster Mervyn had absolutely no idea of what he wanted to be when he grew up – until it became clear that his one ambition was to work in a book shop. This is the story of his journey to realising the dream and finally opening The Book Lounge in 2008. It’s been an interesting, if not always easy ride, but Mervyn’s shop has had a major impact on the readers and writers of Cape Town. So will the Lounge survive a global pandemic? Listen here to find out.

 

Mervyn Sloman is the owner of the Book Lounge.

Mervyn recommends “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett.

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Book Stories People is a podcast for people with an appetite for the story behind the story. Whether a book, a play, a movie, poem, song, a blog – or even a tweet, there’s always a back story – more to it than meets the eye. Or the ear. And that’s often where the gold lies. So that’s what I hope to bring you on BSP, the less well-trumpeted tales, the inside intel – from wordsmiths of all disciplines – known, unknown celebrity or completely unheard of. And who am I? You might well ask. Just an independent journalist from the tip of Africa with an appetite for stories that matches your own. Nancy Richards, yours in stories.

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Tammy Langtry – Exhibiting the Mother

Capetonians display their talent and their taste in a marathon, groundbreaking and revealing exhibition called Home is Where the Art Is. It’s on show at the Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town – which is also known as the Mother City.

Nashada Ndongo & Marlene Makina – Stories in the First Place

Storytellers from the San indigenous peoples centre: At a place called !Khwa Ttu, up in the hills of the West Coast of South Africa, is where indigenous and original San culture, legacy, language, and stories especially, are cherished and shared. See more on www.khwattu.org and take a listen here…

Jean du Plessis – On the Block

A punishing mountain cycle challenge, a words and pictures book of close looking and listening, and a maxim of action-learning all make up one man’s world view. Join him for the ride…

Dan Retief – Golf in the Sunshine

The Sunshine Tour is a professional golf tour based in South Africa – a country which has proven itself by producing some of the world’s finest players. The game itself has an interesting history as well as present and potential future in South Africa – a great deal of which sports journalist Dan Retief has captured in a generously outsized book called The Sunshine Boys – the epic story of how South Africa’s golfers conquered the world. He looks at the game heroically but honestly with all its pros and cons.

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